Jose Cerezo Cerezo graduated from the ISGlobal – University of Barcelona Master of Global Health in 2017. He is currently working for the World Health Organitzation (WHO) Barcelona Office for Health systems strengthening as health policy analyst. He focuses on supporting countries to move towards universal health coverage by strengthening their health systems response to noncommunicable diseases and by changing their health financing arrangements to ensure a better financial risk protection, particularly for the most vulnerable.
How did the ISGlobal Master complemented your career?
Joining the Master of Global Health was a great decision for transitioning from a more clinical-oriented to a health policy-oriented career. I studied pharmacy, which provided me with a very solid biomedicine and health sciences background. Although I enjoyed working as a community pharmacist, I was eager to know more about the global health challenges of our time, and to be part of the growing movement for sustainable development, including a better health for all. During the Master 's programme I got familiar these challenges as well as its possible solutions, always from a holistic and a multidisciplinary approach. The focus on student participation in every course boosted my communication skills and my self-confidence in delivering oral presentations. In addition, the different writing assignments were aimed at enhancing our out-of-the box thinking and writing skills, which are essential for my current job.
"Joining the Master of Global Health was a great decision for transitioning from a more clinical-oriented to a health policy-oriented career"
Were the relationships your formed at ISGlobal useful - in what way?
Yes, definitely. Being exposed to a large network of global health professionals embodies a great opportunity for any enthusiastic and hard-working student. In my case, some of the teachers that I knew during the master, kindly wrote me the cover letters for applying to my WHO internship, which was a life-changing opportunity for me. Additionally, as I proved to be a good performing and passionate student, some very interesting professional opportunities emerged from ISGLOBAL training staff. These include the chance of giving some lectures in a master programme at the University, or delivering a session on financial protection to the of students from the Associació d’Estudiants de Ciències de la Salut (AECS), as part of a Course on Universal Health Coverage, organized by ISGlobal.
What do you hope to further achieve in the field of global health in the future?
I'm committed to devote my career to improving people's health through effective evidence-informed policy interventions. I would love to keep providing technical assistance to countries in their path towards universal health coverage by being progressively more involved in country work. It is exciting and rewarding to put all my efforts to the achievement of some of the priorities included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I would also like to keep learning and growing to become a better professional.
What advice do you have for current students?
As master students you are exposed to a great network of global health professionals and institutions. You’ll receive lectures from workers from Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), WHO, Action Against Hunger, Oxfam, governmental institutions, academia and many other actors who play an essential role in the global health landscape. Don’t be afraid and take this as an opportunity for networking, showing your interests, asking for professional and career development advice, job opportunities, etc.
"Don’t be afraid and take this as an opportunity for networking, showing your interests, asking for professional and career development advice, job opportunities, etc."
Moreover, don’t forget to learn from your classmates. The group of students is always very diverse in terms of cultural and professional background and political beliefs. Don’t hesitate to engage in discussions with them inside and outside the classroom as it will force you to challenge your own views and cultural biases.
And finally, enjoy the experience! Having the opportunity to learn as much as possible of the topics that you are more passionate about, is a true privilege.