While it is only the beginning of the year (Happy New Year!), it’s not a bad idea to begin your summer job search now, yes in January! A number of public health employers have already started recruiting students and young professionals for summer positions. Organizations often want to plan ahead and be prepared to welcome their summer students well in advance.
As an undergraduate student interested in public health, you may wish to look for opportunities to help develop your skills in this space. Or, if you are a Master’s student pursuing a public health degree, you may have a mandatory practicum semester coming up that requires you to spend some time at a public health organization.
As you wind down from the holidays, put summer employment search on your plan. Although different organizations have varying timelines, the earlier you begin your search and application, the more options you have and the less stress you will face closer to the summer.
Consider the following tips for your planning (in addition to these additional tips we published in 2017):
- Ask yourself what niche you want to work in and focus your job search on organizations that work in these specific areas. Maybe you have 2 or 3 areas (these could be skills such as qualitative research, or content areas, such as chronic disease, or HIV/AIDS – also consider the different streams in public health). The more specific you are, the better your experience will be. This is also your opportunity to not only figure out what you like but also what you don’t like.
- Review and update your resume and include relevant details based on the niche you will be applying to. Find a friend to review and edit your resume.
- Prepare a cover letter that you can use as a template for when you apply to a position (remember that resumes and cover letters should be tailored to each position, but a strong template to use as a foundation doesn’t hurt).
- Keep a record of all of the places that you are applying to (use an excel sheet to track your applications so that when you receive an interview, you know exactly which organization and position you applied to).
- Have a plan and commit to it. Schedule “job applications” in your schedule and commit to applying to a few each time. You can also make it a fun weekly activity by gathering your friends for a weekly job application party!
- Always remember to put your best foot forward. These employers are getting hundreds of applications from other Public Health students each term, so it’s absolutely necessary that YOU stand out.
Where do I start my search?
So you’re probably wondering where to start with your search.
There are a range of public health opportunities to consider across the country whether it is working for the municipal, provincial or federal government, not-for-profit organizations, corporate companies, or others, across Canada.
Your university may have some resources to support your job search, and of course, LinkedIn Jobs and Indeed are also two other places to begin your search.
Additionally, specific organizations’ websites are also a good spot. We’ve rounded up a few resources for you to help get you started. The following Canadian employers are already recruiting for students and/or young professionals for summer positions (or will be shortly recruiting). Take a look!
- Alberta Precision Laboratories – Summer Research Studentships
- KPMG – Summer positions include Digital Health Sr. Consultant and Digital Health Consultant *Note that applications are due January 9, 2020 for these two positions
- Grand Challenges Canada – 2020 Summer Student Program
- Public Health Ontario – Student Training and Opportunities
- Region of Waterloo – Student Placements at Public Health
*Note that applications for summer positions are due by February 15th
- Algoma Public Health – Summer Student program
- Halton Region – Summer Students Program specific to public health would be in the Health Department: Healthy Environments and Communicable Disease
- Prince Edward Island – Health Care Futures Program (Applications open in February 2020)
- Prince Edward Island – Nursing Student Summer Employment Program (to work in public health care) (Applications open in February 2020)
There are also employers in the United States who have already started recruiting for summer students:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars (CUPS) Program
- Planned Parenthood Care – 2020 Summer Intern-Health Equity
- Global Health Corps – Global Health Corps Fellowship program
We hope this quick reminder and list of resources help you start your summer job search! And as always, we are here to support you on your public health career so let us know if there is any other way we can support you.
About the author:
Lis Huang is a Content Creator at PH SPOT. She has a passion for collaborating with others to address complex systemic issues to improve the lives of others, especially vulnerable and marginalized populations. She holds a Master of Science in Global Health from McMaster University. With her strong interest in capacity building, she joined the PH SPOT team to support the professional development needs and interests of the public health community.
Blog post photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash