Epidemiology student Kirstin Yeomans completed her internship at the Oregon Health Authority as part of Oregon State’s Master of Public Health program. She reflects on the experience and what it means for her future as an epidemiologist.
Why did you choose to study epidemiology?
I chose the epidemiology option because I am interested in the why behind how people get sick, how disease spreads through populations and how disease can be prevented.
I am also interested in using data-driven assessments to inform health policy.
What did you work on during your epidemiology internship?
My main project at the Oregon Health Authority was completing a descriptive analysis of 10 years of pesticide poisoning cases in Oregon for the Pesticide Exposure, Safety and Tracking program.
This involved data analysis, as well as data visualization and report writing. I also had the opportunity to complete a qualitative analysis of contributing factors to pesticide exposure.
What value do internships provide?
I think the greatest value of the internship is real-world experience. While you will learn important skills in your MPH courses, this is your chance to actually to apply those skills.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I plan on applying for the CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship and working as an epidemiologist at the state or local level.
Learn more about what it means to study epidemiology at Oregon State University.