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Lauren Finn, MPH

School of Public Health '13

Lauren Finn outside CDC

The Drexel University School of Public Health reached out to its alumna Lauren Finn, MPH '13, upon hearing of her quick trip to Atlanta to support efforts at the CDC regarding the global Ebola epidemic. In this Q&A, she graciously explains her role in this effort, and the new position she'll be taking on at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

As part of my CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship, I am providing data management support at CDC for the Ebola response. It has been a great experience thus far. I have had the opportunity to assist with the analysis of international Ebola data, and have also provided assistance in addressing inquiries from healthcare providers and health department staff.

How did your time at Drexel prepare you for your current role?

My education at Drexel provided me with an epidemiologic skill set that has proved invaluable to my work both at PDPH and at CDC. With its emphasis on problem-based learning and practical experience, Drexel's Master of Public Health program allows students to develop skills in the classroom while simultaneously gaining hands-on experience during the practicum and community-based master's project. Drexel provided me with a means of taking what I had learned in the classroom and applying it to real-world settings.

What will you be doing at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health?

In late October, I'll be transitioning out of the fellowship program and will start a new position as the waterborne diseases surveillance coordinator in the Acute Communicable Disease Program at PDPH. In addition to participating in disease investigations, epidemiological and scientific studies, and educational outreach efforts, I will also act as a liaison to the Philadelphia Water Department in addressing water-related concerns.

What do you think current students should try to do to help them prepare for careers after graduation?

My best advice for current students is to take advantage of opportunities to network with their professors, preceptors, fellow students, and alumni. Attending job fairs and alumni panels is another great way to meet experienced people in the field and to identify career opportunities.