Julie Grubaugh, MPH, CHES manages the University of Tennessee field practice experience for Master of Public Health candidates. Nearly half of all students receive paid internships, more than 30% are direct hires upon graduation and most others receive job offers from contacts or skills developed during their internships.
To make this happen, Julie established an annual two-part training called “Getting the Job You Want” to connect MPH students with potential employers and alumni of the program; and she set up a private LinkedIn Group comprised of more than a hundred MPH program alumni where students can “connect” with potential mentors and employers.
Julie also connects students with networking, skill, and resume building experiences at Knox County Health Department (KCHD), where she manages all student experiences as part of UT’s Academic Health Department (AHD). The health department has hired five UT MPH graduates since the AHD began in 2011.
So Julie is a connector. Even before her career in Public Health, she once spent a summer on a farm in Spain so she could learn Spanish and connect with Spanish-speaking peoples. In high school, because of an experience competing on her school’s Rock Climbing team against a team from the Tennessee School for the Deaf, she began to study American Sign Language so she could connect with this entirely new group of people. She pursued these studies in her undergraduate program and graduated to work as a nationally certified sign language interpreter for the University of Tennessee.
Julie’s co-workers at Knox County Health Department voted her the team member with the most “Pep,” like a Winnie-the-Pooh’s Tigger (“…cheerful, outgoing, competitive in a friendly way, with complete confidence in herself and others.”) She volunteers teaching yoga to co-workers during her lunch hour each week.
And she is adventurous. For one summer experience during her undergraduate program, she flew to Vancouver, British Columbia on a student work visa with no job, and no place to stay. By the end of the first day, she found an eight-bedroom house with seven international people looking for a roommate; and she was hired on for two part time jobs to make up a forty-hour week. She attributes some of her self-confidence to early childhood experiences in martial arts. Her current adventures include competing in triathlons and raising her two young children.