Harvard Chan School of Public Health | Graduation: December 2019
Degree: Masters in Public Health Policy
Employer: Chan School Admissions Office
Liz Gipson is originally from Silver Spring, MD and went to undergraduate college in New York. She will be graduating with a Masters in Public Health Policy (MPH) in December of 2019. She works in the Admissions Office at the Chan School where she works about 8 hours per week and does data analysis and research, looking at trends in public health schools such as who applies, why they apply, and how these schools can reach out to more people to apply. She started working at the Admissions Office because she needed to work for the Work Study program and had experience working in admissions as an undergraduate, but now is able to bring in what she learns in her classes about statistics and data and bring it in to her job.
At her job, she has learned to work with different databases, the Admissions Office at the Chan school, for example, uses five different databases alone. Seeing how these databases do or do not communicate and interact with each other and learning how to manage these different systems is a key part of her job. She also feels she has gained a greater appreciation for the staff and feels more connected to the school, learning why they do some things a certain way and not others. Working in the Admissions Office, she has seen the extent to which the school is trying to reach out to as many people as possible and increase diversity.
While some of her day to day tasks include monitoring the inbox of the office, helping people who have questions about the school or helping people who have applied or been admitted to the school, most of her work is project based. This mostly consists of looking at different areas of data and analysis, for example trying to understand what draws veterinarians to apply to the Chan school or other public health schools in general.
She likes that her job has been very flexible, especially accomodating to midterms, not in the same manner than an off-campus, or part time job would be. She says that having a job has made her feel “like being plugged into Harvard in more than one way”, because she is connected to the school in a way that is more than just being a student and can go in to the Office and say hi to members of the staff and other employees there. Having a job is also a great reminder that school is not everything and that people do not really care what your grades were after college. She says that it is nice to be in a setting where everyone is not just in class and worrying about grades, but they are adults and are in a professional setting.
She enjoys talking to people that are thinking of applying, or are applying, or have applied and are waiting on decisions, or admits to the school at various events such as open houses. She likes that she is able to talk openly about her experience at the school and is able to answer questions that anyone might have and can welcome people to the school, especially as Harvard can be an intimidating place. Aside from her job at the Admissions Office, she is involved in the Leadership Lab for Maternal and Child Health, a professional training program for those interested in Maternal and Child Health. It includes guest lectures and talks to inform people about this topic.