Program Assistant to the Global Medicines Program

Program Assistant

First paid job after graduation!

How I got it short story: Connected through my WHO internship.
Longer story: Mau, my supervisor at WHO, began connecting me with the UW Global Medicines Program in the Dept. of Global Health while I was still at WHO in September. I flew home, hoping the position would be waiting. This is, unsurprisingly, not how the world works. After arriving in Los Angeles, I spent a month there continuing WHO unpaid work and applying for jobs. Finally, I got to have an informal Skype chat with Andy and Alisa, my potential supervisors at UW. I was used to international Skype chats that were phone calls, not video. Thus, I was sitting in my flannel, rather unkempt when Andy suggested we use video to chat. The discussion apparently went well, because a few weeks later in November I was moving to Seattle, WA to start my new position. I was getting good at this moving every three months gig!

What I do:
I came in with the responsibility to push through the submittal of the UW Dept. of Global Health designation form to apply to become a WHO Collaborating Centre on Mass Gatherings Public Health. Andy also asked me to update a literature review on public health planning for mass gatherings low resource settings. I am, apparently, forever bound to lit reviews.

The review required a major overhaul, which I have been setting up with methods to maintain project continuity after my departure. Office work – editing documents, making spreadsheets – breaks up the week. I added in another project to begin developing an index of trainings, tools, and resources for mass gatherings public health. Skills building in work plan development and project management – check. And then, in the last few weeks, Alisa walked in and asked if I knew anything about web design. Of course not. Ten minutes later she poked her head through the door and told me I would learn it in order to transfer the Program website from one server to another. Upon discovering the satisfying rhythm of web design in WordPress (identify problem, research solutions, apply solutions, smile), I realized I loved web design. Thus, not only did I develop a new marketable skill, but I also got the final push to start writing this very blog. Thank you Alisa!

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