By: Pooja Parikh (HPM) and Rohan Shah (GH)
Being involved at Rollins is one of the best ways to take advantage of your grad school experience. Whether it be through jobs, internships, APE, or student organizations, there is a place for everyone here. The Emory Global Health Organization, Student Outbreak and Response Team, and Rollins Student Government Association, are just a few of the wide variety of student organizations at Rollins that will allow you to explore your interests outside the classroom (If you come to Rollins there is a fabulous Student Engagement Fair at Orientation which will allow you to meet all of the different organizations and s/o to our besties with the Student Engagement team who put it on). Each organization plays an integral role in fostering the supportive community of Rollins and allows you to interface with current and future public health leaders. Below is some key advice about how to get involved and finding the right fit for your Rollins journey
Put Yourself out There
With all of the different opportunities it can be difficult to figure out where to start. Through emails, social media, and different events you will be exposed to hundreds of opportunities. Take advantage of attending events and being curious about what is out there. Attending interest meetings, lectures, and informal get togethers helped us to find the organizations and opportunities we wanted to be involved in. Lastly, do not be afraid to say yes to something outside your comfort zone, as it may end up being one of the best experiences you have!
Find Your Balance
Graduate school can be hard and with only 2 years it can feel as though you do not have enough time to do everything you want. While there are so many opportunities you will be offered, you do not need to say yes to every single one (We know it is hard with all the amazing things happening). For us we found the opportunities that we felt would be most meaningful and we knew would help us in the future. One of the things we recommend to balance the responsibilities grad school throws on you would be to get organized and manage your time using the tools that are best suited for you, such as a google or outlook calendar. Balance will look different for everyone and you know yourself best.
No matter what you get involved with at Rollins, remember to have fun! Grad school can be stressful at times and it can be easy to get caught up with the next assignment or big deadline coming up. Being involved at Rollins through student organizations has been one of our biggest highlights of our grad school experience. Both of us have made lifelong friends and developed one of the best support systems (we actually met after both of us became members of an exec board for Society for Public Health in Medicine!). Whether it is getting dinner with the members of the team you join or just having someone to do homework with, remember to enjoy yourself and find some time to enjoy the experience.
Getting involved does not have to be burdensome and regardless of if you join 1 thing or 50 things, Rollins provides an amazing experience. Both Rohan and I can attest that whatever you choose will help you learn a bunch, meet outstanding people, and grow as you go through this crazy journey known as grad school.