EP68 Exploring Career Paths in Public Health LIVE

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I AM GPH EP68 Exploring Career Paths in Public Health LIVE

EP68 Exploring Career Paths in Public Health LIVE

Alexandra Arriaga: Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of I Am GPH. My name is Alexandra Arriaga. We are excited to share with you the live recording of our Career Panel event, Exploring Career Paths and Public Health. In this episode you will hear from a panel of professionals representing a wide range of public health careers. Our distinguished panelists talked about companies such as New York City Health and Hospitals, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Prescient Healthcare. If you would like to learn more about their perspectives on the industry, the skills needed to be successful, their experience and trajectory in the field, as well as their advice for public health students, please stay tuned. First of all, we would like to thank Andrea Muraca for all your work this week. Thank you, Andrea for organizing. Thank you, everyone, for coming today. My name is Alexandra Arriaga and, again, welcome everyone joining us for our first ever live podcast in which we'll be exploring career paths in public health. Special thanks to our distinguished panelists for coming today and sharing your expertise with us. I'm very excited to introduce our first panelist, Sidnee Pinho, who works as Chief Operating Officer in North America for Prescient Healthcare. We also have Ivelesse Mendez-Justiniano, who is a Chief Learning Officer and Senior Assistant Vice President of workforce development of New York City Health and Hospitals. Louise Albert, who works as Assistant Director of Training and Development also at New York City Health and Hospitals. And finally, we have Gemily Alodines, who's the director of the HRTP, which is a public health internship program and Epi Scholar program at the New York City Department of Health. How are you guys doing today?

Louise Albert: Doing great. 

Ivelesse Mendez-Justiniano: Doing good. 

Sidnee Pinho: Doing well, thanks. 

Alexandra Arriaga: Awesome. So, first things first. Can you tell us about your organizations and what you do in your roles?

Sidnee Pinho: Sure. You want me to start?

Alexandra Arriaga: Yes. 

Sidnee Pinho: Okay. Hello, everyone. As mentioned, my name is Sidnee Pinho and I'm the chief operating officer for Prescient Healthcare, which is a life sciences consultancy. So I'm going to take a quick moment to actually talk about consulting, because you hear that word and it's really broad. When you're going in to a career in consulting, you really define it in two ways. The first is the industry, and in this case it's life sciences, which means I work with pharmaceutical companies. Another type of consulting industry that would be of interest to you is healthcare. And when we say healthcare, that means the customers are hospital systems or physician groups. So the first thing is when you're thinking about consulting, thinking about the industry that you want to focus in. The second aspect is, what is the function? There's lots of different types of functions for consulting. I'm not an IT consultant, I didn't study computer science, and there's lots of different types of consultants. The type of consultancy we do that I've done is strategy consultants, and in particular it's in the marketing department. Consulting is a very broad functional and industry-based career and my company, Prescient Healthcare, focuses on strategy for marketing departments in the life sciences industry. My role in particular, I started my career actually doing those projects. I love doing those projects, working with clients, doing analyses, learning the science, understanding the epidemiology. And about 10 years into it, I started to pivot my career just very naturally into more of an operational role. That means that I focus less on the actual clients, but helping all of the consultants to be better and to have a better experience and serve our clients better by helping them to have all the things they need to do the work that they need to do. So it's a little bit about consultancy. We'll talk more of that as we go through and my role in particular at Prescient. 

Ivelesse Mendez-Justiniano: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Ivelesse Mendez. I'm the chief learning officer for New York City Health and Hospitals. New York City Health and Hospitals, we are the largest safety net hospital in the United States. We have about 50,000 employees located within the five boroughs, which means that we have hospitals which you're probably acquainted with, if you've fortunately not had to attend. Hopefully you're never sick. But Bellevue Hospital, King's County, Jacobi, Coney Island. In addition to that, we have three main service lines, business lines. We have our acute care, which is in all the hospitals. We have our post-acute. Post-acute is what was formerly called our long term facilities. And then we also have our ambulatory care. My role is, basically, I work with all of the CEOs, all of the leaders. When you hear of healthcare transformation, when you hear population health and the new way we're going, my role is to really align the needs and the competencies of our workforce to where we're going. I like to say we have two types of employees in healthcare. We have those employees that directly care for the patients, and then we have those employees that care for those that care for the patient. My role is behind the scenes, but I'd like to say, if I don't do my role right, then when we care for our patients, we're not doing it to the best of our ability, and we'll talk a little bit about that later. Thank you for having me.

Louise Albert: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Louise Albert. I work for Ivelesse and I also support the broader mission of the workforce development for New York City Health and Hospitals. I would like to also add that New York City Health and Hospitals, we are the largest nonprofit municipal healthcare system in the U.S., like she mentioned before. But we have a very strong mission, and that's to give quality healthcare to anyone, regardless of their background. We're a sanctuary system. Which means, if you don't have documentation, you will get quality care from us. We are an allied system. Which means, if you're part of the LGBTQ+ community, we are committed to giving you quality care. And if you don't have money, we are still committed to giving you quality healthcare. Before we start, we would like you to know this so that you can share this with anyone that you know that needs healthcare and are afraid to enter into a hospital because of their background. They can come to any one of our hospitals, any one of our clinics, and we would be happy to provide them care. The work that I do is, within this department I oversee the Data and Analytics Department, as well as, I have the joy of working with bringing interns into our central offices. It's a lot of fun. I also do training and we do a lot of collaborative work, very creative work, and it's just a pleasure to do. So I'm happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Gemily Alodines: Thank you. That's awesome. Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Gemily Alodines. I'm the director of HRTP, which is a public health internship program with New York City Health Department. The New York City Health Department, our mission is to protect and promote the health of all New Yorkers, so that drives all the work that we do. Talking about my program, which is the HRTP program, we are one of the oldest and largest public health trainingships in the country. We've been around since the '60s. We have a lot of alumni. Some of our alumni have actually become, one of them became the Health Commissioner. We've had alumni who've worked in different roles in the field of public health, not only here in the U.S., in the country, but also globally. Don’t ask me for a date on that when we're working so I can answer that later. The work that I do, my role is primarily managing the program. We match students to different project. We review the projects that we receive from different preceptors. We definitely value mentoring. That is one of our core missions is to provide really great mentors to students. Our mission, HRTP's mission is to train the future generation of health professionals. I hope that I would see some of your applications and hear your stories too, when you submit your essays as part of our program. I really love hearing your stories, so I hope that for our future sessions we'll be seeing some of you at the health department. 

Alexandra Arriaga: Okay. And now, we would like to ask about your journeys. Specifically, the intellectual trajectory and the experiences that brought you from one area to the next. So, can you tell us, how did you get in to this field, and also what drew you towards your organizations?

