On the Hunt: Searching for Opportunities during your MPH

By: Sabrina Chow, MPH’23 in Environmental Health-Epidemiology

Coming into my MPH program straight out of undergrad, I will admit that I was a little nervous competing for positions with my fellow classmates, some of whom had years of work experience over me. Despite these insecurities, I was able to land a research position through the Rollins Earn and Learn (REAL) program, a fellowship that lets me do policy work outside of my research interests, and community service work during my free time. Below are some tips for how I found these opportunities.

  1. 12Twenty and the Office of Career Development

12Twenty is Rollins’s career services management platform run through the Office of Career Development. It is your one-stop-shop for searching for positions, seeing events run by the Office of Career Development, and receiving guidance from counselors in the office. Jobs are constantly being posted on the website at a variety of organizations, both within Emory and the greater metro Atlanta area. Consistently checking the platform will ensure that you see job opportunities as they come up. 12Twenty also isn’t just for graduating students; graduate research assistant positions are consistently being posted for opportunities during your MPH program.

If you’re struggling to find a research opportunity, the Office of Career Development is here to help you! Staff members within the office are trained professions here to help you find opportunities. They provide general advising for job searches and can be a valuable resource if you’re struggling. They are also able to help with refining resumes and cover letters, interview preparations, salary negotiations, etc. 

  1. Networking

I still remember during my first day of orientation, I heard the word “networking” probably over 100 times during an hour-long session by the Office of Career Development. While I didn’t understand it then, I have now realized the true power of networking. For many students, our time at Rollins is our first push and exposure into the world of public health. As one of the top, and biggest, public health schools in the U.S., it is no surprise that the connections Rollins professors have extend far beyond the walls of Emory. One of the perks of living in the “public health capital of the world.”

Talking to your professors, whether it be your faculty advisor or faculty members in a department that share your research interests, are a valuable asset when you are looking for opportunities. All of the Rollins faculty members are experts in their respective fields, but also have been working in the public health sector for years and have developed a multitude of resources and an extensive network. Connecting with that professor will not only help you create a better relationship with them, but also allow you to tap into their network and add it to your own.

  1. Google searches

It might seem a bit obvious, but Google (or your search engine of choice) is another easy way to aid in your opportunity search. Be sure to search keywords for a specific opportunity that you’re interested in, specifically including type of position (i.e., volunteer, paid, internship, etc.), location, and time commitment to help further refine your searches. Sometimes it’s just a matter of scrolling through pages of pages of Google searches to find the perfect opportunity.

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