Double Transitions: From Dentistry in India to Public Health in the U.S.

Parveen is a Master in Public Health student who contacted Career Services for assistance with a practicum search.  For seven years, she served as an Associate Dentist in India where she performed dental procedures and educated children and families on hygiene.  Moving to the U.S. prompted her to transition into a new public health career.   How did Parveen engage in a proactive practicum search and generate interest in her skills?

She took the following steps to build her qualifications and land the right opportunity:

  • Contacted her Field Experience Coordinator who educated her on the Field Experience process and referred her to Career Services.
  • Worked with a Career Services Advisor to develop a skills-driven, professional resume that highlighted her transferable skills from Dentistry, emphasized her education and volunteer experience, and presented her greatest strengths.
  • Reviewed Field Experience resume samples through OptimalResume, watched Marketing Yourself for Public Health Practicum Opportunities, and gained interviewing skills through the Quick Start video, Interviewing Strategies.
  • Contacted five potential sites, including two sites she located through LinkedIn.
  • Volunteered at a domestic violence center to gain recent experience in the U.S.
  • Practiced interviewing skills with a Career Services Advisor to build confidence and communicate her brand.
  • Received offers from two competitive practicum sites: American Health Association (AHA) and Dental Health Education (DHE).   She decided to complete her practicum at AHA, but did not want to lose her connection with DHE.  She asked to volunteer at DHE a few hours a week outside of her practicum.

Parveen commented on her Walden experience:

“Before contacting Career Services, I was totally clueless [about how to begin] the process. Preparing a resume and writing a statement of purpose for each site was very stressful. Contacting Ms. Janine (Field Experience Coordinator) was a good initiative that I have taken as she referred me to Career Services. I learned great tips and strategies to build and improve my resume, and [boost] my confidence in reaching out to sites. I am 100% sure that I could not have done it without the help of Walden Career Services and their resources. Thanks for helping me and for following up with my progress.”

We wish Parveen the very best as she continues to build experience in the public health field, strengthen her connections with potential employers, and contribute to her community!

Written by Associate Director of Career Services, Dina Bergren

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