I AM FPHLP 2018: Manuma'a Finau

Manuma'a Finau

Manuma'a Finau was part of the 2018 FPHLP cohort. She is a recent graduate from San Diego State University, where she majored in Interdisciplinary Studies in Three Departments (Public Health, Psychology, and Counseling). This summer, Manuma'a interned at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) in Ann Arbor, MI.

After hearing about FPHLP from a mentor, Manuma'a knew the program could benefit her in figuring out what her next step would be after graduation. She knew it would help her learn and experience what Public Health has to offer. For Manuma'a, the first highlight that comes to her mind when she thinks back to FPHLP is the sense of community and family that her cohort had. She says she truly enjoyed meeting and getting to know each and every person. She not only networked with them, but gained 43 new long lasting friends. Another FPHLP highlight for Manuma'a was going to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) and having the opportunity to present her poster about the work she did during the program.

During FPHLP, the greatest challenge for Manuma'a was speaking up and not feeling nervous at her field placement. She had no prior work experience in a professional environment and had to adjust. She says she learned that her quietness is a part of who she is and that she does not need to necessarily change that quality about herself. This experience allowed her to realize that she had more to offer than she had originally thought and that she can use those assets to her advantage wherever she may go.

Since her departure from FPHLP, Manuma'a has been missing Michigan and FPHLP but has been searching for fellowship, internships, and job opportunities. In addition, she is working on graduate school applications. In the near future, she hopes to get a Master's degree and then to continue to get a Doctorate in Public Health. She says her future plans are not definitive as of right now, but her goal is to learn more and more about Public Health to help her community. Manuma'a advises individuals to apply to FPHLP because this program will change you personally and professionally. "If you haven't been to Michigan or the University of Michigan, you are in for a treat. Don't be afraid of being afraid."