Summer 2010: My Experiences as a Global Health Leadership Intern

By Indu Voruganti
Brown University Student
Summer 2010 (June 14-August 20) Global Health Leadership Intern

This past summer, I had the privilege of working as a Unite for Sight Global Health Leadership Intern in New Haven, CT.  After hearing about Unite for Sight’s illustrious work and attending the Unite for Sight Global Health and Innovation Conference in April 2010, I was very excited to pursue this opportunity. I had never anticipated that I would acquire so much knowledge about global health and development and gain such incredible experience in these fields. My days interning in the office ranged from researching a myriad of global health and development topics in medical literature, blogs, websites, and videos, to writing and developing academic resources, to engaging in meaningful discussions with the other members of the Unite for Sight team. Throughout my internship, I worked closely with Unite for Sight Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Staple-Clark, to develop academic resources for the Unite for Sight Global Health University. The independent but also collaborative nature of the internship gave me the freedom to pursue projects of my interest independently, while also discussing various ideas and topics with Jennifer and the other interns and staff. I wrote several blog entries on the sessions that I attended at the 2010 Unite For Sight Global Health & Innovation Conference at Yale University, including Innovations in HIV/AIDS Strategies, Young Leaders of Social Change Speakers: Hands-On Global Health Impact, Innovation in Global Health, Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, and the Keynote Address by Sonia Sachs.

I also developed articles and courses on a variety of global health topics, which include the following:

Unite for Sight’s approach to improving the world’s global health is unique and innovative. During my internship at Unite for Sight, I gained a deep appreciation for the organization’s many aspects, from its core model and organizational structure, to its many offerings including the Global Health University, the Global Impact Corps, the Global Health & Innovation Conference, and the University Chapters. In particular, I have developed an appreciation for the Global Health University. This component of Unite for Sight has opened up a wealth of information on global health, development, and social entrepreneurship to the general public, offering comprehensive free resources and certificate training programs to the general public. The Global Health University is creating an academic platform for dialogue and discussion about many global health challenges and innovations. As my other fellow interns have also noted in their reflections, I feel privileged to have contributed to the growth of this program, and hope that it continues to expand and develop as a premier open-access academic resource on the worldwide web.

Above all, working in such an exciting, engaging, and welcoming work atmosphere was the most wonderful part of my experience. I feel so fortunate to have met and worked closely with so many incredible individuals who each have such diverse experiences, but all share a common passion for global health.  Our day-to-day discussions about ideas for new modules, new developments in global health literature, and the logistical planning of Unite for Sight kept the environment engaging and lively. Working closely with Jennifer was truly an amazing opportunity. I thank Jennifer for her unwavering support and encouragement during my internship. Her impeccable organization and passion are very inspiring. Working at Unite for Sight for 10 weeks and observing the behind-the-scene workings of the organization has allowed me to gain a thorough understanding of Unite for Sight’s model, and has given me insight into how it is able to operate in such a financially responsible and effective manner. With its phenomenal organizational structure and commitment to upholding best practices in all of its ventures, Unite for Sight is able to partner with local doctors to deliver high-impact, high-quality care to the world’s poorest. Unite for Sight’s utilization of technology to minimize administrative costs and enable 100% of donations to go towards eliminating preventable blindness has impressed and amazed me. The Unite for Sight office has inspired my intellectual curiosity and ingenuity, while simultaneously instilling within me a sense of responsibility to think and act both locally and globally. I strongly encourage anyone interested in public health and development to pursue this internship opportunity.  It has been an incredible learning experience and has given me skills, inspiration, and knowledge that I know will be invaluable to my life goals of delivering global healthcare and contributing to social change.