Such a Catch-22!

I need to voice my frustration for a moment: Recently I have been looking for entry-level global health positions to apply for upon graduating next year. As I have perused the job archives of the World Health Organization, the Public Health Institute, Center for Collaborate Development and every other public/global health entity I could find, I noticed they all had one (irritating) thing in common: “Advanced Degree + 2 years experience in desired field.” Really? The entry-level positions are intended for people who are trying to gain experience in global health policy and management, yet to be competitive for one of these positions you have to have experience. Well, that sure makes it difficult. How can you acquire experience if no one gives you the opportunity to GAIN experience?! The only real options, of course, are internships (which are either unpaid or paid expenses only, typically) or a volunteership, both of which don’t help in paying back my student loans. I understand the value of an internship, believe me. I know that having an advanced degree does NOT translate into real world experience and I totally get that. However, if I realize that and thus am applying to entry-level, relatively low paying positions in which to GAIN said experience (I’m cool with the whole paying-your-dues, starting-from-the-bottom-deal) shouldn’t I be allowed a place to learn and to put my degree to work? If they’re looking for volunteer experience or internship experience, a high school kid doing summer mission trips could gain relative knowledge in this; doesn’t education count for something? I mean, maybe instead of needing two years experience, perhaps having an experience from which you grasped a great deal of knowledge or inspriation would suffice? In any case, I’m coming to grips with the fact that I’m going to be a starving young professional for about two years post-graduation. And, as I am considering a Dr.P.H. program in the future, I need two years of post-degree public/global health-related work to be eligible and competitive for any legitimate programs (I’ve had my eye on the UC Berkeley program!) which means I’m in desperate need of finding a way to pay back student loans while gaining knowledge in the real world. Man… I hate dealing with money. Boo.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I will be studying for my last week of undergraduate finals EVER <3.


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