Student perspective: Rutgers’ MHA provides practical, professional experiences

by Tamanna Periwal , MHA ’20

The Bloustein School’s master’s in health administration program has served as a platform for me to gain invaluable knowledge from excellent faculty with many years of experience in leading healthcare organizations. They have prepared me to serve professionally in healthcare administration at both the national and international communities we live in. 

For my professional practicum experience, I was selected as a Health Administration Intern at the United Nations Division of Healthcare Management, and Occupational Safety and Health at the regional headquarters in New York. This opportunity provided me with a plethora of diverse experiences as well as the chance to work with people from different backgrounds to serve personnel maintaining international peace and security in remote and unsafe areas of the countries that are isolated due to limited infrastructure and healthcare facilities.

During my tenure at the UN, I have managed multiple projects simultaneously in public health, clinical governance, quality and patient safety, and change management. I provided assistance in a wide range of planning, managing, and implementing medical standards and health policies in UN healthcare facilities worldwide. I gained wealth of knowledge and skills by addressing clinical health issues arising in duty stations globally, monitoring the burden of infectious diseases worldwide, managing the HIV/AIDS and Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) Kit programs in 193 member countries of the UN, and assisting on analyzing and developing a comprehensive action plan for critical clinical cases on the edges of the ebola outbreak. The exposure I gained from working on projects that involved multi-cultural diversity was instrumental in ways that enhanced my learning, showing how sustainable outcomes rely on effective teamwork and communication, and providing integrated solutions to pressing challenges of healthcare globally. I was also fortunate to learn from different stakeholders and international leadership experts who provided me invaluable experiences and the opportunity to present areas of improvement on organizational reform to the Under-Secretary-General and staff.

I was also lucky in that my internship coincided with 74th session of the UN General Assembly. I was able to serve as a volunteer to provide logistic support in the 2019 General-Assembly meeting. This meeting was attended by the entire body of 193 UN member presidents and prime ministers, who discussed the climate issue in detail. In this capacity, I was able to interact directly with professionals from around the world.

My internship experience at the United Nations, which occurred during my final semester in the Bloustein School program, was extremely rewarding. It was complemented by the endless support from school faculty members as well as the UN medical service division, both of whom challenged me to think outside of the box and contributed to maximum potential strength. The innumerable and intangible lessons I learned while in an environment like the United Nations will go a long in my career advancement.