ALUMNI NETWORKING: 1st Editor Interview Mahlet Atakilt Woldetsadik

1. Where and what is your current work/professional situation?

I graduated from the MPH program at EHESP in 2012. After graduation, I worked briefly in Paris with the former dean Antoine Flahault, and moved to Ethiopia for a fellowship with the Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. I am currently a doctoral fellow at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and also work as a policy analyst at the RAND Corporation.

2. How did you get involved in your current work? What skills did you learn from the MPH program that are applicable in your current roles?

The MPH program requires that students do fellowships at an institution of their choice, where they are expected to design and implement an independent research project. This is one of the most valuable skills I got from the program. I wrote my master’s thesis on a project I conducted in Ethiopia on the provision of medico-legal services to survivors of sexual violence. I have been building on that work, and the skills I learned during that process ever since.

3. Any advice for future EHESP MPH graduates?

My advice to current and future EHESP graduates is to take risks in their research. It is difficult to make an impact or make a significant change in the world if we are comfortable with the status quo. It is important to take time to not only discover the things you’re good at, but also find what excites you on a daily basis. As the great English poet David Whyte eloquently put it, “Anything and anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.”

4. What inspired you to start the PHIN Newsletter?

I was the first editor of the PHIN Newsletter, which I founded with my friend and classmate Lucia Isabel – the PHIN President at the time. We wanted to create a medium through which students could develop their writing skills and also be informed about the most pressing public health challenges facing our time. I have been humbled to see how far the Newsletter has come and want to commend all of the editors who have been involved. I look forward to seeing how the Newsletter will evolve as the torch is continually passed to the next generation.

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