Getting Your Global Health Career Started Somewhere!

Are you a student or young professional looking to pursue a career in Global Health? Do you know where you want to land in your career, but not sure how to get there?

It’s no secret that Global Health is a competitive and niche market that, at times, can seem like it’s a field only fit for people with long resumes.

As an emerging Global Health professional, it’s therefore increasingly important to just get stared somewhere.

But how do you do this exactly? Well, there are many different ways to jumpstart your Global Health career. Here are some simple tips:

1. Get involved. Volunteer

Volunteering can be a great way to work with international community partners to help build your portfolio when applying to future Global Health jobs. Through fulfilling Global Health volunteer positions, you can also demonstrate to future employers that you have an understanding of the Global Health landscape and can successfully manage or coordinate projects.

In addition to the big players such as the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF, there are a long list of other Global Health organizations that are looking for skilled, passionate young professionals to volunteer for their organizations, both locally and abroad. Check out the ThriveHire’s job board for available job and volunteer opportunities.

2. Develop transferable skills

Through any job or volunteer position, there are many essential transferable skills that you can develop and apply to a Global Health career.

These include interprofessional collaboration, effective communication, research and writing, stakeholder relations, creativity, organization, time management, project coordination etc.

By developing these skills when working for an organization, either within and/or outside of the healthcare landscape, you can become more well positioned to transition into a Global Health career – these are fundamental transferable skills that are seen to be an asset by almost any employer.

When you’re thinking about the skills you need to develop to transfer over to a Global Health career, think about which skills are in high demand by the Global Health employers that you’re targeting. For instance, do they often post positions in hopes of getting social media help? Research skills? By thinking about this, you can increase your odds of developing transferable skills that your target employers are looking for.

3. Elevator Pitch

An important step to take when looking to get started in Global Health is being able to sell yourself and your skill-sets through a 30- to 60-second elevator pitch.

This elevator pitch can be used in job interviews and when you’re meeting potential employers for the first time at a networking event. It’s a great opportunity to demonstrate what experiences you’ve had, which you can apply to a new Global Health opportunity. Your pitch should include a brief introduction about who you are, your skills, and your career goals.

4. Use your connections

Network, network, network! Establishing new connections and following up with them is one of the most effective ways to get a seat in a job interview.

Have you recently attended a Global Health event and met someone in a specific line of work, like food security, that you were interested in? Does your friend’s uncle work for a Global Health organization that has an open volunteer position? Use your connections and stay in touch!

By reaching out to individuals within your network, and selling them with an effective elevator pitch, that personal connection can be leveraged to open more potential career prospects for you, both now and in the future.

Do you not have many Global Health connections currently? That’s okay! Attend networking events regularly to slowly build up this skill.


February 26, 2019


Sarah Grace Bebenek