Welcome to the Wonderful Life of Graduate School

(AKA my attempts to survive graduate school and come out with some prospect at a decent job, at least halfway sane, and hopefully without knocking too many years off my life from lack of sleep)


I am now in my third week of school as a Master of Public Health student in Health Management and Policy (HMP) at the University of Michigan. I feel like I can truly call myself a Wolverine now, though I have yet to attend a football game (a rite of passage, I’ve been assured, by all Michiganders). While my football game attendance record still leaves something to be desired, my immersion in all other Michigan grad school factors have exceeded expectations. If I could describe my last two weeks and what I expect the next two years to be in three words, they would be homework, networking, and friends.

3 Weeks in 3 Words

First, homework. Sum it up to say that if I spent every waking hour doing the assigned policy class and health systems class readings, biostatistics problems, financial accounting assignments, and microeconomics worksheets, I would still not be able to finish everything. Nonetheless, I’ve adjusted to speed reading, homework collaboration with peers, and simply letting go of what can’t be finished (okay, maybe I’m still working on the last one).

Second, networking. They call it the “Michigan Mafia” for a reason and they push it like nobody’s business. I am definitely grateful, but there are only so many coffee chats, brunch roundtables, and professional cocktail hours one can attend. I’m still learning how to maneuver those environments and finding which ones are relevant to me. It’s a steep learning curve to say the least.

Third, friends. The HMP Class of 2018 is essentially a 70-person freshly-adopted family (where professors are the parents and we are their kids). We are all orphans from random places across the US and globe, we know we are going to be spending a ton of time together and will be going through the same struggles/successes, and we know we’re with each other on this next two year ride (whether we like it or not). Luckily, it seems like everyone likes it! My cohort is made up of extremely kind and open individuals and I have no doubt we will be a tight-knit family by the end of the semester.

That’s it for now! Class is about to start and I don’t think my professor cares as much about this blog as the social determinants of health.

Until next time,

Amanda Gabriela

Michigan School of Public Health


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