Fall 2016: My Experiences as a Global Health Leadership Intern

By Nicole Toomey
Duke University, Duke Global Health Institute
Fall 2016 (September 6 - December 9) Global Health Leadership Intern

I became an intern at Unite for Sight through what seemed like a whirlwind of events. I finished graduate school unsure of where to go next; I had spent my time in school building up research design and data analytics skills, but knew that collecting and analyzing results was only a small portion of what I wanted my work to entail. A colleague of mine suggested I send my resume to Unite For Sight, an organization highly respected by my graduate program. Interning with UFS was the post-grad opportunity I was looking for – this position has allowed me to build upon my research skills, finding how best to implement findings, while also teaching me more about effective program management and building local partnerships. When asked what exactly I do as an intern, it’s hard to summarize my job in just a few words or even a few sentences. Since there are just a few of us in the office, as an intern at UFS I have some part in nearly every aspect of the organization.

Some of the larger tasks I worked on included the following:

I would strongly recommend an internship with Unite For Sight to anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of the field of public health and how to successfully engage with local communities. As an intern, not only did I learn about responsible engagement through the work of Unite For Sight, but also through the work of the individuals and programs I was exposed to through webinars and the Social Entrepreneurship Institute. Through its various programs, Unite For Sight has brought together a diverse group of individuals and programs committed to constantly re-evaluating and redefining global health work, all with the intention of promoting quality health care and equity for all. Eye care is only a small part of what Unite For Sight does. Being an intern was challenging, not just because I had to perform a wide array of tasks, but also because my work and interactions here forced to evaluate about what concepts like “responsible engagement” and “cultural competency” meant to me. I know that my time here will have a direct effect on my career, and I am excited to see where that will be.