Meet Balanding Manneh, Master of Public Health graduate. Balanding completed his practicum at BC Centre for Disease Control, where he worked on the HCV elimination Program in BC. He has recently received the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, and he will be starting his PhD at University of Cambridge in October.
What motivated you to apply for the MPH program?
I wanted to acquire knowledge and skills in Public Health that will put me in a better position to contribute to the healthcare sector of my country, The Gambia.
What was the best part of your program?
I like the diverse fields and experiences represented in the program. It means that in a discussion you get to hear things from the perspective of a nurse, medical doctor, pharmacist and so on. Additionally, the sense of collaboration and teamwork on group projects and assignments amongst fellow students was pretty good.
What was your favourite course taken during your degree and why?
My favorite course was SPPH 504: Application of Epidemiological Methods. Not only did we learn about essential analytical and epidemiological skills, but the Professor also had a very unique way of teaching and interacted with students in a way that I really liked.
What is the one thing that you are taking with you from your experience in your program?
You need both your professors and classmates to succeed in any course, so reaching out to other classmates as well as the Professors or TAs when you are stuck on a problem will help you a great deal.
What advice would you give to future SPPH students?
It is not all about the grades. So, do your best in all your courses but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get an A+ in a course. As long as you pass the course and leave with new knowledge at the end of the course, you should be fine. The knowledge counts more than a letter grade.
On the lighter side…
What is your favorite place on campus to hangout?
The Koerner Library.
How do you like to unwind after a day of studying?
I like to sleep after a busy day unless when I have an assignment due the next day, in which case I get that done before sleeping.
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