Sidnee Pinho: I have to be completely honest with you guys in terms of my career. It is a complete and utter accident. But I am a lucky person. I'm just getting a signal that some of you can't hear. I'm a very lucky person that I happen to have opportunities. I did seek them, but opportunities that came to me that helped me guide my path. That isn't the case for everyone, but it happened to be for me. I entered consulting because I had no idea about myself. I did not know really well what I liked and what I wanted to do. I didn't understand the options at that time in my career. And I was looking for flexibility. People had said to me when I was at school, "This is the kind of career that will show you the world and show you options and then you can figure it out." And I said, "You know what? That's good for me." If I had assessed myself 20 years ago, I would have chosen the same career. That's how lucky I am. But one piece of advice I can give you is, try to do that self-assessment for yourself and say, "What is it that I like? Do I like interacting with people? Do I like playing with data? Do I like traveling the world?" The more you know about yourself, the better you are prepared to make a good career choice for yourself. That was the first thing. I did not do that work and I chose consulting because I wanted to take the time to figure it out. The path that I took, a consulting career, is one that actually evolves, much like I think any of us will talk about. We didn't start in these roles 20 years ago. The role that you start with coming out of a master's program or coming out of your early education is going to be in consulting, one that is very focused on data and analytics. It's understanding information, it's learning, it's gathering knowledge, and it's helping to draw conclusions. That then progresses in a few years, moving from data information to management. So then you start developing people management and process management skills. And then further on in the career, it moves from one of actual projects and management to thinking about clients and relationships and networking. That's a progression of that consulting career. If you think about those, those are very different skills. It's a very different skillset to be good at data and to be loving to play with science than it is to be interacting with clients and trying to get them to understand they have a need and to pay you a half a million dollars to solve that problem. Those are two very different skills. I didn't know when I was younger. I knew I liked data and I loved doing that. I do not like selling projects. So at some point in my career, as I go up that ladder, you then will be faced to make choices for yourself. And again, the more you know about yourself, what you like, what you don't like, what you want to be doing, the better equipped you will be to capture those opportunities and make those decisions for yourself. I knew within five years, that scheme of being in that scheme and having that conversation with a client and getting them to give me money, I was not comfortable in that whatsoever. I could do it. I could be successful. I didn't want to be. And that's what made me think of it, but I love consulting and I loved interacting with the teams. I loved all that. That's what led me to say, "I still want to stay in this career, but I want to do it differently." So I got increasingly involved in more of the operations side of things, which was, how do I help select the right people and how do we recruit and make those decisions? How do we train? How do we make sure you guys have the skills to be successful? That was my personal journey. But for you, going into a consulting career, you don't need to decide today if you want to sell projects, because that's 10 years from now. But I do think a career in consulting, even though for me it was completely and utterly serendipitous, it is a wonderful career. It will help you get great skills that will even help you decide what town you want to live in five years from now. Because that whole thought process and methodology is applicable no matter what you do in your life. So it is a great career. And that intellectual progression will be about turning information into decisions and managing processes and people. Which, no matter where you go and what you do, I think are very valuable lessons. I just happened to get lucky and do it, and I really love what I do. 

Ivelesse Mendez-Justiniano: Very similar. I think you're going to see a trend across the board where we are all in places that we love to be in. We love what we do. We're passionate about what we do. My trajectory is similar. I did not start off saying I wanted to be the Chief Learning Officer of New York City Health and Hospitals. I began my journey actually in undergrad thinking I wanted to go in to clinical. When most people think of healthcare, you think of the clinical aspect of healthcare. I wanted to be a respiratory therapist because it was not a nurse, it was not a physician. I felt a connection to it. And this is also why I feel very strongly that you need to get out there. You need to expose yourselves. You need to get to know what your likes are, what your dislikes are, and you will not know that just by coming to school and learning your didactics. I was a very successful student. My A and Ps top-notch, dean's list, it was everything I needed to do. When I began my clinical rotations, I realized I did not want to spend my life taking care of patients in a clinical setting. It was not what I imagined my day to be. So I switched majors and I went in to psychology, which I enjoyed a little bit more. And again, okay, this is interesting, but what do I do with this? So, in terms of your trajectory, you never know who or what is going to influence your career. And I say this because my actual path into healthcare came by way of Lincoln Center, the New York City Opera where a good friend of mine, she had an extra ticket, or her boss had an extra ticket, and invited me. She said, "Did you want to come?" I was like, "Oh, I'm not sure." "Oh, why don't you come?" Lo and behold, that would be the beginning of my career. It turns out the person who had the extra ticket was an associate director of a service line at Metropolitan Hospital. And so I go in, and as a young person we go in, we watch the show, network, speak to people. We had a great conversation, great dialogue. Lo and behold, about three or four weeks later, I received a call from my friend, "They have an opening and they'd like to meet with you." And so at that point in my journey, I was not looking for work. I had actually just left a job. I said, "Well, I don't want to meet with anyone." "Well, they really wanted to meet with you." I said, "I didn't even apply." "Why don't you just come?" Again, put yourself out there. Be present. I show up to the interview and I speak to the person. Well, guess what? A couple of weeks later I had the job. Again, I didn't know much about the job, but don't be fearful. Throw yourself out there because you know what? If they see something in you, you have potential, go for it. You'll learn. You're not going to know everything there is to know for every single role you're going to go after. So, again, I start the job, continue going to school to complete my undergraduate. From there, as soon as, and this is undergraduate, as soon as I graduated with my BA, I already had a call from another hospital within the system for a full-time role starting the day after graduation. I step back again, "Oh, do I want to do this?" But again, don't say no. Within two years, and so that first role, I was a patient advocate, so I became an expert in patient rights and organizational ethics, and then biomedical ethics. Again, fresh out of school, do you think I knew what that was? But I had a passion to help people. I've always been a service-oriented individual. And you have to get to know yourself because your individual career will be influenced and you'll be a happier and successful person if you are in line with what your personal ethics are and your personal values. So I became, and you're going to see, my trajectory were all service-oriented roles. I was a patient advocate. Then I became promoted. I was promoted into an interpreter role. I was now overseeing patient advocacy, interpreter services. I took on, every time a project was given to me, or actually even dangled in front of me, "Yep, I'll do it. I may not know much about it, but I will learn, and I will reach out and network with those that I know have a little bit of an inkling that can help me." So, again, you're not an island. Don't think you are and don't be afraid to reach out for help, because all of these things will position you for your next step in life. So, long story short, because I've been with the system for a number of years. I kept growing within the system in terms of title, in terms of scope, because I didn't say no. I never said, "This is not my job. This is not my role." I was always willing to learn a little bit more. I was always willing to stay late. I was always willing to partner-up with individuals. Your actual individual relationships will also influence where you go. And always keep on learning, because what I can tell is that through the multitude of experiences that I've had, do not be afraid to move, do not be afraid to learn. Keep pushing yourself. Because as I look back what I see is, every time I was getting an itch to, "Hmm, maybe I should look somewhere else," I was already offered another position within the system at a higher level with increased scope of responsibility. So I've been in the system for a number of years, however throughout those years it's always been a period of growth. And then my last bit of advice to you in terms of my trajectory is, don't always assume that your trajectory is going to be in an upward direction. Your trajectory may be zig-zag. You may grow horizontally before you move up, and everything else will follow. If you carry yourself, you conduct yourself, you learn, you are passionate about what you do, you're going to see, you're going to end up in the role that you're meant to be in. And all it takes is you really aligning. Have confidence in yourself and you will get to where you need to be. 

