At the upcoming Spring Career Fair, the Health Department will be represented by Grace Whitehouse Alva and two current interns. She received her MPH from IU in Public Health Administration while focusing on biology in her undergrad. She is currently the Emergency Preparedness Public Health Coordinator. Although she did consider a medical school track, Alva fell in love with emergency preparedness and focusing on the health of a population.
How did she land the job?
While working towards her MPH, Alva interned under the previous coordinator. When the position opened up, she already had made the connections at the organization and had prior knowledge.
What does the Public Health Coordinator do?
Alva educates and increases the awareness of emergency preparedness. She creates plans if any outbreaks (such as mass fatalities) were to occur so authorized personnel would be ready to take control. Alva is in the works of creating a program that targets children in grades 1-8 on the importance of emergency preparedness. The kids would be given supplies for a starter preparedness kid, provided by the Health Department.
Challenges she faces: Most individuals are busy with their daily lives and don’t necessarily see the value of emergency preparedness. In return, it takes incentives to entice them to learn about it.
No positions for emergency preparedness are currently available but there should be openings in the near future.
- If you’re interested internships, here is more information on their program.
- If you’re interested in other job opportunities, here is a current listing.
The primary goal of the health department is to match the student with his or her career goal whether it lies with environmental management, emergency preparedness, etc.
The internship allows the student to:
- Understand the local governments role in public health
- Gain experience in a non-profit governmental setting
- Gain experience with multiple fields of public health
What will make you an exceptional candidate?
Be passionate and don’t be afraid to contact the individual in charge. Alva emphasizes, “Don’t only tell us why the health department is a good fit for you. Tell us why you’re a good fit for the health department.” She also stressed the importance of researching the position you’re going into. Most importantly, show enthusiasm or even interest in learning more about emergency preparedness.
Her advice to current undergrads: Go out into the community and find what makes you happy.
Shannen Keene is a junior from Ellettsville, IN pursuing a degree in Community Health. Bloomington has taught her the value of diversity, culture, and good food. After graduation, she hopes to serve for AmeriCorps and work for a non-profit. Until then, her days will be filled with eating ice cream and watching Scandal.
IUSPH Career Services
Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:
•resume and cover letter preparation
•graduate school preparation