Sarah Sommer, MPH 2014
Worksite Wellness Coordinator at Integrated Wellness Partners
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My favorite part of my job is that I feel like I'm constantly learning. I also love being able to meet so many people in my community and work with them to improve their health and well-being.
What inspired you to pursue an MPH degree?
I took a Medical Sociology class in undergrad and it was the first time I had really started to think about what would happen if we helped people avoid disease rather than treating disease as it occurred. I remember talking to the professor after class one day and he pointed me in the direction of Public Health.
Why did you choose Illinois for your MPH?
I applied to several schools, but what struck me most about the program at Illinois was that it was small and the faculty were so invested in their students. I could tell that they wanted to support their students even after they left the program. After I visited campus and spoke to some of the faculty, I felt excited about the future.
How did your Illinois MPH degree help prepare you to work in the field?
My MPH degree gave me a solid foundation for working in the field. The jobs I’ve had since completing my MPH haven’t necessarily involved topics that I would consider myself an expert in, however, because of the classes I took while in the program, I was able to show that I could assess needs and plan, deliver, and evaluate interventions.
What advice do you have for current students or prospective students?
Be open to new opportunities and career paths you may not have expected! When I started my MPH I thought I had an idea of what my future career would look like. I can honestly say it has been nowhere near that, but I’ve had amazing experiences just by being open to working in areas that I never thought I would be in.