Camila González graduated from the ISGlobal – University of Barcelona Master of Global Health in 2014. After the Master, she started her PhD on Global Public Health at the Lisbon Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. After a few years developing her PhD fieldwork in Papua New Guinea with ISGlobal, she now has a sound expertise in the management of yaws and other skin neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Camila is also one of the founders of the Global Health Next Generation Network.
What were the highlights of your studies at ISGlobal?
I think one of the best things of the Master of Global Health is the range of different modules you can select; on one hand this attracts global health professionals from numerous backgrounds, which enriches the student experience in the best of ways; and on the other hand it allows you to explore a wide range of career options you'll find out there.
Another great thing about the ISGlobal educational programmes is the conventions the center has with so many other research groups and educational institutions across the globe. This facilitates collaborations between programmes and you get to meet professors and professionals from so many institutions.
How has your career developed since you graduated?
After my masters I was immediately accepted in a Global Public Health PhD programme at the Lisbon Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, from where I did all my PhD fieldwork with my the ISGlobal yaws team in Papua New Guinea. In the field, I acted as Project Manager, and after finishing my PhD I started working officially with ISGlobal as postdoctoral researcher in Papua New Guinea.
How important is it to develop a strong professional network?
Following a career in global health is not like studying a more traditional discipline. It is a broad and complex arena, and thus there is a niche for everyone; each background mixed with different work experiences leads to a very particular set of skills that are needed somewhere- the difficult part is to find that niche, so I think that building a network is very important in order to find your place.
"Following a career in global health is not like studying a more traditional discipline; it is a broad and complex arena"
What drives your passion for global health?
I always knew I wanted to work in something with a humanitarian component and my intention was to work in international cooperation, but I was immediately drawn by the challenges of scientific research during my master. Luckily, I found my place doing research in remote areas where I can somehow get a taste of both aspects.
"Luckily, I found my place doing research in remote areas where I can somehow get a taste of international cooperation and scientific research"
What are your plans or goals for the future?
I don't discard joining an NGO and working in cooperation development. Although I would also love to follow the academic path and maybe become a professor some day!