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Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders in the Field of Public Health

University of California, Berkeley Public Health graduate Jennifer Castillo talks about how an MPH degree with a concentration in health policy and management helped her develop a high-level understanding of the competitive forces influencing healthcare, and where her degree will take her next.

Jennifer Castillo

Graduate, University of California, Berkeley Public Health

What was important to you when choosing an online school or degree program?

Flexibility was an important factor for me as I went through the process of choosing and applying for online programs. I completed my MPH at UC Berkeley while working full-time, so it was essential to be in a program geared toward working professionals. 

What is one fascinating tidbit about the healthcare industry you learned during your studies at Berkeley Public Health?

In the “Strategic Management and the Health Sector” course, we learned about Porter’s 5 Forces Model, which is a way of looking at any industry and understanding the drivers of profitability and competition, both internal and external. When listening to leadership updates during my organization’s “Town Halls,” Porter’s 5 Forces came to mind as our leaders shared industry updates, forecasts, and insights.

Do you have a favorite memory about how this program shaped you professionally?

The online MPH program continues to shape me professionally every day, especially because you can tie so many problems we face back to public health addressing disparities, and understanding social determinants of health. 

Where do you hope to be in five years?

Since graduating from Berkeley Public Health in 2019, I was promoted and am currently a consultant at Kaiser Permanente. My role entails working closely with employer groups to support a culture of health and well-being for employees by looking at workplace policies, environment, and engagement opportunities to drive behavior change. 

In five years, I hope to achieve a senior consultant role within my organization but am also open to exploring other roles closely tied to healthcare administration that will allow me to have greater strategic influence as we seek to improve the health of vulnerable populations in our communities.

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