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Public Health Epidemiology Conversations Podcast


Episode #115 Interview with Vanessa Chilombo Da Costa, MPH, Global Epidemiologist and Entrepreneur

About Vanessa Chilombo Da Costa

Vanessa Chilombo Da Costa is a Global Health Epidemiology Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in South Africa. She is also the founder of Chilombo Global Career Services, providing resume reviews and other related career services to recent public health graduates.

She works with the Quality Improvement Branch to oversee the data management processes and monitor and evaluate PEPFAR, South Africa’s granular site-level management program.

Prior to this position, Vanessa worked in the Department of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, and at the Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group where she coordinated, designed and implemented a Postpartum Research Project and intervention in Rwanda, and also supported their research in Zambia.

She also worked at the Georgia Emerging Infections Program in Atlanta, where she conducted active surveillance on food-borne illnesses, influenza, and healthcare-associated infections.

Vanessa served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda, where she worked at a local health center to develop programs in HIV/AIDS, malaria, literacy, and youth development. Prior to the Peace Corps, Vanessa worked on projects based in the U.S. as a Research Assistant in numerous organizations across different public health domains.

Vanessa has an MPH in Global Epidemiology from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and a BS in Psychology with a minor in African Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Her global health interests are in HIV/AIDS, family planning, reproductive health, mental health, and digital/mobile health.

Vanessa is passionate about empowering her fellow Africans in public health. In fact, she will discuss her entrepreneurial ventures that target this public health passion.

Listen to the episode now:

Vanessa’s advice to public health students

  • Seek practical experience

  • Set weekly/monthly goals to gain a new skill

  • Seek creative ways to network

Vanessa’s career advice to graduates

  • Be creative in how you search for jobs

  • Research your interests and people in your field of interest

  • Hone in on a specific skill, and master it

  • Keep track of where you apply for jobs and who you talk to

Connect with Vanessa

Instagram: @ChilomboCareers

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