…by Njideka / from Nigeria / Master of Public Health (online) / 3rd Year
I was so excited when I got into the online Master’s in Public Health program at the University of Edinburgh. I’ll tell you about how much of a dream come true it was for me another day, but today let’s talk about how sure I was that I knew what I wanted. I had clear plans to focus on courses I felt were relevant to healthcare management in low income countries like mine (Nigeria), and I practically danced for joy when I found out that I would have the option of choosing between a dissertation (boring…) and doing a combination of a SLICC (Student-Led Individually Created Course) and other courses in my final year. I had always considered myself to be too impatient for research, and besides, my relationship with statistics is precarious at best. My grades and many long days of frustration and confusion can attest to this.
Now it’s three years down the line, and the highlight of my weekend was that I submitted the ethics application for my final year dissertation – a level 2 application no less, which means that I intend to collect my own research data – I’ll be doing semi-structured interviews related to a significant public health topic that is particularly important to me. Turns out that I absolutely “looove” qualitative research, it’s like a combination of all the things I love to do – understand people’s point of view in different situations , ask questions, write stories, reflect on my own “experience of experiences”… and the list goes on and on.
After the Introductory course which was an enjoyable and eye-opening experience for me, I decided to pursue my new-found interest and take the follow-up course. I didn’t have any qualitative course on my choice of electives at the start and I ended up switching things around, many thanks to sound advice I got from Dr. Ruth (neither of us knew it at the time, but her words really came back to help me), my personal tutor, Annemieke, and of course Rosemary who always had my back when I started fluttering around with last minute requests! It’s safe to say at this point that the rest is history.
As you can probably tell, I’m pretty excited about my dissertation, looking forward to getting it done, and it’s like my eyes have just been opened to numerous exciting opportunities to drive change and career paths that I hadn’t noticed before.
I’d say that if there’s a word that’s been upmost in my mind these past few weeks, it’s POSSIBILITIES. It often seems like there’s too much to be done, but I have found out that there is a whole lot that I can do!
At whatever stage you are in on this postgraduate journey, I hope that, like me, you allow yourself to try out the new, enjoy the ride on your way to finding and understanding what makes you tick, and follow it right through to make the impact you want to.
I’ll sum this up with words borrowed from Dr. Seuss:
Think left and think right, and think low and think high,
Oh, the thinks you can think up, if only you try!