Louise Albert: Thank you, Ivy. That was great. I started out, I had no idea that I would be doing what I'm doing today. I started out not knowing what to do with my life at all. When I was younger and in college, I went to college because that's what you were supposed to do. I had no idea what to major in. I was at Brooklyn College. I did liberal arts. Then finally I became frustrated. I'm like, what is the one talent that I had? Back then I used to sing a lot. I was raised in the church. I sang gospel music. I was pretty good at it. I was kind of known in my little corner. And so I went and got an associates in music with an emphasis in voice. But after you get that kind of degree, what kind of job can you really get, you know? So I was temping, I was working, I didn't know what to do. Then finally, I realized that I, like Ivelesse, I was a servant-oriented person. I like to serve people. I like to help them. My motivation was to make a difference in other's lives. That's why I also enjoyed singing because I would love to go in front of people and see them transform before me. If someone was depressed, just watch them change, and just transform before my eyes. So, how could I help people? Well, I decided that maybe I should become a pastor, because again, I came from a religious background. So I got my undergrad in, I was majoring in theology, but I realized that I didn't want to preach or teach a dogma or a reinforced dogma. I just wanted to help people be better, help them spiritually, mentally, physically, and just help them any way that I can. So I realized that wasn't the path for me and that degree went from theology to religion. Then I got my master's in communication, still not sure what to do. So I graduate. Here I am with a master's degree. All these school loans and I don't know what I'm going to do with it. All I know is that I want to help people. I come back to New York, because I got my degree in Michigan, and I landed in New York and I started looking for jobs. I made my full-time job searching for a job, from 8:00 in the morning until 5:00 at night, I was online, I was going out in the streets, sending my resumes to everybody. I always say there's no shame in my gain. I will speak to anyone about any job. I just say, "God, just open the door for me and I'll go through it." And I have this mentality, bloom where you're planted. Some of us, we're fortunate. We know what we want to do from the time we are young. I want to be a doctor, and you become a doctor, and that's great. That's not the case for me and for some of us that may not be the case for you. You have to figure it out along the way. I saw a job at King's County Hospital, which is a New York City Health and Hospital hospital and I was excited because it looked like it was something that I could do. I got to help people. The department was called Breakthrough, but it was a lean sigma six department. That's the work that they did. I got to be an associate coordinating manager for that department. I was so excited because not only was the work interesting, but I enjoyed the people. When I went to the job interview, by the way, for those of you that are nervous at job interviews, again, I have this mentality, bloom where you're planted, and I always have a song in my head, I drive her crazy with it, every day I could just say  and I'll repeat it. And the day of the interview, the song that I had was, do you know this song? (singing) “I came to win, to fight, to conquer.” So, my mindset was for this job, I came to win. You may not know where you're going, but always have that mindset, "Hey, I came to win." Something will open up for you, just for you. I got that job and I was privileged to work with these amazing people. And from there I wanted to become a facilitator, a lead facilitator, and I was privileged to be able to have that position and go from King's County, which is an acute facility, to a post-acute facility, which was Coler in Roosevelt Island. It was one administration over two facilities, and Carter, which is in Harlem. I learned about the acute system. I learned about post-acute. Then our system, healthcare was changing from volume-based business to value-based business and volume-based meant we got paid per patient, and it changed from value-based where your payments that you receive in healthcare is based on a set of criteria that are value-based and the patient is the one that defines what the value is, generally speaking. As that was changing, that meant the priorities changed and the departments were changing. And so they were beginning to sense that in the lean department. And the question was, what was going to happen to all of us, the lean facilitators? So we had a huge meeting and at that meeting, the vice president of human capital, who was fairly new within the system came to visit us and speak with us. She sat down by me when we were having lunch. As Ivelesse mentioned before, networking. I didn't really know who she was. She sat down next to me. I said, "Hi, my name's Louise Albert. What's yours?" She looked at me funny and I realized who she was. She was the VP of human capital. I said, "Oh, I'm sorry." It's one thing when you see someone in a picture and when you meet them live and up close. We got to talking. I said, "I know you have a lean background. If there's any way I can help you, please let me know." And she said, "Oh, really?" And she looked at my ID and she wrote down my name. And she said, "Louise Albert?" I said, "Yes. My supervisor's over there." She said, "Ah, Louise Albert. Interesting." A few weeks later I received a phone call to come to a meeting and I met with some other lean facilitators and the head of human resources, as well as the VP of human capital and some other individuals. We talked about the system and what we wanted to do to make a difference within the system. And a few weeks after that, I received a call from my CEO of that hospital letting me know that I was being transferred to work in workforce development. It's like, when I walked in there, the sky just opened up. And all because I was open to change. I networked. And you know what? There was some luck in there. I don't believe in luck, but there was some power working on my behalf that put me where I needed to be, where I belonged, and I've been happily working for workforce development ever since. I'm about to celebrate my six year anniversary come October. But it goes to show you, you may start here and end up here, just as long as you're open to opportunity, you're willing to talk to people, befriend them, it's nice to be nice. It's good to be ambitious, it's good to be hungry, but it's good to be a good person. People see that in you. They see that you're helpful and they want to help you when you're helpful. You'll find that you land in the right place if you have that kind of mentality. 

