By Jordan

5 things I would tell my pre-practicum, 3 months ago self

  1. Your practicum work will be meaningful and fulfilling, but when your office is in your living room in your third-floor walk-up apartment, you will inevitably feel disconnected to the world around you. Find a personal hobby/project to work on that involves creating with your hands. It will help you feel more connected to the surrounding Earth.
  2. Just because your global practicum is remote and will be completed in the US, that doesn’t mean you will not have to think about white saviorism in your work. Keep up the critical analysis of your industry as a whole and your contribution to it. This is an opportunity to reflect on how white saviorism in global health plays out in remote work spaces.
  3. Before grad school, you were able to rely on your intuition to tell you when your brain needs to rest, when you would benefit from taking a break and coming back to work nourished. With an overloaded schedule and near-daily deadlines during your first year of school, you have not had the luxury of listening to your intuition. Take this summer of “real-life” working to tap back into your intuition, to get back in touch with what your brain and body needs. Whether that may be in rest, work, or personal development journey, you can use this summer as an opportunity to reconnect to balanced and healthy self-care
  4. Working remotely means networking can be extra difficult. With international time zones and differing work schedules, it can feel overwhelming and burdensome to ask for an informational interview. Plus, Zoom coffee chats are just awkward (we’re all thinking it!). Remember that everyone is slowing down this summer, so don’t worry so much about falling behind. Take a note of people that you come across this summer that you would like to get to know better and write down their contact info for a later date.
  5. Don’t underestimate how quickly you’ll complete 1000-piece puzzles this summer. Go ahead and buy a few! Go crazy in the Target games aisle!

5 questions I would ask my future, 3 months from now self

  1. How has your experience in Gillings classes, such as the insight you bring into conversations, evolved after completing your practicum?
  2. How have you worked on balancing your desire to explore the world with your need to be physically close to your family?
  3. How have you navigated the transition back to group work and how have you dealt with the group work-related anxieties that this remote practicum has allowed you to avoid?
  4. Have you continued to prioritize unlearning and decolonizing your mind in your personal development? Who is your current source of inspiration for unlearning harmful rhetorics related to race, gender, and disability?
  5. Have you found a way to connect your Curamericas practicum back to your current classes? In particular, what are some of your discoveries or reflections from connecting your global health work to your business classes?