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Leadership Development

At Berkeley Public Health, a cornerstone of our mission is to develop diverse leaders for professional and research careers. Since 2008, the RISE: Berkeley Public Health Careers and Leadership Office has provided masters and doctoral students with opportunities for developing their leadership skills through courses, fellowship programs, workshops, events, mentorship connections, assessments, and an online leadership toolkit.

What do we mean by leadership?

We believe everyone can be a leader, and that we can lead from wherever we are.

Regardless of the type of sector, geographic location, health topic(s) addressed or positionality, we can each engage in transformational change via a wide variety of roles and approaches. We envision leadership as a lifelong journey that involves offering to be of service, leveraging our abilities to aid, coordinate, mentor, guide, and nurture the advancement and development of initiatives, projects, policies, and organizations. Through our leadership offerings, we value and encourage the sharing of experiences and perspectives that come from outside the traditionally defined domains of “professional” or “career” development, acknowledging that what is considered “good” leadership may vary across different times, populations, and cultural contexts. However, what is consistent and seminal throughout these domains is creating a vision, knowing oneself, and taking actions consistent with one’s values. By leading from the inside out, we recognize the importance of self-discovery and continual learning from successes and missteps in affecting change.

Student Opportunities for Leadership Development

Leadership Boot Camps

In consideration of the requisite skills needed for successful careers as leaders in the field of public health, the RISE Office offers Leadership Boot Camps, or half-day trainings, that are held every semester. All Berkeley Public Health students are invited to take part in these Bootcamps, which are designed to train students with fundamental leadership skills that will help them find the practicum opportunities and jobs they desire. Boot Camp trainings reflect the challenges involved working in our field of public health (e.g., bridging different academic disciplines and problem-solving approaches) and include topics such as public health leadership, teamwork, scientific communication, and organizational awareness.

Leadership Courses

Since Spring 2020, the RISE Office has offered leadership courses to prepare BPH students to lead and influence in the spheres they find themselves in both during school and after graduation. Our vision is to foster an environment of open dialogue and to encourage each student to think critically about how to define and apply models of leadership, communicate and negotiate in organizational environments, empower others, guide decision-making, and collaborate effectively in teams, all within the context of diverse public health practice. Much like our leadership boot camps and other offerings, our courses foster an active learning environment through a combination of lecture, discussion, role-play exercises, and real-world application of learning around public health leadership.

Leadership Toolkit

The Leadership Toolkit is a practical “go-to” resource with leadership tools and frameworks that can be applied to be more effective in one’s projects, internships, and jobs. The tools provide content in areas of leadership that public health employers, UC Berkeley School of Public Health faculty, students, and alumni have identified as essential for success, such as leadership authenticity, building teams, and strategic problem-solving.

The Toolkit aligns with the RISE Office’s mission to increase the depth and quality of diverse health leaders and professionals in all health sectors by serving as an innovative, lifelong resource for students and alumni to enhance their capacity to lead from where they are and their ability to create transformational impacts on public health and health care.

  • Advocacy

    Advocacy is the pursuit of influencing outcomes, such as public policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions, that directly affect people’s lives. Advocacy draws on the ability to use data and research, communicate persuasively, and build coalitions.

  • Authentic Leadership

    At RISE, we believe that everyone can be a leader and that we can all lead from wherever we are. RISE defines a leader as someone who motivates, empowers, and inspires a group of people to work toward and achieve a common goal or vision. This requires that individuals lead authentically, using their unique skill-set, abilities, and experiences to promote healthy communities. Using Authentic Leadership as a foundation, leaders are encouraged to develop these skills for use in various public health contexts.

  • Career Development

    The lifelong process of managing your career including work experience and personal development in order to move toward a personally determined and evolving career path.

  • Communication

    The ability to convey information and receive information from others effectively in a variety of formats such as new media and advanced technologies. Essential components include attentive listening, clarity in writing and speaking, and the ability to effectively present information using visual aids.

  • Consulting

    Consulting is the service of qualified and experienced individuals in a specific discipline or field who give advice or present solutions to a person, organization, or government agency. This service can be performed internally or externally for health departments, hospitals, foundations, health plans, or community based organizations. It includes the ability to identify the various dimensions of an issue, engage in data collection and analysis, establish relationships with clients/stakeholders, and present recommendations for enhancing an organization’s effectiveness.

  • Project Management

    The ability to plan, execute, monitor, and evaluate projects involving the deployment of multiple resources such as human resources, financial resources, and technology resources; the ability to successfully complete projects on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of all parties participating in the project. You can find some useful templates for project management here.

  • Problem Solving

    The ability to anticipate future developments and obstacles and translate them into opportunities in the present; the ability to understand a situation, issue or problem by breaking it into smaller pieces; the ability to apply complex concepts, develop creative solutions, or adapt previous solutions in new ways to solve problems.

  • Self-Care and Leadership

    Being able to balance the challenges of work with the importance of self care is one of the most important leadership qualities. Ignoring the needs of one’s mind and body hurts one’s ability to think, focus, and help others in need. Conversely, engaging in self care boosts the mind, body, and spirit, which lifts those in proximity up as well.

  • Teamwork

    The ability to develop and promote effective relationships with colleagues and team members; the ability to learn from others, seek diverse ideas and opinions to make decisions and draft plans; the ability to encourage team members to discuss concerns and conflicts openly and to solve conflicts to everyone’s benefit.

  • Our Community: Who’s Involved

    The RISE Toolkit was co-created by students, for students along with the Berkeley Public Health Careers & Leadership Office. The Toolkit is intended as a resource for UC Berkeley School of Public Health students and alumni.

    The purpose of this toolkit is to:

    • Provide BPH students and alumni with practical leadership resources to support them in their ongoing leadership development in school and their careers;
    • Enhance their competitiveness for jobs;
    • Equip them to hit the ground running to be effective in their jobs upon graduation and beyond;
    • Increase the impact BPH students and alumni make on organizations and communities; and
    • Provide an innovative source of leadership tools and skills for alumni throughout their careers.

Additional Resources

Berkeley Public Health Student Group Support

The RISE Office offers support to the various registered student organizations that are housed within Berkeley Public Health. We have a dedicated graduate-level Graduate Student Associate, who serves as a liaison, advisor, and trainer to the board members of student groups, such as Alianza Latine for Public Health Action (ALPHA), Black Advocates for Equity in Health (BAEH), and Queering Public Health (QPH).

Library Collection on Leadership Development

The RISE Office has partnered with the Public Health Library to provide students with a book collection on a variety of topics for your leadership and professional development. Expand your knowledge and sharpen your skillset as you learn from industry leaders on topics such as: negotiation, participatory decision-making, building teams, effective communication, project management, influential leadership, managing up, and change management. We welcome you to peruse the list of recommended books here.