Written by Kim Furlow, communications manager for the Institute for Public Health
Students can work with the Global Health Center at the Institute for Public Health as a student worker assigned to various projects; as part of the Center’s Global Health Student Advisory Committee; through WashU’s practicum program; or, as a participant in the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program – Public and Global Health Track. Regardless of the association, global health students can always be found moving forward to exciting new challenges and using their experience with the center as a launching pad.
A great example is Bill Effah, MD, MPH, now the senior manager for the International Research Program at Washington University in St. Louis. He was the 2020-21 president of the Global Health Student Advisory Committee. Effah says by working on the committee and honing his leadership skills, the impact on his career and subsequent skill set has been noticeable.
“I had the unique opportunity of improving soft skills such as being tolerant of diverse opinions, communicating effectively, and especially listening-which, many times, we fail to appreciate its importance-to collectively achieve the targets we set for ourselves,” Effah says.
He adds that he received inspiration from many global health experts, who shared their professional journeys. Through these relationships, he has generated positive networks that otherwise, may not have been possible.
Today, Effah works on a large WashU team as a senior manager for international research programs and says that, thanks to his time with the Global Health Center, his communication skills are efficient and effective. There are additional benefits.
“The projects I work on now border on the issues that were discussed in panels and other Global Health Center events, which as a student at the time, might have seemed theoretical and distant. I see now that the knowledge I acquired through these programs and events, guides how I approach my work today.
Effah has some advice for anyone considering engaging with the Global Health Center. “From its mentorship program to events, Dr. van Rheenen and the team there are doing a great job! I recommend it to everyone interested in global health/international development. There is something there for you!”