Welcome! The Rollins School of Public Health's Office of Career Development is a mission-driven, full-service center that is dedicated to supporting students, alumni, employers and community partners in navigating public health opportunities. The Career Development team recognizes that every student is embarking upon a unique professional journey. We offer customized, lifelong career resources and partnerships with the world's leading public health organizations to prepare our students to make a difference in the field.

Career FAQs in the time of COVID-19

Nearly all of our professional networking opportunities at this unique point in history are virtual. Instead of face-to-face networking events meant to facilitate conversation and handshakes, we are meeting each other online. We might attend a Zoom social meet and greet instead of going to a physical space such as a restaurant or convention center. Virtual networking platforms such as LinkedIn and our very own MentorRollins are more active than ever.

We encourage you to join the virtual networking action! Polish up your LinkedIn profile to showcase your greatest strengths and achievements. Here are a few tips:

  • Email a colleague or potential colleague to let them know you are thinking about them. Better yet, send a resource you think they might find interesting or relevant to their work.
  • Schedule a Zoom chat or phone call with someone you work with or are interested in working with. Request brief informational interviews with people who are doing the kind of work you want to be doing.
  • In addition, Rollins provides you access to an excellent networking database called “Mentor Rollins” where you can search and connect with individuals to discuss your career related questions and gain insights into various public health realms. Our Mentee User Guide will help you get started.

These challenging times call for bolder action than might initially feel comfortable. Challenge yourself and know it’s normal to have a little fear when initially reaching out, but push yourself to do it and you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Virtual interviewing requires a different skillset and preparation process than traditional interviewing. In addition to preparing for the interview itself through mock interviewing, researching the position, and being able to talk about why you’re a great fit…you now need to be your own producer! Some virtual interviewing tips below:

Lighting: Position your camera in a location that capture the most possible direct natural light. If you are not able to capture sunlight, illuminate your face with lamps or other sources of light. Test your lighting on Zoom prior to the interview and make sure your face is evenly lit. You can play with moving a lamp or light around the room to counter window light on one side of your face, for instance.

Sound: First, conduct your interview in a quiet place. Be as free of distractions as possible. If you cohabitate with others, ask your housemates to be mindful of sound during your interview.

Second, wearing headphones can dramatically improve the sound quality on your side. It can minimize background noise as well as prevent a lag or echo.

Camera positioning: Position your camera so that it captures your entire face and shoulders. Avoid an angle that looks up at your chin or down at your forehead. Use books or furniture to adjust the position of your camera and device.

Background: You could take various approaches to setting up your background. One is to keep it simple – a neutral blank wall, for instance. Another option is to create a unique home office background. If you don’t have the option to create a home office, your default can be a simple neutral background.

Avoid technology mishaps: First, ensure that Zoom is installed on your computer and that your microphone is configured correctly. Test your camera and adjust your aesthetics accordingly. Move closer to your router if your connection is weak.

Next, do a practice interview with a career coach, friend, partner, or family member before your interview. Set up your lighting, background, outfit, and camera position exactly as you plan for the interview itself. Ask for feedback and adjust accordingly.

The day of your interview, stay calm if technology issues arise. Sometimes technology mishaps are unavoidable. Check to make sure your speakers and mic are turned on if you are having audio issues. Use the chat feature to inform your interviewer if you cannot hear them.

It is advised that you always have a discussion with your direct supervisor about the current policies regarding in-person and virtual work, and if you have specific concerns based on your specific situation, address them with your supervisor as well.

RSPH still requires a minimum of 200 hours of practical work experience. According to the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), institutions are encouraged to employ “maximum flexibility and creative solutions” in order to support students in completing this essential piece of students’ training in public health. Please visit our website, which contains extensive guides and details of the APE process and requirements.