Gemily Alodines: Thank you. You have a beautiful voice, by the way. Thank you. So, 20 years ago, it's like I was in high school, and thinking about it, do I see myself in this position 20 years ago? I probably would say no. Growing up I've always been, I guess brainwashed would be the term, but medicine was the only trajectory that was being offered to me from my family. It's not bad, but I didn't realize there was a lot of other opportunities outside of medicine. So after high school I got one of my biggest achievements. I grew up in the Philippines. I got in to one of the top universities and one of the hardest degrees, which is biochemistry. Rapidly realized I don't like organic chemistry. It is very hard. I was doing it because that's all I knew. I realize that, when I was in college in the Philippines, I realized that I wasn't attending classes, I was doing a lot of work outside of school. I was doing work with street children. I was doing work in rehabilitation for street kids. I was doing a lot of work around community health not knowing what public health was. I had no idea what public health was. All I knew was medicine and sciences. And so my friends joke because they're always texting me, "Where are you?" Because I came in to class one day and just gave in my test paper without any answers. Don't follow my path, at least that part. But then we got our papers to immigrate, so that was a whole big change for me. Because there I was thinking, "Okay, I'm just going to do medicine, going to do this." All my friends were in that clinical field. And then we had to immigrate. As most immigrants know, once you're in a whole new place, a whole new community of different people, it's just... I spent two years not knowing where I should be and feeling lost and learning the culture too. Even though New York City is an urban place and where I grew up in the Philippines is also urban, it's just a cultural shock. So now when I got here, I took a job, any job. Being in the Philipino community, now I left. I wasn't able to finish my undergrad degree in the Philippines, and now it was like, "What do you want to do?" And so they were like, "You should go into nursing." I was like, "Okay, I'll go into nursing." So then I got into a nursing program and I distinctly remember wearing scrubs and looking at the mirror and I was like, "I cannot do this for the rest of my life." It's just because nursing wasn't for me. Nursing is a beautiful field, it just wasn't for me. I remember doing med-surg. I was in the med-surg ward. I was doing my rounds and I was more interested in population health, not just my one-on-one interactions with the patients, but why is it that this patient is here? When I did my rounds in the ER, there were folks that were coming in for tonsillitis or for things that they could have gone to their primary care provider for, but they went to the ER for, so that made me think about healthcare access and that made me think of other things. Again, I still did not know what public health was at that point. And so I was like, "I can't do nursing." I left the nursing program and realized I had to find a job. Can't rely on my parents. What I did was, I literally mapped out all the hospitals within Brooklyn and printed my resume and walked door-to-door with my resume. I was like, "Here, any job that is available, I will take it." I remember the last hospital that I went to. Unfortunately the hospital closed down now. But I remember walking to the door and it was after 5:00, with my resume in hand and then the person, this elderly gentleman opened the door and was like, "What are you looking for?" I was like, "I'm looking for a job." He said, "Well, what can you do?" I said, "I'm good with computers." He looked at my resume and was like, "We've already got someone, but I'll keep your resume." I was like, "All right, fine. Whatever." One month later, I got a call from the same person. It turns out he was the HR director. He's like, "Oh, I remembered you. We need someone for our office." I was like, "Yes!" So, got a job at the hospital. I was working in human resources. While I was there working, I spent four years there, and while I was working there I was learning a lot of the skills, not only like admin-wise, HR-wise, I was learning all these terminologies. At that point I also realized, as I mentioned earlier, that nursing wasn't for me. So then I enrolled in the public health program, community health program, community health education. At that time, again, I didn't know what public health was, but I was just, I don't know, I'm just going to enroll in this. And I vividly remember sitting in that classroom, it was a health policy class, and the professor was talking about drug policy and harm reduction, and I just sat there and it's like the universe opened and I was like, "This is it. I am so in love with public health. This is what I was looking for all this time." I've been in love with public health ever since. I don't think I can work in any other field than public health. At that time when I was working in HR, I was also looking for internships. I was applying for internships, I remember my advisor in our program said, "You should apply to HRTP. It's a really great program." Then I was like, "Oh, I don't know if I can get in." What was that term? I'll remember it later. But it's like, "I don't know if I can get in. I don't know if I'm worthy of getting in to the program." I submitted my application and I also remember I got that call for an interview. I ran out of the classroom. I already had an internship lined up too in a different organization. It was like, "We're offering this internship to you." I go, "Thank you," and then after that I called the other organization, I was like, "I'm sorry, I can't do it anymore. I am going for the HRTP internship." It's because, you look at the health department, the health department really does so much work and is really trailblazing. And the New York City Health Department, it's like I want to be there. That was 10 years ago. I started at the health department as an intern. And so we're working on QA projects and the things I was learning in HR, I actually brought it with me, and that's one of the reasons why I was able to get in to that project. Again, those transferable skills, right, when you bring it with you. And so working there, even though I stayed late, I did extra. They're like, "Oh, can you do this?" I was like, "Yes." "Can you do this?" "Yes." So even up to now in my current role, a couple of years ago we had the opportunity to be trainers for Race to Justice, and even though...racism and health equity and I get uncomfortable talking about things like that, but the opportunity opened and I was like, "Yes." You learn so much by saying yes to these opportunities. At the same time, you also will learn by learning how to say no, because you also don't want to stretch yourself too thin, because if you stretch yourself too thin, then you won't be able to give your 100%. Any internship that you take, people will see the quality of work that you do and they will also see how you organize your comradery with folks. Just be there, be present. I think that's one of the things that really helped me is developing those connections with folks and when opportunities opened up, even though my initial project, the program closed down, my mentor, who is such a beautiful person, was like, "You know that she's an intern, but can you find another project for her? I want her to continue." If she did not do that, if she did not serve as my advocate, I don't know where I would have been. It's because of her, that's why I'm here. And so now in my role, being now the director of the program that I was interning in, I was like I'm really following that pipeline, which is why I love attending these panelist events such as this, is that you also want to give back. Once you become a mentor, remember your good mentors and also be a mentor to others because people probably won't remember a lot of the knowledge stuff, right? But they're going to remember how you made them feel. And in that way too, that's how strong connections are formed. I think I went into my advice and just veered off. But it's really a great adventure and I'm still in this public health adventure and I'm really glad to see that more and more and more students are coming onboard in this public health field. So, thank you. 

Alexandra Arriaga: Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. So now for the million dollar question. What types of positions are you hiring for and what are you looking for in an ideal candidate?

Sidnee Pinho: All right. Here come the secrets. Ready? All right. In consulting, the role is usually an analyst or an analyst position when you come out of your either undergraduate or master's program. When you go through an interview process, you're really trying to achieve two things as an interviewer. You want to make sure that the person's going to be successful in the role, and secondly, that you're going to stay there for a while. What I mean by that last one is, in any of our jobs, but in consulting in particular, we invest a lot of time to get you up to speed quickly and to get you to know the industry. To invest all our time and then have somebody leave after a year, that's not good for the firm. So if I'm being truthful, return on investment for us to get you through that first year and then you leave, then that doesn't make any sense. So we're looking for people who are not going to say that they're going to be in it forever, but somebody who is looking to spend a few years before they would make any kind of a transition. So the sidebar, if the student were to come to me and say, "By the way, I'm going to go to medical school next year," I immediately put that resume over there. Just as a signal, if you're going to medical school, you can say that, but make sure that you don't give it a timing within a very short period of time. We're looking for people that are going to stay. Let's talk about the successful piece. There's a number of elements that consulting firms look for, and again remember our perspective, my perspective, is that strategy consultancy. It's not going to be for operations or process, so keep that in mind as you take my advice and you put it into context of what you're looking for. The one aspect is cultural fit. You hear that all the time, "Is this person a cultural fit?" Why is that even important? It's important because, are you going to be happy? That matters, because if you're not happy, you will not stay. How do you decipher cultural fit? You can go in to an interview and you can ask about cultural fit and they will be assessing you in certain ways, but to me that question is too broad. You need to dig in further. What do you mean by culture? You can get that by looking on the website and look at their mission. Look at their values. This is all public information. Look at how they describe themselves and the people that they're looking for. When we put those job descriptions online, we make very distinct choices for the words that we put in. Analyze that. That will give you a sense. As you meet people, you can ask them questions about the personality of the firm. I usually get the question, "Tell me about the culture of the firm." It's always the case. Distinguish yourself. Analyze that question, because we'll get to the analytics in a moment, analyze culture in a different way to stand out. Tell me a little bit about the interests of people in your firm. What are the types of things that they like to do in their spare time? What do you like to do in your spare time? Tell me a little bit about how you would describe the social interactions that you have. Get at a little bit more about the type of people that they bring in, because if that's a person, and those types of people are people that you like and are aligned with you, there's a higher probability that you'll be happy. That's cultural fit. Then there's this piece around, will you be successful in the role, and there's a few factors there. One is communication and the way that that is seen is in the way you answer questions. So there's the verbal communication. And there's a big piece that's going to be written. That's where the cases come in in consultancies and why we do case interviews, because part of that is in helping to demonstrate those communication skills. The other big piece of it is analysis, the ability to handle information, sort through information, and draw some conclusions. And again, that's where case interviews will come either through discussion or through something that they may give you to sort through. And then, I think the last piece when it comes to that analytic piece is structure. Structure is extraordinarily important in a consulting environment. For those of you who are part of that consulting event that we did here, I think it was about six months ago, and we went around the room. You guys spent some time analyzing some data that I gave you, and then we went around the room and we said, "What's your answer? What's your answer?" Every answer was different. And you know what? They were all right and they were all wrong. It wasn't about the answer, it was the process that you took and the thought process you had to get to that answer. In those interviews they're not looking for right or wrong. They're looking for, did you structure this thought process? Did you analyze this in a way that makes sense? Because even if you get the answer wrong, if the thought process is right, you can fix the assumptions later. Those are just some of the things that we're looking for. A common question I get is about that resume. Like, "What do I need to have on that resume to even get considered for that interview?" The signals that we look for are, in life sciences, I will say that science is important. When I say life science I mean pharma. The public health piece is important because we do a lot of epidemiology, but there's got to be some signal that you like the science. You don't necessarily have to have studied biology or studied chemistry, but showing some signal that science, chemistry, biology type things are of interest would be important would be a signal. For healthcare consulting, which is more of the health systems and the physicians groups, the science piece is not as important. The other signals that you look for are not knowledge. We're not testing your knowledge. We're looking for people who take experiences, we have talked a lot about people who take on experiences and try to tackle new things and learn new things. Those are the type of signals that we're looking for in consulting. So, to summarize, communication, analytics, thought process, cultural fit but described in a different way. Those are some of the things that we're looking for in consulting. 

