Name: Beauty Dhlamini
A levels: Biology, Chemisty,Maths
Undergrad: Global Health and Social Medicine (Neuroscience) BSc.
Course/ job: Global Health and Development MSc
Favourite science fact: Babies have around 100 more bones than adults!
Journey in 3 Words: Unpredictable, uncomfortable, exciting
Briefly describe your role or course: Multidisciplinary master's that aims to solve complex health issues, globally. We borrow knowledge from many different fields, including biomedicine, politics, anthropology and political science.
What motivated you to pursue a career in science: I think I always wanted to do something related to science and health because I knew I wanted to help people in some capacity. In addition to this, I always saw science as a field with really broad and varying career prospects, and as someone who is quite indecisive, I liked that the subjects that I studied (Biology, Chemistry and Maths) all enabled me to pursue a variety of careers.
Work - Life Balance: I think work life balance is one of those things you never really think about until you have to do it. I think as well, you don’t really think about it until you realise HOW important it is. For me, I like to organise myself with a to do list (you can never go wrong with a to do list). I also feel like finding time to have a work life balance motivates you and even causes you to work even better.
What advice would you give someone wanting to study the same degree? I would say, go into it with an open mind. Global Health is very broad field with many interesting topics, so go in there with an open mind and don’t be afraid to try new things. I think to go with this advice, I would say don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Where this field is relatively new, even though there are a lot of opportunities you have to be proactive in finding them.
What advice would you give on picking universities? I would say to prospective students, do not get caught up on university tables and rankings, because it really is about how well the course is suited to your learning time and your interests. I would say as well, if you can go to open days, talk to prospective students because you can ask them as many questions as you want but it’s also a form of networking.
What do you enjoy the most about your masters course? I really like the independence that comes with postgraduate studies, everyone around you is really mature and focused on their studies so it’s a really positive learning experience. On top of the new content we learn and the depth at which we learn about it; I love how international my cohort is because everyone has such different backgrounds and they bring different perspectives and it pushes you to think about why you hold your own opinions.
What is most important when choosing a masters? I think what you have to consider is what you want out of it, how it aligns with your future career plans and how it can contribute to your own personal development. Look at the modules, consider if they offer what is important for you, how is it taught and also if you actually learn something new. I also think the more technical things, perhaps finances and moving to a new city or place. Is there a way you can support yourself? If you have a part time job, it also means considering if you can do it alongside your masters full time and how you will manage these things. Don’t make the decision lightly and because you’re scared and you don’t know what you want to do after your undergraduate degree because it is very intense and you need to actually want to do it and be willing to do the work!
How do you feel careers in your field have evolved / where are they heading to? With what’s currently going on with COVID-19 I want to say, firstly, the importance of our field is starting to be recognised so I feel like it is definitely going to increase in its demand in the next few years. If there is something you want to do in our field, there is probably a job or career pathway for it! I think careers are evolving based on a lot of what’s on health agendas globally, but also, on new emerging research interests.
When considering your career path, how much has your potential salary affected your decision? Quite a fair bit. However, like most careers, the money is made the in higher positions. It also depends where you want to end up in the field of Global Health. Some careers will pay more than others, but for me personally I think I get more value in doing something I enjoy and hopefully my experiences can help me reach a place where money isn’t an issue, and how much I earn is reflected in the labour of my work.
How can people find you?
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I hope this post inspires you to follow your passions and acknowledge that at every stage of your career will involve perseverance, consistency and discipline to help you achieve your desired goal. Never forget that “ no accomplishment is too small and no goal is too high”
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