(This is a guest post contributed by Sanda Rosenbluth, MS, is a digital health consultant who graduated from Tufts University with a Masters in Nutrition Communication and a Certificate in Digital Health Communication. Her passions include writing and tweeting about health, helping patients and underserved populations, and blending fun smoothies. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @sanrosenb )
At any given job interview – easily a stress-inducing experience – it can be incredibly satisfying to know you impressed the person sitting opposite you. That’s how I felt when I recently applied for a social media consultant position. The woman across the table from me was wowed by my infographic resume, impressed by my glowing recommendations, and floored by my academic credentials and portfolio. These favorable features ended up heavily outweighing any other hiring considerations, like the fact that I was asking to be a remote employee, or that I was requesting a higher wage than my competition.
My unique resume, recommendations, and credentials are mainly thanks to my time at Tufts University. During the two years I spent acquiring my Masters, I got drawn into the Certificate Program in Digital Health Communication at Tufts School of Medicine. What started as an interest in one of its courses – Mobile Health Design – became a love for everything the Certificate Program had to offer. The classes that made up the program seemed to complete my education and give it that unique polish I was looking for. I was ecstatic to find something that seemed so focused on getting me prepared to be a good communicator in the real world. After all, it’s 2017, and possessing a set of skills to help me strategically navigate the digital arena seems like a must have.
Sandra Rosenbluth (middle row, fourth from the left in a light-colored shirt) is pictured here with the Summer 2015 Digital Strategies for Health Communication class.
That’s what made courses like Social Media and Health, Health Literacy, and Digital Strategies so valuable. The wide range of topics covered in each course are a big draw, and it’s worth taking the extra time to pick your instructors’ brains as they are all incredibly knowledgeable on their respective specialties. The same goes for guest lecturers, who are invited numerous times and provide amazing insights.
Perhaps unexpectedly, your classmates will enrich the class even further. The wealth of unique experiences each student brings to their work surprised me. To this day, I am thankful for the professional bonds forged in those hours of discussion. All of these connections, both with students and instructors, lead to one important thing–networking. If there’s anything I have learned as a professional, it’s that one personal email introducing you to the right person is worth more than 100 online job applications. Every consulting job I have worked since graduating has been thanks to someone I know alerting me to a potential position.
Though the Certificate Program was 100% worth it to me, I do want to make sure I take a step back and remind interested parties that it is a commitment, both time-wise and financially. You are paying to take these classes, and though each class is strategically scheduled to be doable for a working professional (and you are only taking one course at a time), you are expected to complete homework assignments between classes and participate during those 3 scheduled hours. (Of course, all these things are designed to help you get the most out of your class, and the most out of what you paid for.) For me, personally, I feel I am more than getting back what I put into the program.
Speaking of homework, there’s an added bonus: final assignments are generally on a topic of your choice. You are allowed, and even encouraged, to choose something that is relevant to you and your career, and in many cases you are given the opportunity to submit or present your work to actual interested parties. Knowing your hard work as a student has real-world applications is almost as satisfying as nailing a job interview, especially if that work helps you get said job!
In the end, not only was I offered the social media consulting job after my interview, but I also returned to the certificate program as a Teaching Assistant. Being a part of Tufts, now in the capacity to help shape new students’ experiences, is the cherry on top of a very fulfilling sundae. (My nutrition background does not approve of this analogy, but that’s okay.) I hope you take this opportunity to read up on what the certificate program has to offer. It’s well worth more than a few minutes of your time to determine if this is a path that will help you achieve all you want to in your professional life.
Sandra Rosenbluth, MS, is a digital health consultant who graduated from Tufts University with a Masters in Nutrition Communication and a Certificate in Digital Health Communication. Her passions include writing and tweeting about health, helping patients and underserved populations, and blending fun smoothies. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @sanrosenb
Those interested in learning more about the Certificate Program can email the Program Director, Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM at email@example.com. She is happy to answer any and all questions.