As most others can relate, it is disappointing to have an online program after a year of online coursework. However, this last year I have become well-acquainted with practicing gratitude in times of disappointment or uncertainty. I have found many things to be grateful for. First, I am grateful to be learning from and working alongside with many committed individuals through the UNC Division of Global Women’s Health. This is one of the Zambia Hub internships that focuses on program management and administration. Additionally, the flexibility of a remote practicum has allowed me to visit family and friends that I otherwise would not be able to! The flexibility has made it possible to pursue other interests as well without feeling like I am neglecting the valuable internship experience.
There are two projects I will be working on this summer, one for cervical cancer in low-resource settings and the other to address adverse birth outcomes. My responsibility is to design a suite of communication materials to indicate on a larger level how UNC is contributing to the body of research and clinical practice in novel and innovative ways. This has consisted of an orientation period in which I reviewed program quarterly and annual reports, proposals, and the literature from the researchers and others. I have worked with my preceptor, the program manager, to interview the country leads to understand their need for communication materials as well as central themes and gaps in the research or practice. The website content I drafted will be up on the website somewhat soon!
Overall, I am excited to gain some valuable insight into how a multi-level research program operates and how one manages several different projects at once. One of my favorite things I am learning is how important it is to keep perspective in how individual programs contribute to the overall goals of an organization. That being said, I know I have a lot to learn and look forward to that over the next several weeks!
Due to the remote format, I have been in the Triangle area rather than in Zambia. But I am happy to be able to explore some more of the beautiful state of North Carolina.