2009 APHA Public Health Fellow in Government
Lessons Learned from 2009
I think the most difficult time of my fellowship was the beginning. It took some time to get settled and figure out my role. I would recommend being proactive in reaching out to staff if they haven’t been clear about expectations.
It’s also important to have some perspective on your role. I had just completed my PhD prior to the fellowship, but many of the tasks I did (copying, hole punching, binder making) didn’t require much training. However, these tasks allowed the staff to be more organized as we moved the health bill to the Senate floor and provided an opportunity for hands on learning. It’s important to remember that you may be contributing in ways you didn’t originally anticipate.
Highlight of the year: Working on the bill that gave FDA regulation over tobacco products and attending the bill signing ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House.