Notes from the Field: Victoria Chi '17

Victoria Chi '17 interned at the policy office of the Center for Global Health at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention during the 2016 summer term with support from the John K. Springer '53 Memorial Fund. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

Over the summer of 2016, I interned at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the government agency that works to protect the health of Americans and of populations worldwide. Within CDC, I was in the policy office of the Center for Global Health (CGH), the center responsible for reducing the global burden of disease, strengthening the health capacity of developing countries, and preventing, detecting, and responding to disease threats across the globe. 

During my internship, I was responsible for supporting partnership development within CGH. My major project was to compile case studies of successful public-private partnerships and to make recommendations and determine best practices for partnership development with the private sector. I also worked on the development of a potential new public-private partnership on neglected tropical diseases, as well as created policy trainings and exercises for partnership work. With the mentorship of the team leads in the Center for Global Health policy office, I helped to develop meeting briefings for the Director of the CDC Center for Global Health. I learned to translate science into policy, and to synthesize technical information on global health programs into talking points for senior leadership. By the end of my internship, I was able to write more clearly, concisely, and persuasively. Additionally, I assisted with a public health law project aimed at assessing the legal landscape of developing countries in order to inform and support health programs abroad.

As a double major in Government and Biology, I sometimes feel that my two fields of study are separate and distinct. Yet, being at the CDC Center for Global Health, these two fields seemed one and the same. I drew on my knowledge of international relations, human rights, and policy, just as I utilized my ability to understand the underlying biological causes of disease. As I continue to learn and grow as a student and scholar at Dartmouth, I now have a better understanding of the practical applications of my coursework, and I realize how deeply academic knowledge impacts practice and implementation of global health work. Furthermore, the skills of writing, research, and analytical thinking that Dartmouth has taught me were directly applicable to my work at CDC.

I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to learn, grow, and further my career, and I am honored to have been a part of the CDC mission to better the lives and health of people across the globe. Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am to the Rockefeller Center and the John K. Springer ’53 Memorial Fund for their generous support of this internship.