OCS Fair Draws Global Health Organizations

Global Health Fair
Jessica C. Salley

A representative from Partners in Health speaks to students at the 5th annual Global Health Fair. The fair, which was held at the Office of Career Services on Thursday, also featured representatives from the Peace Corps, Plan International USA, the Harvard School of Public Health and other health-related organizations and businesses.

At the Office of Career Services’ fifth annual Global Health Fair on Thursday afternoon, over 250 students met with a wide variety of global health organizations.

Event organizers Loredana George and Oona B. Ceder of OCS said they have observed a growing interest in public health among students. In 2007, the University approved a secondary field in Global Health and Health Policy.

Ceder said that she hoped the fair would allow students to gain awareness of the various opportunities, including paying jobs, available in public health.

This fair also demonstrates OCS’s efforts to collaborate with Harvard student groups and other Harvard schools. Co-sponsors of the fair included the Harvard Undergraduate Global Health Forum, the Harvard College Health Management Group, and, for the first time, the Harvard School of Public Health.

Peiyi Su ’13—the president of the recently founded Harvard College Health Management Group—said she reached out to OCS because of their history of co-sponsoring events with student groups. Su said she was impressed by attendance at the event and the diversity of presenters.

“There are a lot of resources available at Harvard, but students don’t know about them,” said Su.

OCS staff members said that attendance was up at this year’s fair, even though the event was one hour shorter than it was last year. Robin Mount, the director of the Office of Career, Research, and International Opportunities, said she had never seen a fair fill up so quickly.

At the fair representing the consulting company Global Health Strategies, Audrey A. White ’10 said that she attended similar events as an undergraduate, but that they never had such high attendance.

Erica A. Johnson ’15 and Jake W. C. Silberg ’15 said they were inspired to attend the event because they are currently enrolled in University Professor Paul E. Farmer’s popular global health Gen Ed class Societies of the World 25. Partners in Health—the non-profit which Farmer co-founded in 1987—was one of the presenters at the fair.

Johnson said she was interested in looking into summer and January opportunities related to public health.

Peace Corps Regional Recruiter Allyson K. Snell said that her organization was very excited to be attending the fair.

“We look for Harvard students because they possess the skills, experience, and background to be a good volunteer,” Snell said.

Snell attributed this to Harvard students’ combination of strong academic and experiential learning backgrounds.

OCS plans to hold similar events for students interested in global health, including a possible Human Rights Fair, throughout the year.

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