Written by Vanessa Ramirez

Vanessa Ramirez

As we prepare to introduce the winter season, I like to use this time to reflect on what I’ve learned and how I’ve been able to grow. Although work for many individuals, including myself, changed, I’m alright with it. The reality is that I’m being exposed to a variety of the work that the initiatives do at the Alliance. Although COVID-19 has changed daily operations that the Alliance and past HealthCorps members have experienced, this did not change the experience that I have experienced so far. So far, everyone at the Alliance has worked hard to ensure that I have a meaningful year of service.

This month has been exciting; it’s been filled with zoom meetings with partners, initiatives, team check-ins, research, writing, feedback, brainstorming sessions and improvement sessions. My highlight of November is developing a new skill: grant work. So far I have been able to read, revise and provide feedback on grant proposals. Before coming to the Alliance, my only experience was in evaluation after receiving funding, so it’s been interesting to learn more about the application process and all the moving parts needed to successfully apply.

Along with gaining experience with grants, I’ve also been able to improve my social media skills. Working on social media posts for two initiatives has been interesting. A platform is very important, but it’s how you use it that matters. There is a lot to keep in mind when running public health social media accounts, which is a contrast to how many of us use our personal accounts. My process is simple: I listen to what the project managers want to communicate and then I think how I can present information while ensuring it’s relevant and not overwhelming to social media users. What’s been helpful is receiving feedback from the communications team and project managers each month, because collaboration is a useful skill in a professional environment.