Marija Aleksandraityté

Marija Aleksandraityté, BS

Lithuanian University of Health Sciences- Faculty of Public Health
Public Health

What does public health mean to you?

Public health is a very diverse concept in terms of competencies and career, encompassing lifestyle, prevention, management, leadership, and other areas. I admire how much different skills and knowledge can be gained while studying this degree program. Public health is not only a study but also a vocation to take care of society, steer in a health-friendly direction, and encourage continuous improvement, interest, and dissemination of scientifically based information to the public. So, I can confidently say that public health has become an integral part of my life.

What inspired you to study public health?

Public health has led me to express my desire to help society be healthier and more active. From the first year, I tried to be actively involved not only in the study process but also in organizational, scientific, and practical activities. I believe that the student should express himself in various activities, thus constantly improving, motivating others, and proving that public health starts with setting a good example for the public.

What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career or studies so far?

The most important experience that I gained in my studies was being part of the Public Health Students Association. The acquired experience is very important – the long-term ability to unite a team. It is amazing to see how members of the Public Health Students Association can realize themselves, improve by organizing events, initiatives, conferences related to public health. It is also extremely good to share ideas, discuss and collaborate. I can say without hesitation that the basis of a strong team is faith in a common idea and a strong desire to work together.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing public health today?

We live not only during the COVID-19 pandemic but also during an epidemic of indifference: society often chooses behavior that is harmful to health, even though it is aware of the potential harm. Therefore, people’s awareness and unity and health education are particularly important components in maintaining the principles of a healthy and active society. Public health professionals are trying to steer the public towards a healthier life, but especially during this period, they face heavy workloads and insufficient current human resources to manage the situation. Therefore, the role of students in helping prospective colleagues to take care of public health is very important.

What advice would you offer someone who is thinking about a career in public health? 

Sincere advice – don’t be afraid to be an enterprising student, keep interested, disseminate science-based information, set an example and make a difference in public health.