Why this journal started

June 2016:

I have always wanted to put my thoughts and feelings about global health into words and share them with others but never found the courage to. These reservations are probably due to a discomfort and a lack of confidence in my writing for effectively portraying my ideas in a succinct and eloquent manner, and also thinking that I don’t have anything important to share – which both still holds true very likely. As scary and intimidating as writing this journal may seem, I think it will provide a good learning opportunity making them even more exciting and equally nerve wracking to pursue – at least that’s what I tell myself when faced with intimidating tasks. I’d like to start off by providing a fair warning that my thoughts and reflections here will likely be a bit messy but will be an authentic reflection of my current thoughts, and hopefully I can articulate that in writing.

So why am I doing this now? With my transition out of undergraduate studies and into an exciting new experience as an intern at the World Health Organization (WHO) for two months, I feel compelled to document my thoughts as complex and messy as they may seem in my head, onto paper or technically these pixels that make up words on the digital screen before you.

I will be spending the next two months in Geneva, Switzerland as an intern in the Department of Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases (PND) at the WHO. It would sound strange to say that it was a difficult decision to choose this path even after strongly wanting to intern and do something interesting the summer after graduating, but it was. In short, it comes down to time and money. As the experience will be an expensive one, one that not many have the means to attend and afford. And it would also take up time that I could spend with friends, family, working, relaxing, etc. I definitely acknowledge this opportunity as one that is particularly privileged for these very reasons.

I am writing these thoughts down to share with you my experiences, my thoughts, and feelings about the opportunity I will embark on soon. I am hopeful that this experience will broaden my perspectives and provide a fruitful learning environment. And that these updates will too provide a valuable snapshot of my learning and observations for others to ponder, regardless of our different paths.

I know documenting will be a particularly valuable exercise for myself as a learner to grow. But this also serves as some insight and a snapshot into my life for my colleagues, mentors, friends, and family. So please don’t hesitate to ask questions or share your thoughts with me about anything.

Small thank you to Sam for helping me reflect and journal, a friend, mentor, and peer, reconnected through a mentorship program.

I am also very thankful to have financial support from the Thinkswiss research scholarship.

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