Imagine having an advocate in your corner to help you polish up your resume, prepare for a job interview, refine an outstanding cover letter, connect to career mentors, and build an attention-getting LinkedIn profile as you advance along your career path. That’s exactly what currently enrolled students and Alumni of UVM’s Certificates of Graduate Study and Master of Public Health degree programs through the Larner College of Medicine have in Career Development Coach, Heather Palow, M.Ed, ACC
“What I really enjoy the most is helping our MPH students and Alumni be able to better explain and showcase their strengths, transferable skills and their own unique story in ways that helps them to see their future in health careers,” said Palow.
Career Services Integrated into Master of Public Health Program
Master of Public Health degree students first meet Palow during the orientation to the online masters’ program. As part of the virtual tour of UVM and the College of Medicine, Palow helps students to think about the importance of building a professional portfolio right from the beginning. She meets with students one-on-one at the start of the course, throughout the program, and at the end of the program as part of their Applied Practice Experience (APE) learning the unique paths that many students have taken when deciding to pursue a career in Public Health.
“So often, I experience what I think of as ‘lightbulb moments’ with students; hearing the reasons why they are making changes in their education and career paths and discussing how their decisions can be communicated in a positive way to prospective employers in the future,” said Palow.
May 2018 MPH Graduate, Liz Scoles took advantage of all of the services provided by Palow, from resume and cover letter writing, to interview prep and even guidance on interview follow-up emails and calls. She credits the work that she and Palow did together as one of the reasons that she is in her new position at a health information exchange company.
“It doesn’t take long to get rusty,” said Scoles. “I had been out of work for four years after completing my Master of Public Health, and a lot had changed in that time. Heather helped me translate my skills into quick takeaways that employers were looking for. She was incredibly helpful.”
Palow not only keeps tabs on current MPH students and connects them with internships and fellowship resources, but also works with students as they start to navigate the change process from Alumni to career professional. She monitors and shares job opportunities in Public Health, as well as guides important conversations as to when might be the best time to make a career change.
“Some students are naturals when it comes to transitions, but others are anxious or have unique goals and challenges advancing in their career, I work with people to get past their roadblocks to help them communicate their unique story, appeal to a prospective employer and really make the change in their professional lives that they are hoping for.