Senior Reflects on IH Major, GU Experience

APRIL 17, 2013 - Students often have an internship experience that helps shape their career path and provide life lessons. Kirsty Sievwright (NHS’13) has been fortunate enough to have a few.

Sievwright, who is from Greenwich, Conn., says her most rewarding internship has been working at the Navrongo Health Research Centre in northern Ghana as part of the Department of International Health’s practical experience abroad program.

Her time in Ghana helped her gain more confidence, patience, and the ability to put issues into context. She cites the internship as helping her to walk away a new person.

“It was an experience where you didn’t just come away with more skills, but you came away with a different sense of the world,” she says. “You came back a whole new person. It taught me that in whatever circumstances you can adapt and be innovative. You can find a solution. That’s really important in this type of career.”

‘Very Hands-On’

With graduation approaching, Sievwright is glad she chose the international health major.

“I love that I’m getting practical skills,” she says. “I’m learning how to write a case study and design a health campaign. It’s very hands-on, and I feel like I’m walking away with real skills.”

Her other previous internship opportunities include working at Becky’s Fund to educate audiences on domestic violence awareness and support, DC Promise Neighborhood’s Family Junior Campaign, and Georgetown’s Center for Child and Human Development.

“My time at Becky’s Fund taught me a lot about how to provide support for domestic violence victims,” she says. “I wanted to be able to do more of what I learned in the real world.”

She says she became really passionate about women’s issues after taking a maternal health course taught by Margaret Baker, PhD, assistant professor of international health.

Future Plans

She has used these previous experiences to aid in her current work as an intern at the International Center for Research on Women to raise HIV awareness. She is also assisting Baker with research.

Sievwright enjoys research and is interested in developing health programs for child and maternal health. In the future, she hopes to attend the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for reproductive health and pursue jobs in London or D.C.

By Tiffani Haynes