My Skills in Study and Work: My Life Experience
Since a young age, I have actively volunteered at several non-profit organizations in West Bengal, India. I have worked to alleviate poverty for mentally challenged children. Additionally, I was engaged with a non-profit serving children with HIV/AIDS in rural East India.
My experiences led me to pursue Sociology as my major, where I studied how social processes and movements affect the global population, which lead to issues in public health. Further, I started understanding the role of social factors in contributing to health imbalances around the world.
While completing my Bachelors thesis, ‘Lives of Rural Women in India: A study on intersection of health care disparities, gender and socio-economic status,’ I began understanding complex phenomena surrounding health care in an overpopulated nation, and I attempted to unravel these through qualitative and quantitative research.
Henceforth began my journey, to make an impact in the realm of public health with my commitment to understand why health inequities exist, and how these can be eliminated.
My thesis findings revealed a drastic asymmetry in distribution of health care resources for men and women. Rural women received far less medical attention despite having serious health concerns, especially ones relating to pregnancy. Further, individuals belonging to lower socio-economic status faced more obstacles in accessing health facilities in India.
Inspired by these findings, I founded a non-profit organization during my undergraduate studies. The startup collaborated with struggling local non-profits, such as Calcutta Blind School and Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy to raise funds. I conducted bake sales online and offline throughout the city, to raise funds which were also used to purchase food and medication for underserved individuals belonging to these non-profits.
It also allowed the organizations an opportunity to reduce debt that was accumulated over a few years. While it was certainly challenging to balance my academics and my volunteering activities with my entrepreneurial ventures, which required considerable time and effort to get established, I learned time management skills that I have successfully applied to all spheres of my life.
Upon completing my Bachelors, I began working in Market Research for a national hospital chain. Utilizing research methodologies, I revealed areas for improvement in the quality of healthcare in North East India. I conducted qualitative in-depth interviews with individuals to understand the intersection between socioeconomic status and health care access in these regions.
Furthermore, I designed and analyzed quantitative surveys to determine appropriate pricing strategies for over-the-counter medication and feminine hygiene products.
My decision to pursue higher education led me to University of Michigan, where I am currently pursuing postgraduate studies in Business Management with an emphasis on Market Research and Analytics. I am learning how organizations function, and the factors that determine their decision-making processes.
Having been exposed to a wide array of coursework in micro economics, business analytics, operations research and more, I am equipped with strong quantitative skills to make informed decisions using large sets of data. Moreover, courses such as business communication for managers have allowed me to hone my communication skills in a professional setting.
Additionally, within the program, I collaborate with students from diverse backgrounds on assignments, which allows me to gain from a variety of perspectives and share knowledge from my experiences.
As a current student at Ross School of Business, I was also selected to serve on the One-Year Master’s Student Council as President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Committee, where we work towards promoting awareness regarding mental health concerns and creating a safe and inclusive learning environment for students. Further, we aim to have a diverse student community within the graduate programs of the business school.
My background in social sciences and management, along with my experiences in non-profit, and in health research will complement a graduate degree in Health and Social Behavior at UC Berkeley School of Public Health.
My research interests include addressing health disparities and gender inequalities in developing nations and advancing equitable access to healthcare, with a focus on vulnerable populations. The Master of Public Health program will provide me with the technical component required in research to improve the health status of the global population, especially those around us who are in need of a better quality of life.