Ivelesse Mendez-Justiniano: Okay, so in terms of healthcare. As you know, healthcare is continuously changing. You're always going to have a need for clinical roles, however what you will see in terms of trends, what are we looking for, what are we hiring for? In the nontraditional sense, it's really roles that are new. They're not really well-defined in terms of, this is what we're looking for. You have titles, and titles can vary. But then you have roles. When you're looking at the current state of healthcare, you're going to see roles such as community liaison worker, that's a big one. You're going to see project manager. You're even going to see internal consultant, consultant manager. And so what's important is, don't just look at the title, look at the role. Look at the jobs and the job itself, the department, the focus area, and then the skillset that comes along with it. Because what you will find, say for example, in terms of community liaison worker, that's a hot job right now. Why is it hot? Because in this world of population health, what you're looking at is more patient-focused individual. This patient-focused individual is going out into the community. It's not the traditional person 9:00 to 5:00 work where you're in an office somewhere in a hospital. Your office becomes going out to somebody's home. There's a myriad of things you can encounter. So, for example, one of the big things that we're training individuals on now is identification of human trafficking victims. Why do I share that with you? Because in New York it's huge, and when you're dealing with a patient population that we have throughout the city, you may encounter this. When you're looking at community liaison workers, some of the skillsets that we look at is someone that can build their own road, because you're working independently, so you have to be a trailblazer. The other thing is, you need to have a very high level of emotional intelligence. You need to be able to apply different levels of emotional intelligence to different situations. This goes back to transferable skills. When you're looking at transferable skills, you can go from role to role within the system because there's a lot of opportunities, but what you bring to the job. Someone who's good at project management, you can go from one department to the other. If you're passionate about healthcare, if you're passionate about people, you can go, nevermind the title. You can work your way up and define the role. But one key thing, especially for working in New York City Health and Hospitals, you have to be a service-oriented individual. You have to be someone that really wants to help. Because again, it's in the inherent nature of the whole process that we work in. If you're someone that does not have that, and I'm going to call it bedside, but it's really that level of interaction with the individual. We are looking for individuals that can empathize with patients, that can speak to patients not at patients. We live in a very different world. It's not that the patient has to come to us. The patient has to choose to come to us. And who's the best ambassador of the work we do but us? So when we look at you, when we look at students, and I don't say you're the future because you're now. We have many of you interning in our sites right now. We are looking at, how does this person deal with stress? How does this person innovate? These are inherent skills that you bring to the table even from what you're learning day-to-day here. You have to have a level of innovation, because especially working in a system such as ours, I always emphasize, you have to have creativity over capital. You will not always have the capital, and trust me, we don't always have the money. So we have to be inventive in terms of, okay, so there's a situation right here, there's a problem, and I'm going to help this patient, or I'm going to help whatever problem this is or a project in the system. How am I going to come up with a way that can address the problem without bringing additional resources to it. So, in summary, when we look at you we're looking at who's innovative? Who's persistent? It's almost like starting your own startup within healthcare because it's not the traditional roles that we're going to say, "You're going to come and this is the box that you're going in to." There is no box. We are charting uncharted territory, which makes it exciting. You have to love what you do. I love what I do because every day I focus on something different and every day, even though I don't touch a patient directly, I'm influencing the outcomes of healthcare. You have an opportunity to do that too. Again, we have a website that you can go on. Some of the things you can do is start looking through those websites now. Start looking again at those types of roles. I wouldn't emphasizing what job titles, because a job title in one department can be completely different from others. What I do emphasize is your project management skills, your communication skills. Even presenting yourself. You're your own brand. You bring that to the table and then you find what role best matches that. So in terms of hot jobs, yes, there's hot jobs. We see trends. We see coding as a trend. We see community liaison workers as a trend. Definitely within the world of social determinants of health, which again is a completely new and exciting field, there's things for you to go into. But the talent that you're going to bring in to that comes from the work that you're doing today, from the internships that you're doing today, the volunteer opportunities that you're doing today. 

Louise Albert: That was great. I agree with almost everything she says. Absolutely everything. What else can I say, you know? And as for personal characteristic traits that you should have as somebody looking for employment, we look for people, this is very basic. You know this, but I'm going to reiterate it because sometimes we receive candidates who don't come to the interview with these traits. I expect to see somebody who comes in with a pen and paper to write notes during the interview. I expect you to be on time. I expect you to be dressed correctly. I expect you to give me good eye contact. To be responsible, to be accountable, to not play the blame game, but to take responsibility for everything that you do. That's what we're looking for as hiring managers, as people who are looking to hire the new. In a few years, I don't know if it was five to 10 years, I'm not sure, there's a 50% of the workforce is retiring. There's about to be a lot of opportunity for jobs. What you're doing now is preparing you for these positions as we speak. Some of you are excited about it, and we're excited too, however we want to make sure that you're ready, that you're set up for success when you enter these positions. We have people who are leaving with 30 plus years of knowledge. They're going out the door and here you come straight out of school stepping in to that position. How ready will you be for that? That will depend upon the kind of character you have, how open-minded you are in learning new things and collaborating with other people, how humble you are when it comes to asking for help and working with other individuals to get the job done. Does that make sense?

