I did my first externship at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton NJ, and it was completely rewarding. My mentor, Laura, included me in all her day to day work as an evaluator for one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the world. I learned about the public health advocacy the Foundation does, and gained valuable insight into the health care system of the United States. This externship also showed me what its like to work in a busy office, with meetings and conferences and cubicles. More importantly though, it helped me expand my career interests and gave me valuable contacts in public health.
At the Foundation I helped do research for one of the grant evaluations that Laura was involved in, and also met with public health officials looking to get a grant from the Foundation. I even helped Laura, my mentor, with her chapter of a public health textbook for the new edition. All in all, this externship was great, I learned a lot about public health advocacy, and the externship has helped broaden my horizons in the job search field.