Health Communications Alumna Angela Medina is currently working at her dream job as a Public Health Associate for the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Medina graduated from Grand Valley State University in Spring 2014. While studying at Grand Valley, Medina knew she wanted to work for the CDC, but she always considered it to be a long shot. With the help of an internship at the Kent County Health Department, Medina got the job she had always wanted.
As a Public Health Associate, she works for the Center for Healthy Communities at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Medina assists in identifying and facilitating ways that the counties can work collaboratively and use their resources effectively for the overall health of the region. She enjoys learning about the different cultures in the United States and finding ways to help each culture with their specific health issues.
“My favorite part of my job is getting exposure to a new part of the United States, the people, and the way of life here,” said Medina. “There are a lot of similarities but there are different cultures, challenges, risks, and health issues here than those in Michigan.”
Medina believes that Grand Valley prepared her well for the health industry. She especially appreciates the courses she took in the Health Communications major.
“When it comes to health communications, job responsibilities can be anything from advertising, marketing, media relations, public relations, theory to practice,” said Medina. “And the courses offered by GV had it all covered. Even the structure of the courses was set up in a way that mimicked real world experience with tight deadlines, working in groups and making sure projects/articles were ready for the client or to be published.”
When asked what advice she had for current Grand Valley students, Medina challenges students to be ambitious with their goals.
“Now that I’m in a position with the CDC and hope to continue with them, I wish I had been more proud about my ambitious goal and not felt like I had to downplay it out of fear of being judged or not accomplishing it,” said Medina. “I’d say to voice your goals to others. You never know when they might have connections/internships/opportunities that they can let you know about.”
In the future, Medina plans to continue working for the federal government whether it’s with the CDC or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). She will graduate with her Master Degree in Health and Risk Communications from Michigan State University in May and plans to use that education to expand her career into health emergencies and natural disasters.