I AM FPHLP 2015: Tam Ngo

Tam NgoTam Ngo was part of the 2015 FPHLP cohort. She attended San Jose State University for undergrad, majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Community Change and a minor in Health Science & History. While participating in the FPHLP, she worked as an Outreach Intern at Genesee County Health Department in Flint, MI. Initially, this was a challenge for Tam, who had never been in a nine-to-five position before. She says, “With a full-time position, every day is not necessarily planned…I think this was challenging in that it was difficult to transition from a [structured] school perspective.” Tam was eventually able to adjust and gain valuable experience that she applies to her current work.  

Thinking back to when she first learned about the FPHLP, Tam remembers being interested in many aspects of the program. She recalls, “The prestigious reputation of program funded by the CDC, the hands on experience in the public health field, the networking and connections, the fact that I would get a stipend, paid travel, and lodging, it seemed too good to be true.Tam & Group All of that and more enticed me to apply.” And while these opportunities and perks of the program were happily received, Tam describes the friendships and time spent with her cohort outside of curriculum and field placement days as the highlights of her experience.

Tam NgoAfter the program ended, Tam took some time to travel to South Korea and Vietnam. When she returned, she accepted a position as a Programs and Facilities Administrator for Stanford University’s Bio-X program. She has a personal goal to attend graduate school for public health in the next five years. She explains, “Being in FPHLP solidified my passion for public health…I plan to gain work experience to continue to explore which path of public health I want to pursue.”

When asked what advice she would give to someone unsure about the FPHLP, Tam described her own experience, having applied multiple times. “Even if you apply and do not get in,” she says, “be persistent and look on the FPHLP blog to see what past cohort participants have done, and take a year to work on your volunteer or work experience to build a better application! The FPHLP experience is worth it!”