Written by Lauren Bishop
MSc Public Health
As I look ahead to finishing my Masters, I’m faced with an array of mixed feelings. I feel proud of my work so far on the course and envisage a huge sense of achievement on completing my dissertation. I’m looking forward to progressing in my career and embarking on a new chapter in my life. But that’s where it gets a little scary too. “The world is your oyster” they say, but where do you go when you finish a Masters in Public Health? Right now I don’t have a complete answer to that question, but I’ve got a few pieces of the puzzle in place.
Since I never did the gap year thing when I finished school or undergrad study, the first thing on my list is to spend a few months travelling. I’ve mapped out a route from the west to the east of the USA, taking in a bunch of national parks and top cities and experiencing lots of music, culture and cuisine. I then hope to spend a few days in Toronto, as I have family there. The final part of the plan is to head to Italy for a few weeks, as I’ve only ever spent a few days there but am totally in love with the country! These few months promise to be a wonderful opportunity to wind down, experience some new places, take stock and reflect on life. Maybe I’ll even end up finding a new home to relocate to while I’m away!
After that, I’m currently a little stumped as to what my next career move might be. What I do know is that I want to put my Masters to good use and do something that really makes a difference. Public Health is about supporting good health and wellbeing at the population level, and that’s exactly what I want to do: something that has real impact and helps everyone to get the best out of life. This might involve working in government or charity, or maybe even setting up my own social enterprise. The possibilities are many, and I’m very much keeping an open mind to maximise my options. I’m seriously considering applying to do a PhD, as I’m quite drawn to the world of academia, and feel that as a researcher I may be able to do work that generates the level of impact and influence that I crave. I also love the idea of continuing to be involved with university life!
Although a little apprehensive about what might be in store after my Masters, I’m not worried. I know that each thing I’ve done in my career so far has been a step in the right direction, even if it hasn’t been exactly what I wanted to be doing at the time. Wherever I end up next I know I’ll learn something new, which is one of the things that life’s all about. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the challenge of getting my dissertation done and embracing the next fork in the road when I reach it.
By Lauren Bishop