Fayja Habib, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree this month, has made the most of her GSU experience with involvement in several student organizations and an internship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Name: Fayja Habib
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Why did you choose to major in public health?
I chose to major in public health because I am greatly interested in improving the health of populations through preventive measures. I am particularly interested in how and why our environment and behaviors shape our health and what steps I can take to improve those factors, whether it be through statistical research, health policy development or program implementation.
What has been your favorite public health class at Georgia State, and why?My favorite public health class at Georgia State is “Public Health Careers and Professions.” I enjoyed learning from guest speakers of various public health backgrounds and being exposed to the numerous career possibilities that this field has to offer. This course also helped me to better understand my own career aspirations.
Tell us about your campus involvement?
I’m currently in the SPH Research and Publication Club with Dr. Armstrong-Mensah, where my colleagues and I are in the process of publishing research on COVID-19 Stressors on Maternal Mental Health in Georgia. I am also on the planning committee for the SPH MeTa Series, a biannual “Meet and Talk” social mixer for public health students, faculty, staff and alumni. I was the previous event coordinator for the Undergraduate Public Health Club, where I organized events relating to various public health topics. As the event coordinator, I also collaborated with community partners, including public health professionals and organizations, for volunteer events and informational sessions. I have also held leadership positions in Period Project, Muslim Student Association, and Bangladesh Student Association. Outside of campus, I have interned at the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, where I developed materials for a series of investigative simulations based on real-life disease outbreaks.
Where is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus is the balcony of the Law Library on the sixth floor. It’s the perfect place to study, with a great view of the city.
What advice do you have for incoming students?
My advice for incoming students is to stay on top of deadlines and get started on essays and projects as early as possible. Working last-minute will not only stress you out, but the quality of your work will also diminish. Another piece of advice is to join different clubs and organizations that you’re interested in to build lasting friendships. That way, you meet people with similar interests but also expose yourself to those who are pursuing different majors. Even if all your classes are online, participating in clubs and organizations is worth the effort, especially when there’s an opportunity to meet your online classmates in-person.
What’s your career aspiration?
I would love to work in a setting where I can design policies that improve our built environment, particularly urban design. I want to focus on how access to transportation, hospitals/clinics, food and housing affect population health among different socioeconomic groups. I also love working with numbers and conveying them into meaningful messages. I hope to pursue a career where I can translate data into summaries that indicate which communities and/or which determinants of health need to be investigated.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
Soon I’ll be starting an internship with the Georgia Senate to gain firsthand experience in how public health policies are developed and implemented, and to understand the intersection of health initiatives with legislative processes. I am also applying for grad school programs so that I can start in Fall 2024. God-willing.