Public Health

Advice for people who want to be successful

August 26, 2013

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and BSPH Student Courtney Sanford

Spring and fall are good times of the year for academic advice—beginnings and endings. On the same day last week, I read Bloomberg Shares a Few Secrets  to Success in the New York Times and Courtney Sanford’s advice about internships, reprinted on our website.

They both had some good tips. Bloomberg’s formula:  arrive early, stay late and eat lunch at your desk. Hey, if that’s the key, I should get in line to be the next mayor! (He also made a few other interesting comments you can find if you read the article.)

Courtney’s advice was regarding how to be an entrepreneur in your internship. She encouraged students to: be innovative, build a personal brand, adapt, impact your company and be a serial entrepreneur. That’s good advice too. Whether it’s the job we have, the job we want or the internship this summer, her points resonated with me. Be innovative goes without saying.

The future of public health demands innovations. Your brand might sound like marketing jargon to some people, but it is not. We all have a brand whether we set about it deliberately or not. We stand for something, and people infer all sorts of things about us, like it or not. Over my professional career, I have been brand-conscious. For example, I am not going to do anything that will call my integrity into question. That’s a key part of my own brand.

Impact is what it is all about in public health. We’re here to make a difference, and we should be able to talk about our impact, preferably in both quantitative and qualitative terms. And adaptation is a survival skill for friendships, marriage, family, work and internships.

Happy Monday. Barbara

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The views expressed in this blog are Barbara Rimer’s alone and do not represent the views and policies of The University of North Carolina or the Gillings School.