Hanne Haavik - Master's Student in Public Health

Student Interview

Hanne Haavik - Master's Student in Public Health

Hanne Haavik was admitted to the MSc in Public Health in 2015. We have talked to her about why she chose this programme of study, her experience as a master's student at NTNU and her future plans.

Hanne Haavik by the famous "Flower Clock" in Geneva, where she did an internship with World Health Organization

I chose this master's programme because I wanted to extend my background in public health in order to be able to do more 'global good', also knowing that NTNU is one of the leading universities in Norway.

I saw this programme as a good opportunity for mixing my interests - traveling and exploring new cultures - with my existing knowledge and desire to learn more about important global health issues.

As a bonus, I have always been told that Trondheim has the best study environment in Norway, so I wanted to test that theory as well. The rumours were true.

What I like most about the programme is, first, the incredibly rich environment and discussions you get by being part of such a diverse class with students coming from all over the world, and second, having extremely knowledgeable lecturers making classes and topics exciting. 

Being part of NTNU and the campus at St. Olav's University Hospital makes for a great study environment. You always find a place to sit down with your work and there are enough rooms ready to be booked for discussion groups, and rest assured, there are many food options close by. 

Published Research

Together with fellow students from the MSc in Public Health, Hanne Haavik already has published an article in PLOS Currents: Disasters about the Ad hoc grassroots organizations providing humanitarian aid on Lesvos, Greece. She tells us that they wanted to explore the role these new organizations play in the refugee crisis, and by doing so next to studying, she gained valuable insight in how to conduct research. 

Capacity Building for Midwives

My current master project is about quality control in capacity building programs training midwives in low and middle-income countries. Yes, we need more skilled birth attendants in order to save mothers everywhere, but how does one assure the quality of their education and training?

My aim is to discover current gaps and understand future opportunities for improvement of these capacity building programs to improve future aid and reducing the global maternal mortality rate. I am of course biased when I say it is a very interesting and important topic. 

Internship at WHO

Being involved with this master in Public Health - specializing in Global Health has surely showed me a glimpse of the future possibilities that exists in an international setting. For instance, I am now spending time working on my thesis in Boston, USA, - the hub for research. Here I get to build my own network and meet amazing people - both students and leading professors in their field.

Additionally, I spent this summer doing a valuable internship with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. I had no idea that any of this was a possibility before starting this master programme. It sure has been a game changer for me and has made me ambitious. I believe one can do a lot of good with a degree in global health. 

Future Plans

My plans after graduation? I guess time will show. If an opportunity presents itself, I would love to gain more experience, develop my skills and work with people I can really learn from by working in an organization focused on global health issues like for example capacity building related to maternal health.

Field experience is sought after if wanting a career in global health, so it would be invaluable to work on interesting projects sending me to the field where I would learn even more. I also want to do a PhD in the future.

What I do know is that this master programme surely has opened many doors for me, and will do the same for anyone looking to pursue an international career in global health. 

You can find Hanne Haavik on LinkedIn and Twitter.

21 Dec 2016