Nora Anderson

MPA-Health - 2013

Health Policy and Management – International Specialization

What made you decide to come to Wagner?

I looked at other schools, mostly in DC where I was living at the time. I ultimately decided on Wagner because New York offered so many possibilities to intern with top international development agencies and NGOs. I also thought the Capstone program seemed very exciting – I looked at the projects and clients from previous years and it seemed like a great way to get real world experience working for an international health organization, and possibly having the opportunity to do field research.

Have you had any internships while at Wagner?

My first year, I was an intern in the Department of Policy and Practice, Knowledge Management Unit at UNICEF’s New York headquarters. I compiled and edited case studies on field programs from UNICEF’s country offices around the world. It was a great introduction to the UN system and I met some fascinating people, including Ban Ki Moon.

During the summer, I was an intern in the Department of HIV/AIDS, Treatment and Care Unit at WHO’s Geneva headquarters. I learned a lot about the clinical aspects of HIV care while conducting a literature review on retention in HIV care. I also helped administer an informal survey of retention in HIV programs around the world. My work was presented at the first high-level meeting on retention in HIV care at WHO headquarters.

Are you currently employed?

Yes. I’m a Teaching Colleague for Medical Care and Health: Comparative Perspectives (undergraduate course) and a Grader for Introduction to Health Policy & Management (graduate course)

How have you been able to balance work and school?

It was really hard my first year when I was interning 3 full days a week. I just spent long stretches in the library and didn’t let myself go home until I was done with all my work.

What has been your favorite class at Wagner?

Multiple Regression & Econometrics with Dan Smith. I always thought of myself as someone who just wasn’t good at anything math-related, but thanks to some great professors at Wagner I discovered that I actually love statistics and data analysis and it’s opened up a whole new world for me.

What impact has your Wagner education have on your career path to date?

It has opened up the world of research to me, something I hadn’t previously considered. The internships I’ve had while at Wagner have helped me learn the landscape of international health work and now I have a much clearer idea of what I want to do post-graduation.

What are your future career goals?

I’d like to work in research or program evaluation for an international health organization. My specific areas of interest are sexual and reproductive health education and access to care.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. I like to run and do yoga, and I’ve recently taken up surfing in the Rockaways.

Do you have any thoughts/advice for prospective students interested in coming to Wagner?

Look at the professors’ bios to see if there are some whose research aligns with your interests. Take advantage of being in NYC and line up internships. Get to know your professors – having a good relationship with professors in your field can help you get better internships and research opportunities.