“From a very young age I knew I wanted to pursue a career in service and helping others, says Molly Shiflet. “The field of public health seemed like a perfect fit.”
Now an MPH candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Pitt Public Health, Shiflet credits her parents, both military veterans, with demonstrating purpose and fulfillment through serving their country as well as instilling in her a sense of duty to use her knowledge and skills to help others. She enrolled at Clemson University with an “undeclared” major, but decided on health science with a concentration in health services administration after taking an introductory public health course her freshman year.
When the time came to look at graduate schools, Shiflet says she immediately was drawn to Pitt Public Health for its strong national reputation and “seemingly endless” opportunities for students. “However, I had never been to Pittsburgh, and my only knowledge of the city was the common misconception of its being ‘a dirty old steel town,’” she says. Purely by chance, her sister decided to run the Pittsburgh Marathon, and Shiflet went along to support her. “I instantly fell in love with the city, and I knew that Pitt Public Health was where I wanted to be!”
This past summer, Shiflet completed an internship in Barcelona, Spain, where she was able to see the inner workings of a health care system drastically different from that of the United States while gaining a deeper understanding of another culture. She says as a student at Pitt Public Health, she hopes to take full advantage of the wide variety of practicums and residencies, research positions, and volunteer opportunities available to students to help her to narrow down her specific career aspirations.
“My primary goal is gain the knowledge and skills that will enable me to make valuable contributions towards improving the overall health of my community,” she says. “The supportive network of alumni, faculty, and current students here at Pitt will definitely empower and enable me to do just that.
“I decided to pursue an MPH largely because of the career versatility that comes along with it. Whether I decide I want to be advocating public health policy, running a nonprofit, or managing a health care organization, I know I can use my MPH degree to get me there.”