NHPHA Public Health Mentor Program: Experience from the Lens of a Mentee

The NHPHA Public Health Mentoring Program is a great opportunity for experienced public health professionals to make a positive impact on the career and professional development of emerging public health professionals. This mentoring journey provides public health students and early-career professionals with the opportunity to explore the field of public health from the lens of a qualified public health professional. NHPHA works closely with the mentors to offer mentees the chance to enhance a variety of skills that will allow them to flourish in their future work of improving the health of a population.

As an early-career professional in the public health workforce and a mentee during the first year of the program, I greatly benefited from connecting with someone who had a wealth of knowledge and practice as well as a diverse background within the field of public health. Prior to starting this program, I was hesitant to join due to the majority of mentees being comprised of public health students in their junior and senior year of higher education. However, I was happy to hear that the program was able to allow early-career professionals like myself to advance their knowledge and skills while already working in this field. When I started this program in October 2018, I set a variety of goals for myself, both professional and personal. These goals consisted of learning how to network with partners, creating an effective work/life balance, gaining skills to overcome workplace challenges, and enhancing my communication skills. From my perspective, I saw a successful ending of this program as a newfound confidence, a sense of direction, and a few new tools in my tool belt.

After seven months of thoughtful meetings with my fantastic mentor, I was able not only to meet my goals, but to exceed them. This program opened a new door for me to develop a true understanding of public health as well as the impact it makes on our community. Through self-reflection and the power of mentorship and connection, this program allowed me to develop a realistic career plan and a vision for my future being able to do what I am passionate about. I strongly recommend this program to any student who is planning to enter the public health workforce, any professional who has recently began working in the field of public health, and even any public health professional who has experiences and knowledge to share with our future public health workforce.

 

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