Zaena Tessema, MPH

Emory University Rollins School of Public Health
Global Epidemiology

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

Prior to enrolling in my MPH program, I was working to increase access to chronic disease prevention programs to low-income populations in DC and Maryland. A major component of my responsibilities included recruitment of beneficiaries into the program, which allowed me to build relationships with those who chose to enroll. Staying in touch and following their successes through the duration of the 12 month program was extremely rewarding. I was able to witness people lose weight, become healthier, reduce their risk of diabetes and meet their own personal goals. It was very rewarding and I was happy to be a part of their personal journeys.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?

Educating future generations of the possibilities within the field of public health. The field of public health is so diverse, which can be confusing for students and young professionals who are looking to explore it. Highlighting career paths and opportunities for involvement and development would open many doors and possibilities for the next generation of public health professionals.