Gillian Javetski, Dimagi

Photo of Gillian Javetski

“The BA/MPH program also gave me the chance to pursue a master’s degree in one year, which was a significant time and money saver.”

Program Analyst, Dimagi
BA/MPH combined degree program, 2012
MPH concentration, Health Services Management and Policy

Tell us about your current job:
I am a Program Analyst at Dimagi, a socially conscious software company that is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At Dimagi, we develop mobile applications that are designed to improve healthcare in remote, resource-poor communities, primarily in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Our mobile apps have been deployed in over 100 projects in 30 countries and are used by thousands of community health workers to diagnose and counsel patients. In my role at Dimagi, I manage various international projects remotely and onsite, develop knowledge products and proposals, and build mobile apps on our open source platform, CommCare (www.commcarehq.org). 

What inspired you to pursue an MPH?
I chose to attend Tufts for college because of its renowned International Relations program, but ended up falling in love with my second major, community health. I quickly became committed to combining these two interests into a course of study around global health. Pursuing an MPH seemed like not only the right next step, but a genuinely fun way to learn more about and prepare for a career in global health. 

What drew you to the Tufts Program?
Applying to the BA/MPH program was a no brainer for me. After pursuing a liberal arts curriculum in college, I was interested in gaining a set of more focused, practical skills that the Tufts MPH program offers. I was especially excited about the program’s hands-on Applied Learning Experience (ALE), which seemed much more valuable than a traditional thesis requirement. The BA/MPH program also gave me the chance to pursue a master’s degree in one year, which was a significant time and money saver. 

How did your Tufts degree help prepare you to work in the field (or what were the highlights of your Program)?
The highlight of my MPH was being able to experience various public health focus areas, both in and outside of the classroom. During my one year in the program, I concentrated in Health Services Management and Policy, completed an ALE in global health, worked as a health communications Teaching Assistant (TA) and Research Assistant (RA), collected data for a nutrition study, and took biostatistics and epidemiology classes. No matter what your concentration is, the Tufts MPH program encourages students to pursue a variety of focus areas within public health in order to gain a diverse set of skills.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
Take advantage of the fact that public health is a broad, broad field. Within our cohort of 12 BA/MPH classmates, everyone ended up in careers that are vastly different. When you think about what you want out of a public health program, think more generally about what you want out of any Master’s program and what lessons, skills, or experiences you’ll want to experience or gain during that time. It’s likely that you can find most of these within your MPH program, especially at Tufts.