On Wednesday, March 13th I got a call from the CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship Program’s Fellowship Administrator. The week before I had learned that my classmates who also applied had received emails that their applications had not made it through to the next round. I had been feverishly awaiting my own judgement and knew that I hadn’t received any notification yet; was I still being considered or had they already decided and I never got the email saying yes or no? Or even worse, had my application been lost entirely and never considered? After making inquiries via email and telephone, I got the call I had been waiting for. They wanted to know if I was still interested in the fellowship!
The next day my flight was booked and on March 25th I touched down in Atlanta. I hadn’t gotten much sleep at all the night before, and with 8 hours until my interview I was settling down for a nap in one of the terminals when I got a phone call. Flights up North and out West were being delayed from the bad snowstorm, so would I consider switching my time for an earlier slot so a delayed candidate could be seen later? I was happy to oblige, and after a short metro and taxi ride I was ready for my interview.
It was conducted by a panel of five epidemiologists, including the Director of the CSTE and a member of the CDC’s Maternal and Child Health division. Everyone was very kind, and after answering their questions and discussing my top host site choices in infectious disease I had the chance to ask my own questions and learn more about the program. Let me tell you, this fellowship program is incredible! I want an experience that will give me real world skills, an environment where I can take what I learned in school and apply it in a community, and an enthusiastic mentor who will guide me. This program has it all, and the success of their fellows after the two years are over speaks for itself.
I will be hearing from them soon to know if I have been accepted, and I hope my next update will be a good one!