Gemily Alodines: Thank you. So to answer the question, my answer is really based on my program, and then I'm going to share a little bit about the health department in general. With our program, it's experiential learning, right? We are really coming into HRTP to test the waters, so to speak. If you come into our program, most, if not all of our students are interested in public health or some aspect of public health. When they come in, it's public health in a government setting. One of the things that we are looking for is someone who really has patience because it's a ton of paperwork. I'm talking about not just in one piece of it you have to complete paperwork. You have to complete multiple, multiple, multiple pages of paperwork, and it's because it's a bureaucratic agency. The reason for that is, it's checks and balances. Being a government agency but also using taxpayers' money, so they want to make sure our assets are allocated well, that we follow the process well. That may also mean that you'll have to wait two months to get an answer. I think that with some of our students we are clear about that because it does take some time. But I want to assure you that it is well worth the time. It's well worth the wait. Also, we are looking for students who want to learn. The things that you learn in the classroom you're going to see it applied in a real-life setting. You're learning about social determinants of health in class, you're learning about logic models, and then you go into the health department and in your projects and this is an internship where you don't just make coffee, unless you want to... I start looking at my student. Or unless you want to make coffee for yourself. But really, you will be working with data. You have to sign a confidentiality agreement, because the data that you will be working with, the database that you will have access to, these are information that are open to staff. Once you become an intern in our program, you are treated as staff. No matter how long you're going to be staying at the health department, we have students in my program who's been there for two months. We have a student who is still in the program for I think for running four years now. He started as associates and is now finishing his MPH and he's going to his PhD, I think come this spring. He's still working in the same program, which is really awesome because he started with community health and realized he likes epi, so now he's working with the data of the program that he started with. So he's just hungry for learning, hungry for knowledge. We also want you to have fun. Most students think when they go into the internship it's all work, work, work. It's actually just fun too because that's how you build network. That's how you build relationships, connections. It's through interactions. And also a couple of advices. I echo being service-oriented, because being that we are the New York City Health Department, we do provide a service to New Yorkers, and as such we are civil servants. There's also the importance of, as part of HRTP you have to submit a personal statement in which you will answer three questions. The gist of it is, who are you, why are you interested in public health, and what do you want to do with this opportunity? That's where we learn about you as a person, not just your resume. Your resume is very important, but that essay is also important as well. And also your letter of recommendation. You want to make sure you get a letter of recommendation from not just a professor, it may also be someone who served in the mentoring capacity to you who really provide us with an insight on who you are and what your capabilities and not just provide the template and something that's just copy/pasted. We read all of them, so we've seen all. We could write a book on it. And also, you have to have some level of flexibility. Sometimes we come in and we have all these goals that we want to... You know, you write your goals with your preceptor, and halfway through the project, the funding is pulled. You also have to be flexible in, these things come up, these things do change, and not everything is standard. You have to be able to move with it. And the resourcefulness, sometimes working with a limited budget we have to think outside the box and that's where your creativity and your resourcefulness comes in. Your preceptor sees that and your mentor sees that and their supervisors see that. That paves the way later on for opportunity that they can offer to you. Also, being that the New York City Health Department, we also have to abide by the Civil Service Exams or Civil Service System, so there are different titles that require a Civil Service Exam. At this time there is a title called City Research Scientist Level One, which is open to recently graduated students in a master's of public health degree. For that title, it doesn't have a test connected to it yet, but just know that within the Civil Service System... By a show of hands, who knows about the Civil Service System? Okay, well, we can talk later about that, but basically you have to take an exam in order for you to have a civil service title in order for you to work in that title within the government agency. The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services, that's DCAS, you can look up the website and look up the different Civil Service titles that are available there. One of the things that we try to teach our students as well once they're in the program is that there are some titles you have to take an exam for. Some of these exams only come up once every four years. The public epidemiologist one, the community health worker one, I believe, the community health educator or public health advocate or public health educator. Some of those titles are seasonal, so you have to make sure you're on top of that. Going back to the resume, when we do resume workshops with our students, I have two tips. If you have a lot of experience, but not all of them are within the field of public health or they're not all within linear, you can look up the different types of resumes that you can use. You can use a functional resume or you can use skillset, skill clusters, to highlight project management, to highlight data and analytical skills or things like that. Another one that my favorite tip to students is to always have a CV or resume that's always draft. What do you mean by draft? If you attend a conference, keep that in your computer and put that in there. If you attended a webinar, put that in there. Because a CV is one or two pages, so it can extend. But five years down the road when you're at your interview and you remember that you attended this really great conference three years ago, would you really remember that at your job interview when they ask you about that? So you want to make sure you have that ready. You always have it on draft. Also, when you submit your resumes and you submit your CVs, you want to make sure that you research the culture of the organization that you're applying for. For example, public health is a conservative field, at least within the New York City Health Department, so when submitting your resume, be sure to look for a traditional resume or something that's more conservative. If you are applying for a creative position within the field of public health, that's when you can gather the creative video formatting or a little bit more open with how you word your resumes. Also, I think this is the last tip with wanting to work with the health department is that really just want to be service-oriented. Just this really innate desire to help people. That's really important. 

Louise Albert: Can I just add, I would like to add something. Ivelesse mentioned going on to our site and looking at our jobs. If you're not sure how to get there, Google NYC Health and Hospitals employment and a link will come up. You'll see you have two options, jobs for employees, jobs for non-employees. Just click on the one. Create a profile. And that way, that will allow you to go and navigate that website and see what kind of positions are open. Also, I'm glad you mentioned DCAS, D-A-C-A-S. You can Google DCAS, DCAS jobs or DCAS exams, and the website will come up as well. So you can get familiar with that whole process as well. Another thing, because we're government agencies, live rightly now, because in order to work for us, they're going to do a background check on you and if you're working in one of our facilities, they're going to do a medical clearance. You have to be cleared medically as well. So make sure you keep that in the back of your mind as you're living your lives, because if you work for us, they're going to check your background, okay? Just know that now. All right? So those are my tips for you. 

Alexandra Arriaga: That is excellent advice. Thank you so much. 

Louise Albert: You're welcome. 

Alexandra Arriaga: We have a little bit of time left. I would like to know in very few words, what skills or attributes will be most important in the next three to five years for professionals in your industry?

Sidnee Pinho: I'm going to answer this really broadly because whether it's this three to five years or last three to five years or 20 years from now, the three to five years at that point, in consulting your job is to analyze the future. That is the skill. What we need to be doing, we're not necessarily looking for people who know how to do market access, which is the new hot topic this year, or know how to do the next thing, but if somebody's going to be able to learn about that and help our clients through that. So the skill that's important in consulting, whether it's this three to five years or the next three to five years, is being able to help our clients see the trends in their industry, predict what those are going to be, and help them tackle those. 

