I work as a Program Manager for the International Eye Foundation. Joining Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc. helped prepare me for a world of marketing and planning events that I never knew I would be a part of. I now have the skill sets needed to design logos, websites, promote events, and network so much more efficiently.
My biggest challenge was deciding whether I wanted to pursue a career in optometry or public health. I had already applied to optometry schools while I was in undergrad and was waiting on acceptances. During my senior year, I interned with the U.S. Naval Research lab and worked on an HIV/AIDS project which changed my outlook on the medical field. I found that I wanted to work in the public health sector developing different health interventions and learn about new cultures at the same time.
My favorite part of my career is I get to travel the world! We work with 55 eye care hospitals in Latin America, Asia, and Africa and I get to visit almost every one of them! I feel like I got the best of both worlds because I combined my two passions – working in eye care and traveling.
I am a final year graduate student getting my MPH from the University of Maryland set to graduate this upcoming December 2017. I go to school part-time and work full-time, but my degree is online, so it works around my schedule. I also give guest lectures at UMD and Georgetown University in public health and ophthalmology as I have a clinical background in the field as well.
I think the benefits of joining KPhiG is the networking opportunities an individual can obtain. You may not know everyone very well across the nation, but knowing that I can reach out to a group of people who always have my back is something I would not trade anything for.
My advice for women trying to follow my career path is go after your passion! I knew I wanted to work with eyes since high school (I dissected a sheep’s eyeball for the first time and I fell in love with the organ) and I never stopped pursuing something to do with eye care. Whether it was clinical, public health, or just volunteering for an org., I made it my mission to include eye care in it somehow.