Over the last few months, I’ve interviewed students from different departments for Student Spotlights which will be featured in the 2018-2019 Academic Prospectus. While all of them have led to very different conversations, one answer has been very similar for every student. Whether they are in a master’s or doctoral program, JHSPH students come in with an idea of their career after graduating, but nearing graduation they view things differently. The reason? The classes and what they’ve learned.

As a large school of public health, there are a variety of classes students can take for electives. Students focus on their primary interests, but they are also exposed to perspectives they hadn’t anticipated. While Ellie Hwang came into the Master of Health Administration program in the Department of Health Policy and Management positive she would go into consulting after graduating, she was also exposed to the provider, practitioner and insurance side and now believes she would like to focus her career by working directly for the provider. Hector Carrasco, an MPH candidate, thought he’d return to treating patients and his work in health systems, but he now wants to continue his academics by earning his DrPH before putting his knowledge into practice (Hector emphasized that after his MD and MPH he thought he’d want a break from studying).

All the students I talked to were grateful and valued the classes and professors for exposing them to more career options and research opportunities. For them, it was an invaluable part of their education.