Ivelesse Mendez-Justiniano: Agility. The one constant you have is change. What's here today, tomorrow it will be different. You need to be agile to not get caught in the frame of mind that what you're studying is where you're going to end up, because again, you have to have a willingness to grow. The more you're susceptible to accepting growth, change, and you are agile and nimble, because I can't tell you how many times in my role, and even through my trajectory, I'm going in this direction and healthcare changes. Okay, I need to move here. Or there's a new regulation. I need to move here. If you are stagnate, you're not going to be mobile. One of the greatest assets, one of the greatest advantages you can have is, be uncomfortable with change and make yourself agile. 

Louise Albert: Agreed. An entrepreneurial spirit. Nowadays, especially the younger you get, the more you're responsible for what happens in every area of your life. You have to brand yourself on social media. You have to be responsible for what type of work you do and how agile you'll be going through your career and life. You want to be an active participant in your life and your career. Don't expect somebody else to do it for you. No one else will do it for you if you don't do it for yourself. But, if you do it for yourself, others are watching you at all times and they'll be more apt to help you if they see that you have that mindset to help yourself. 

Gemily Alodines: I had shared some of those skills earlier, but just to add to that is, one is to always be up-to-date in the field of public health, whether it be what's the current topic, like right now vaping and all that stuff. Always keep up-to-date. A second one is, always ask questions. You really won't get clarity if you don't ask questions. Be bold and be brave. I know sometimes with our students, some of our students come in, they're afraid to ask questions. They feel that they're like, "Oh, nobody's going to listen to me." People will listen. Just find your voice and speak. One of the more I guess on the technical side is, in our program is that data is really the bread-and-butter of the health department. Data and the studies, the research that goes into it really feeds into policy, it feeds into everything, and programs. Even though you don't have to be really good in data, not everyone is great at science or coding, I am not. But you have to be able to at least understand data, understand trends, in order so that when you come into the role, not only in your project as an intern, eventually when you become a public health professional, you can use that data to inform your actions and to inform your program. Also, don't forget to evaluate. Everything has to be evaluated. Also, just have fun. I always keep saying have fun. 

Alexandra Arriaga: Excellent advice. Before we open the floor for questions, if you could leave us with your number one piece of advice, just one sentence, for all those graduate students who are beginning their job search, what would you say?

Sidnee Pinho: I would say have a five-year goal for yourself because it ties together a lot of things that we talked about. If you have a five-year goal, it means you've thought about yourself and you've learned about yourself. It means that you're prepared at these pivot points in your career to be agile and make a decision about which way is going to get you that five-year goal, and it means in an interview, you're going to be able to clearly articulate who you are and where you're headed, which will demonstrate the communication skills that we talked about. Have a five-year goal. 

Ivelesse Mendez-Justiniano: I'll build on the five-year goal and say, look at yourself, you are your own brand. Everything you do cultivates your brand. Who you speak to, who you network with, your social media presence, the experiences that you get. So in terms of my best advice is to think of yourself as a brand. Manage yourself accordingly because that's going to guide you into how others perceive you and the type of role that you end up with. 

Louise Albert: I would say be open-minded. Nothing good ever comes from thinking that the worst could happen. What's with the worst that could happen? Just go for it. If the door opens, go through it. That's a new opportunity for a new experience. That's a new story. It's not going to hurt you. If you don't like it, you can always change your mind. But if you don't take advantage of the opportunity, you're going to live with what-ifs, and no one likes to live with the what-ifs.

Gemily Alodines: If you have your resume or your CV, when you submit it, the ultimate goal is for you to get that job, but really the objective is for you to get that interview. One of the biggest pieces of advice for folks who are graduating and looking for a job is really to tailor your resume or your CV to the position you're applying for. If you have a generic resume or CV that you sent to 100 organizations, chances are you may not be able to get a callback. If you don't tailor your application towards that particular position, keep in mind that folks that are reviewing your application get hundreds of these applications, so you want to make sure that your resume stands out. Do research on the organization. Research the programs. If you're interested in maternal health, look up the health department. If you're interested in maternal health, look up what programs the health department has that focus on maternal health. Not just provide a generic blurb, because that's not going to catch the attention of the folks who are reviewing your resumes, because you want to get through the gatekeepers, that's the thing. 

Alexandra Arriaga: Thank you so much for the great advice. Now, if anyone wants to ask any questions, I will let you do that. You can go to the mic up there. 

Student One: Thank you so much. This is really helpful. My question is, what kind of advice would you give to students aren't majoring in public health right now, and they want to pursue it?

Ivelesse Mendez-Justiniano: Volunteer. Volunteering opens up your world to so many opportunities and volunteering similar to when you're interviewing for a role, it's two-way. So, if you're interested in an MPH, that field, and you don't have experience, you need to see if the organization or the role that you're looking to matches what you're looking for and vice versa. Sidnee mentioned cultural fit previously. You have to look at, okay, so I'm going to volunteer here. Is this organization what I'm looking for? Does the mission align with my values, my ethics, and then vice versa. Am I going to feel comfortable in that situation? But in order to get experience you have to get your foot in the door, so I would offer volunteering as one of my best advice. 

Gemily Alodines: For my program, we are open to all degrees and all majors, not just public health. When submitting an application to HRTP you can indicate that this is what you're studying, but you want to learn more about this. So putting that in your cover letter and your personal statement really helps. Volunteering, definitely. And even attending events that are hosted by, for example, the health department, there's different training opportunities outside of HRTP. Mental health first aid, it's open to the public. Take those trainings. Go to Eventbrite, look up trainings that are available, take those trainings. Because one, not only are you learning different knowledge, techniques, but you are also making your resume really nice with those trainings. So take advantage of those. 

Louise Albert: I can tell you, I'm the system lead for mental health first aid. I coordinate the trainings throughout my system. Whenever I see a resume and someone's a mental health first aider, that just lights me up. You should all take a class, become a mental health first aider. And I agree with Ivelesse regarding volunteers. Sometimes you may not know what you want to do. You're just interested in healthcare in a broad spectrum, but you're not exactly sure specifically what you want. That's the best way to get a taste of what the field is like, to be able to shadow and talk to the subject matter expert directly, is to volunteer at a hospital or in the office, corporate or clinical, and just see firsthand what it's like. And they get to know you, so when you graduate and it's time for a job, they'll remember you fondly and you'll have a better chance of getting a position as opposed to someone who never spoke to them in the past, has no experience with them at all. 

Gemily Alodines: To add to that as well, also leverage your peers. Connect with other students. And also, connect with faculty in your school. Because more often than not, they're doing research, or they also have connections with different organizations. 

Student Two: Hi. Well, first, thank you very much for all your experiences and sharing all the tips. My question would be regarding international students. I know all the tips that you mentioned, I think that they work for both here and internationals, but in terms of paperwork, that's different. I would like to know if there's any insight on that in terms of of sponsors and all of that, how that would work. Thank you. 

