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Najima Bawa

Public Health

Obtaining a MPH will make me more competitive and eligible for positions that will help advance my career in the direction I want it to go in.

Please tell us about your background prior to starting the course?

Prior to City, I had a career in international development for 5 years. It began in Kenya where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer for 2 years teaching biology, chemistry and life skills in an all girls’ secondary school. In addition to teaching I had the opportunity to develop and implement a number of public health projects, alongside members in the community to address their health concerns around malaria, HIV, and reproductive health.

After Kenya, I joined Peace Corps Headquarters as an intern in Washington DC and shortly thereafter became a Country Desk Officer for Comoros, Madagascar and Malawi in the Africa Region. In that position it was my responsibility to represent and advocate for each country in my portfolio.

What were your main motivations to apply for this course?

I was attracted to the course because it’s a one year programme in London. Additionally, obtaining a MPH will make me more competitive and eligible for positions that will help advance my career in the direction I want it to go in.

I also applied to this course because diversity is very important to me, not only did I want the opportunity to learn from professors who come from and have worked all around the world, it was also important for me to maximise my learning with people who could bring their life experiences from all around the world into the classroom.

Why did you choose to study at City, University of London? What made you decide City was the right university for you?

  • I really was impressed with the type of research professors on my course were doing/working on. After reading their bios, I could see myself working with a number of them.
  • The website was easy to navigate, clear and concise.
  • Cheaper than other universities.
  • Offered the social determinants of health module.

How has studying this course helped you to develop personally and professionally?

I feel the course is equipping me with the tools and skills I need for future job opportunities. One thing that first comes to mind is that the course has strengthened my skills on how to critically analyse journals and data sources, and understand the underlying biases that may be present in research.

What additional opportunities and experiences has City offered you during your course?

I serve as a Programme Representative for the Public Health programme. In this role I have had the opportunity to represent my peers by voicing their concerns and/or issues to course directors. My role as a Programme Representative has allowed me to engage with other members of staff I normally wouldn’t have within the School of Health Sciences and other programmes across the University.

What are your career plans after completing the course, and how has City helped you prepare for the next stage in your career journey?

I hope to join an international public health agency as a Public Health Specialist working specifically in Africa, managing public health intervention programmes focused around adolescent health.

I really appreciate how I have been able to tailor my interests in Africa for each of my assignments. It has allowed me to explore and dive deeper into topic areas that I am passionate about.

What advice would you give to people thinking about studying this course at City?

The programme is student centred and the professors are more than willing to support you through the accelerated course work. City was the right choice for me.