One of the most popular questions that I get as a DA is why I chose to do a Master’s in Global Health. The answer isn’t glamorous, but I can tell you exactly when I shifted from thinking about a future in Immunology to thinking about a Global Health career.
You see, once upon a time I wanted to pursue immunology. I had this idea that working in the lab was the coolest thing someone could do as a scientist. I had studied Biochemistry at the time, and my idea of the best career was to be able to discover something. My favourite classes were in immunology and I thought if I could go into research and find the next big science thing I could get a whole feature in Nature. However, I did not actually enjoy working in the lab at the time.
I remembered once reading in the newspaper that personnel from the Ministry of Health for Trinidad and Tobago had flown to some other Caribbean country to discuss donating equipment and medication. After a quick Google Search I realised that there was a lot of communication about health and health security amongst the islands. The term for these personnel was called “Global Health Ambassadors”. I had no idea what the job really entailed at the time but I knew that I wanted to be one of those people. I wanted to draft policies and discuss strategies to defend the Caribbean against pandemics or unknown diseases. With global warming, there was also the threat of newly emerging tropical diseases.
The chance to help and work together with the islands felt like the best career to me at the time. Although it has been many years since then and I have grown in my understanding of Global Health and what I hope to pursue my love of the field never left. I still hope to work in pandemic preparedness someday, I would still love to learn about health systems and policies in Global Health security. But this was my reason for choosing Global Health.
What did I learn since then?- That even though Global Health has been around for some time it did not really gain much traction until Covid-19. The paths in Global Health are not the clearest. In my opinion, I believe that you have to have an idea of where you’d like to go in Global Health before committing to a degree in it. It isn’t really a field that I think you can enter to figure out what you hope to do in the future. Rather, try to get an internship at a think tank or research institution in Global Health and see if it is the right path for you. I am sure the field would only grow in the future, but for now, it can be tough if you do not already envision a future that you want for yourself.
What is your reason for wanting to do Global Health? Let us know in the comments below.
Hi, my name is Zaynab and I am from Trinidad and Tobago, a country in the Caribbean. I am currently studying a Master’s in Global Health here at KI and am a blogger for the DA team. I look forward to sharing my experiences at KI and I also hope to expose students from the Caribbean to university life here in Sweden.