“Words from the Field” Summer 2019 Student Applied Practice Experiences

Cornell Master of Public Health students are in the field for their applied practice experiences, working with organizations that impact public health across New York State, the U.S., and the world.  There are 6 MPH students working internationally, 4 outside of New York State in the U.S., and 13 working within New York State.


MPH Student collecting ticks

MPH ’20 student Purva Shah collecting live ticks (Haemaphysalis longicornis nymphs) at Conference House Park in Staten Island, NYC, with the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases, as part of a project to determine how and where people are exposed to ticks.


Mid-point reports show the breadth of what MPH students learn in the field and how much our partner organizations value the contributions of students:

“The applied practice experience process has been wonderful. My site supervisor is very willing to answer any question that may arise and to connect me to any stakeholder they may be of assistance in completing my deliverables… [it] is a very welcoming place.”

“My supervisors have been very open and supportive; the work that I have produced has been thoroughly enjoyable and stimulating.”

What do site supervisors says about MPH students in the field?

“[The student] has been exceptional! One of the best interns I’ve ever had. He’s treated every assignment, big or small, as a priority and executes each task with professionalism, attention to detail, and skill.”

“The student has done a great job jumping into the project. Her communication is professional. She is focused on her tasks and taking on a challenging and complex set of roles that involves community engagement, project management, personnel management and budgeting. Many thanks to her for the hard work and dedication!”

“We appreciate [the student]’s work. She has been quick to pick up or self-educate on emergency preparedness topics necessary for this project. She communicates regularly and is not afraid to ask questions or point out a need for explanation. We will be providing her with a couple of opportunities to present what she has learned and materials produced out of this project.”

What are some skills students aim to improve while in the field this summer?

“I want to improve my oral and written communication skills.”

“I’d like to continue to work on practicing data analytics and data organization.”

“I want to familiarize myself with bench diagnostic techniques.”

“I want to familiarize myself with the work in this field (i.e. terminology, methodology, etc.)”

“One area in which I want to improve in the workplace is being more assertive in terms of goal setting.”

“I want to work on strategies for goal-setting and time management. I hope to think more strategically about how I can be realistic in my planning.”

“I want to work on my public speaking skills”

“I want to gain deeper understanding of healthcare industry, and improve my data collection and analysis skills.”

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