Neal Jawadekar Applies Big Data to Healthcare
What inspired you to pursue an MPH?
I am fascinated by the idea of preventing disease and promoting wellbeing at the population level. Therefore, the MPH degree was in line with my values and interests. I also knew the MPH degree would offer me the knowledge and skills that could be applied to a variety of healthcare settings.
What drew you to the Tufts Program?
I first learned about the combined Bachelor’s/MPH program while taking an Epidemiology course in college. After taking a couple more public health classes as an undergraduate, I knew that I wanted to explore this field further. Tufts is a strong school, and the fact that the Tufts Health Sciences campus is right in the middle of Boston is definitely a plus. I applied early to the program, and began as a full-time MPH student immediately after graduating from college.
How did your Tufts degree help prepare you to work in the field (or what were the highlights of your program)?
The quantitative classes I took (Principles of Biostatistics, Intermediate Biostatistics, Introduction to SAS) are the most useful for my current job. In addition, my Applied Learning Experience as a statistical analyst at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health offered me the valuable exposure of programming with SAS and working on a dynamic team.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
It is important to have clear goal(s) in mind of what you would like to do after earning your MPH. This will allow you to choose your electives wisely. In addition, extend your education beyond the classroom setting. Attend lots of conferences, network with people, and find cool internships. Boston has much to offer across the wide spectrum of healthcare, so connect and meet as many interesting people as you can!