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I’ve always had a passion for public health and safeguarding the wellbeing of communities. I studied public health in India and worked as state program manager for an organisation that aims to prevent parent-to-child transmission of HIV. But, I soon realised that what I had learnt at university wasn’t enough. I aspired to work for international bodies like the World Health Organization, but to do this I needed to have a thorough understanding of global public health - not just the Indian context.
So, I started researching universities in Australia, the US and the UK, and made a pros and cons list (I’m a very analytical person!). I also consulted my former professors before choosing Deakin University’s Master of Public Health for its impressive reputation in the field and wide choice of subjects. I wanted to specialise in public health practice and I was also interested in project management. Deakin’s course offered training in both. I was also attracted to the climate in Melbourne, and I knew some people there.
Even though it was my third university degree after high school, studying in Australia was a very different experience. I was able to enjoy an exceptional university life where education wasn’t just about memorising definitions and theories, and recalling them in exams. At Deakin University, students learn through brainstorming sessions, group discussions and team-based assignments.
The experience helped me to be more confident and be sure of my self-worth. It taught me what I’m truly capable of and highlighted what I want to do with my life. Before I moved to Australia, I used to go with the flow a lot, but being outside India encouraged me to really think about my long-term future. Living away from home also taught me to be self-reliant, as I had to manage my own finances and home life.
After I graduated, I achieved a long-held goal almost straight away, securing an internship at the headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva. After that, I got a job with UNICEF back in India, working with women and babies.
Now I work in digital healthcare, leading a team of professionals to design and deliver transformative programs to marginalised and under-served communities. I'm learning many new technologies and getting hands-on experience with different types of digital platforms.
Recently, I set up a mobile medical unit in the mining regions of Gujarat that’s staffed with a general practitioner, nurse and lab technician to help improve access to healthcare. All of the equipment is digitally integrated, and the medical professionals use an electronic record management system that’s totally paperless. We also offer tele-health consultations with specialists.
My Australian experience has opened doors to so many amazing opportunities and I feel very satisfied with my work. I’ve achieved my goal of working in global public health and I’m optimistic about my future career prospects in digital healthcare – in India and abroad.