Sulagna Chakraborty, MPH 2016
Doctoral Student in Community Health and Research Fellow, Upper Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease
What inspired you to pursue an MPH degree?
I wanted to make a career shift from microbiology to something that entailed less wet lab work and more hands on experiences in interacting with different populations as well as a more broader research and work perspective. That is why I chose to get an MPH degree to shift gears and learn more about this field.
Why did you choose Illinois for your MPH?
I chose Illinois because it is a very good school and is known nationally and internationally. As well as the Midwest for an international student is favorable due to the costs of living/tuition and average standard of life. Also I got accepted :P
What were the highlights of your time in the MPH program?
I think the practicum (now called Applied Practice Experience) and Capstone (now called Integrative Learning Experience) projects I did at the CUPHD and at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) were very good in terms of providing me work and research experiences in diverse facets of public health. I saw the challenges involved and sort of a peek into what having a job in public health would entail. Also, the work I did through these projects provided me with a lot of important skills, so these were really important and helpful for me.
What advice do you have for current students?
For current students I will say that they should look out for opportunities while in school that will help them shape their careers. Be engaged and interactive in classes as well as build camaraderie with each other. Down the line, strong connections with your classmates and, in general strong and active alumni. are really, really important for a wide variety of reasons.