By Juthamanee Areeya
"The experience at SEAOHUN has been truly transformative, shaping my personal and professional growth. I feel privileged to have worked with such a passionate and dynamic team, and I am immensely proud of the contributions I made to SEAOHUN regional student activities. This internship has reaffirmed my passion for One Health and instilled in me a sense of purpose to make a positive impact in the field of global health." – Gerard Jack Nidhan, SEAOHUN 2023 Internship from NUS
SEAOHUN, in partnership with the National University of Singapore (NUS), proudly hosted an internship opportunity for undergraduate students from NUS. This program allowed them to explore One Health perspectives while immersing themselves in diverse cultures over a three -month period from May to July 2023. Recently, I had a good time sitting down with Gerard Jack Nidhan, who prefers to be called Jack, to delve into his enriching internship experience with SEAOHUN.
Jack is an ambitious NUS undergraduate majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Public Health. He pursued an internship with SEAOHUN to delve into global health and environmental sustainability, particularly in the context of One Health, a subject he had limited exposure to before. Beside academics, Jack is an avid sportsman, currently, passionate about Muay Thai, and has a strong love for nature, evident in his volunteer work with Singapore’s National Parks Board (NParks), contributing to conservation initiatives.
"SSHSPH is grateful for the internship collaboration with SEAOHUN in providing meaningful learning opportunities in the area of One Health for our undergraduate public health students. We look forward to a continued collaboration with Dr Vipat Kuruchittham and his team." - Dr. Cecilia Teng, Internship module coordinator, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
Q: What motivated you to apply for this internship with SEAOHUN?
A: Before this internship, I had limited exposure to One Health. I was eager to explore global health and sustainability, and SEAOHUN's dedication to collaboration intrigued me. This was a chance to expand my horizons, gain insights into One Health, and contribute to meaningful initiatives.
Q: What were your most memorable moments during the internship?
A: During my internship at SEAOHUN, there were numerous memorable moments, but the most impactful one was the mentor rotation experience. This unique opportunity allowed me to be mentored by colleagues specializing in different aspects of One Health, each with diverse skill sets. Their valuable insights and perspectives enriched my understanding of One Health holistically, going beyond my initial focus. The experience encouraged me to ask questions, seek guidance, and actively engage in discussions, fostering a strong sense of belonging within the team. It highlighted the importance of building professional relationships and seeking mentorship for continuous learning and personal growth.
Q: How was the dynamic team at SEAOHUN? Did you collaborate often?
A: The team at SEAOHUN was incredibly dynamic, fostering a collaborative and passionate environment around One Health. Whether it was my immediate team members or international colleagues, everyone was approachable and eager to share their knowledge and expertise. Despite being an intern with limited experience, I felt valued, and my opinions were genuinely appreciated and considered. The team actively integrated my input into their projects, which was a gratifying experience. Throughout my internship, I had numerous opportunities to collaborate with various team members on different projects. These collaborations not only enhanced my teamwork skills but also exposed me to diverse perspectives and problem-solving approaches. The supportive and inclusive atmosphere at SEAOHUN allowed me to contribute meaningfully to the team's endeavors and significantly enriched my internship journey.
Q: Can you share a specific project that you are proud of?
A: One specific achievement that I take considerable pride in is my involvement in the initial preparatory work for the SEAOHUN Regional Student Competition 2023. During this project, I took on the responsibility of drafting the concept note, planning the announcement posts, and designing the certificate. Crafting the concept note allowed me to showcase my research and writing skills while ensuring clarity and coherence in conveying the competition's objectives and requirements. Planning the announcement posts gave me a chance to exercise my creativity in effectively communicating essential information to the participants and the public, boosting engagement and awareness.
“SEAOHUN’s Internship offers a unique chance to learn from our dynamic team engaged in regional One Health capacity building programs in Southeast Asia. It is also a great opportunity to gain experience from a multicultural environment and collaborating with diverse partners and stakeholders from multiple countries.” - Dr. Aye Chan Oo, SEAOHUN Internship's Co-supervisor
Q: How did this internship contribute to your personal and professional growth?
A: This internship at SEAOHUN has been transformative for me. Personally, it boosted my confidence in expressing ideas and effective communication within a team. Professionally, I honed project management, content creation, and graphic design skills. Working in a diverse environment broadened my perspective on global health, strengthening my passion for One Health. This internship profoundly impacted my study aspirations and future goals. It solidified my commitment to One Health and inspired me to focus on infectious and zoonotic disease research. I'm now dedicated to promoting One Health principles in my future academic and professional pursuits.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: I want to emphasize the significance of adopting a One Health approach to tackle the intricate health issues we face today. Recognizing the interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health calls for collaborative and creative solutions. I urge each of you to seek out opportunities to contribute to the field of One Health and become advocates for positive transformation in our communities and the world at large. Together, we can create a healthier and sustainable future for all beings.