Master of Public Health Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Hueneke

Sarah Hueneke (’11B.S. ,’15 M.P.H.)  graduated with her M.P.H. specializing in Health Promotion. She currently works at the American Academy of Pediatrics as a Program Coordinator.

We asked her about her education experience here at NIU:

Why NIU’s MPH program to further your education?
I graduated from NIU with my Bachelor of Science in public health and felt that I was prepared to enter the field with the education that NIU had provided me. I always intended to continue my studies and the online M.P.H. program allowed for flexibility as well as peace of mind that I would be receiving quality education.

Since you’ve graduated, how has obtaining an MPH degree furthered your career?
Having an M.P.H. made me a competitive candidate while searching for jobs and demonstrated my commitment to the advancement of the field. I have been able to apply what I learned in the M.P.H. program to my work at the Academy, reaffirming my belief that NIU prepared me to enter the field as a professional in public health.

How long did it take for you to complete the program?
I completed the program full-time in two years, while also serving 1,700 hours in the Illinois Public Health Association AmeriCorps program at the Illinois Department of Public Health, Office of Women’s Health and Family Services.

What advice would you give to current MPH students?
Become involved in the professional organizations in your areas of interest as they can provide ample opportunities for networking and resume-building. I became a member of the American Public Health Association while studying for my MPH and was able to present my findings from a statewide needs assessment at the national conference in 2015 and developed the descriptions of sessions for infant and child health for the conference in 2016. These opportunities allowed me to network with many organizations, such as the CDC, as well as being able to add the experiences to my resume. The NIU M.P.H. program provided me the skills that I needed to present myself and my work in a professional manner.

What advice would you give to prospective MPH students?
I truly do not think that I would be in the job that I am in now if not for the NIU M.P.H. program. Those extra three little letters behind your name can really make a difference, both in your own confidence in your work and in your competitiveness as a professional in the field.

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