Our Berkeley Public Health students continue to amaze us with their drive, dedication, and life juggling skills. Current student Meagan Edwards is a California native and second year student in our online masters of public health (OOMPH) program. She’ll graduate in Spring 2021. We recently sat down with her to get the inside scoop on what it’s like working full-time while balancing school and life responsibilities.
How did you become interested in pursuing a career in public health?
My interest in global and public health began when I was volunteering to help run a pop-up medical clinic in Mexico once a month during undergrad. (I studied at Cal State Fullerton and my undergraduate degree was in health sciences with an emphasis in global health.) I knew from then on that I wanted to implement change from a global viewpoint and to bring healthcare accessibility to low- and middle-income countries. My interests in expanding healthcare technologies have grown as my career has evolved. I have a strong passion to make healthcare more globally accessible through advancements in healthcare technology and through evidence-based policy changes in these regions.
Is that what led you to the online Berkeley MPH program?
Yes, my interests in diving deeper into global healthcare accessibility led me to consider expanding my knowledge through an MPH program. I choose OOMPH because I love how flexible it is for those of us who work full-time and cannot commit to being on-campus or in synchronous sessions. My job (pre-COVID-19) required me to travel for up to 75% of the month, so the online program is the best way for me to be able to be in class and get the most out of my degree.
How long were you in the workforce between attaining your bachelors and starting your online MPH?
I graduated in 2014, was working during college at a neurology medical practice, and got my current job in 2015. I started in OOMPH in January 2019, so I had plenty of time between undergrad and graduate school, which allowed me to get quite a bit of work experience under my belt.
What is your current job and your primary role and responsibilities there?
I work for a large medical device company in physician training and education. My job is to teach physicians how to use medical devices that help to prevent or treat different types of strokes, along with other brain diseases. I also manage any clinical investigator training that must be conducted for our ongoing clinical trials.
How have you used what you’ve learned in the classroom to make change in real-time?
My education has thus far helped to provide me with the framework and confidence to seek out my career aspirations. A few of my favorite courses so far have been comparative health systems, Infectious disease, global health foundations, health policy, social determinants of health, and ethics and negotiations. In all of these courses, I feel that the takeaways are absolutely invaluable and have the most applicable to the problems I’m addressing on a day-to-day basis.