Gemily Alodines: I can provide a quick answer to that. The answer is yes. If you're authorized to work within your visa to take advantage of learning opportunities, either through CPT or OPT, you can take advantage of those and we do accept students who are international students. There are some paperwork involved in that, so it's best to start early and to definitely talk with your international students office, because different schools have different processes, but they will be your first person to really have to speak to. As for sponsorship, that one I could not answer for because that is an HR thing, at least with the health department, but there are, I think with the OPT... Not OPT. Certain visas have the opportunity for you to work two years or one year after you get your degree. For example, we've had students who interned and are in HRTP or Epi Scholars and after they received their graduate degree, they actually worked in a position. However, know that the position, if it's grant-funded, it's either one or two years, or it's within the validity of your authorization. 

Sidnee Pinho: I can speak from a consulting standpoint. This should be raised in two points. The short answer is yes, both for sponsorship and hiring, but there's two factors that need to be considered. The first is, consulting has a lot of international travel, so if for some reason your status requires you're not allowed to travel, that will be an issue. So it's less about the status and more about that impact on travel. The other piece is obviously if we're going to sponsor someone, that's a financial investment. So remember I said we want people who stay for a long period of time. If this is a person who's going to stay for a short period of time, that bar gets raised for that person in that interview process, because you want to make sure if we're going to invest the money, and which we would absolutely do, that person's going to be committed to staying. So those would be the two factors. 

Ivelesse Mendez-Justiniano: Lastly, for HNH, same thing. Yes, definitely there is an extensive process in terms of international individuals, however in terms of the sponsoring, it varies by position. So one of the things that I would recommend is, as you go on to the job hosting itself, it will state the actual requirements and it will state if there's any disclosure in terms of sponsoring individuals. 

Student Three: Hi. Thank you all for doing this. My question is actually for you specifically, Sidnee. What took you specifically to Prescient Health as opposed to the other life science focused consulting firms like Clearview or others?

Sidnee Pinho: Yeah, that's a great question. One of the other decisions you have to make for yourself is big firm, small firm. Prescient 470 people globally and McKenzie or Bain or BCG are link 10,000, 50,000 people globally. I came from a firm where I was employee number eight. My first consulting firm, I was employee number eight, and that's a very different experience, and you talked a lot about navigating this up your career, that's not as possible in a smaller firm. For me, I'm at Prescient and I started at the Frontal Group employee number eight because I wanted to see everything. I was looking for an opportunity not to necessarily be in a defined box, where in a bigger company, it's like all the pros and cons. A big company, the cons for me where you are in that box, it's a very defined box, but there's so much structure and they're going to give you all this training and they're going to send you around the world, and there's so much great about those companies. For me, the flip side was, yeah, I'm not going to have as much training and I'm not going to have as much support and our social budget's going to be smaller, probably going to be going out to eat at the diner and not going to the steakhouse. But for my career, I got to see more. I got to do more. I got to wear more hats. And because I didn't know quite what I wanted to do, that was really appealing for me. So part of your own decision making process if you're doing consulting, or frankly any of these roles is, again, know yourself. Am I a small town person or am I a big town? Am I a suburban area or am I a city area? And I'm going through the same process with my daughter for college right now. The more you know about yourself, the better decision that you will make, and that's what drove my decision for Prescient. I'm a small town girl.

Student Four: Hi, everyone. I just wanted to ask, can you guys provide us some previous internship products that your interns have worked on or you guys remember? Thank you. 

Louise Albert: I'm sorry, say-

Sidnee Pinho: Internship what? Sorry. 

Student Four: Projects that your interns have worked on. 

Alexandra Arriaga: So examples of internships?

Student Four: Yeah. Thank you. 

Louise Albert: Oh, man. 

Ivelesse Mendez-Justiniano: I can tell you off the top of my head. We have had students develop queries. We've taught them different systems and different tools that we use and we've actually highly relied on them in terms of developing queries. We've had other interns that we've actually taught how to develop e-learning program in design. We have other interns that are working specifically on large-scale professional event planning. We rely on these individuals when running large scales. They're actually responsible for coordinating the room, greeting, hosting. And so if you're a people person, that's good for you. The one thing I can guarantee you, similar to you, we do not have our interns get coffee unless they want their coffee for themselves. They are actively working on processes and on projects. And I can tell you, when I come in, and let's say for example, I can tell you this is a true story. Last semester we had two exceptional interns. There was one particular day where I believe it was either their last day or they weren't there for whatever reason, and I walked in and there was something huge happening, and my first go-to was, "Where's X and Z?' They were like, "Oh, they're not here today." And I caught myself relying so heavily on these interns. And I spoke to them and I let them know, you know what? That translates directly into the value that you brought for us. When I start to think of you as one of our regular employees, that brings value to us, but that also really places value on yourself. 

Louise Albert: We've had interns work on marketing projects for us, they've done a lot of data entry, and they've done a lot of... There was one who, I just was speaking to someone yesterday, her intern was helping her write a journal article. And I've had interns create trainings. Onboarding, just live trainings for different facilities and different department. There was one, he was an IT major. What he did for us, we were having some major difficulties with one of our forms in terms of how we can just manage the form and working with the colors. We were having major... He came down and within minutes fixed everything for us and just streamlined the process for us and made it so easy because, html in my day was a big deal. Now they're learning it in high school. CSS is not a big deal anymore. They just come down and just make life so much easier for us. Healthcare, every industry is represented. So you can have an internship that affects every single industry that you can think of. 

Gemily Alodines: Thank you. For us, within HRTP, I'm going to speak about both of our programs. HRTP is a general program within the health department. We have three sessions, spring, summer, and fall, and we have the Epi Scholars program. We recently added NYU to our list of schools for the Epi Scholars program. It's only about projects. I'm going to start with the Epi Scholars because it's a little smaller. The Epi Scholars program is for epidemiology and invites up to six students who are graduating at a professional level. So far, Epi Scholars program, it's a summer only program and it's heavily analytical. You will be working on research projects. You will be working with a lot of data. You will be living, breathing, science, and SPSS. It's a summer only program. It's 10 to 12 weeks in the summer, so it's very specialized for epi and biostats. HRTP is a broader network or field. We have three sessions, spring, summer, and fall, and we have different projects within those different sessions. We have projects... Great question, by the way. We have projects where we had students who reviewed grants, grant management. We have projects where students, of course the data piece, the writing up a research project. We had students who did lit reviews, literature reviews. We had students who did the policy analysis on an initiative. We had students develop logic models. We had students who did a social marketing campaign with their preceptor. We had a student one year, it was really cool, and to this day I still remember his project. He developed a metric for gauging how a person within a council member would be more inclined to say yes or no to a proposal. It blew me away. I was like, "How can you develop a metric for that?" But he was able to do that using policy memos and notes, minutes. That was really cool. We also had students who developed subway ads. So if you're in the subway and you see one of the ads there, chances are some of our students have worked on that. There was one student, with the e-learning, we had this student who worked on e-learning and I guess... I can go on and on until 5:00, but basically it's just for me to say that there is any program or any field of interest that you want to pursue, we have a project for that, even IT. 

Alexandra Arriaga: All right. Well, thank you so much for being a great audience. Thank you to our panelists for coming in today.