Connor Chen

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Portrait of Connor Chen

Connor Chen

Internship course
Public health, BS
Intern site name
University of Pittsburgh’s Public Health Undergraduate Scholars Program

Where did you complete your internship for your public health degree? 

For my internship I participated in the University of Pittsburgh’s Public Health Undergraduate Scholars Program (PHUSP), which is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How would you describe your internship experience? 

My internship experience was wonderful. For my specific internship within the PHUSP program, I was placed at the university’s Vaccination and Health Connection Hub and worked under public health fellows on research projects related to STIs and STI stigma. At the end of my internship, I was able to present my work at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

What was a typical day at your internship like? 

A typical day for me included compiling my literature review as well as conducting interviews with health professors and experts within the University of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Allegheny County Health Department.  

In the evening, I would meet with my internship partner to organize our research notes and work on our research posters. 

What were the highlights of your public health internship? What did you enjoy the most? What was most challenging about the internship experience? 

A major highlight of my internship was going to Atlanta and attend the Lewis/Ferguson Scholars research conference. It was at this conference that I not only was able to present my work to other peers and CDC staff, but I also found my career goal in becoming an officer for the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). 

What I enjoyed most from this internship was that it gave me the opportunity to spend two months living on the east coast in Pittsburgh. The program paid for my flights, housing and even provided me with a living stipend. This not only allowed me to live comfortably during my internship but also do fun activities around Pittsburgh, such as going to my first MLB game! 

Since my internship started during week 10 of spring term, the most challenging part of my internship was having to juggle both my internship duties and my spring term finals at the same time. 

What advice do you have for other students who are getting ready to do an internship? 

I would say that students should be prepared to network, especially if they aren’t used to it already.  

Prior to this internship, I had never used LinkedIn and it became clear that I was far behind many of my peers when it came to creating professional connections. It’s an amazing resource to stay in touch with your mentors and other important people throughout your internship experience, so I would recommend keeping your LinkedIn up to date!