Public Health Student Lands Competitive Internship
Haverhill, MA (January 9, 2023)– Northern Essex Community College Public Health student Erin Archambault just turned 24, but she’s already spent years working in health care. The Haverhill native was trained as a Certified Nurse Assistant while attending Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School and started working in a nursing home at the age of 17. After high school, she studied biology at UMass Boston and UMass Lowell. While she liked both schools, something wasn’t clicking. “I wasn’t feeling campus life, and I didn’t like commuting. So, I took a break during the beginning of the pandemic,” remembers Archambault.
In the fall of 2021, Archambault decided she was ready to give college another try and enrolled as a General Studies: Health Specialization major at NECC. It was then, she says, that everything finally started to click. “I had been thinking about it for a while. Seeing the pandemic and the role that public health had in educating people and making sure that the correct information was out in the community. I realized I wanted to do public health.”
Archambault hit her stride quickly, and with a 3.9 GPA, her professors urged her to apply for a competitive internship with The Academic Public Health Corps (APHC). “Luckily, I had updated my resume in a course I took, so I was good to go,” says Archambault. After a lengthy application and an interview, Archambault was among the group of students from the state’s top public health schools selected to take part in the spring cohort.
The Academic Public Health Corps was created during the pandemic to support local COVID-19 efforts. The group enlisted students to help with contact tracing, health communications, health equity efforts, data analysis, and more. In 2021, the program was awarded a three-year grant to continue this work. Student interns complete 160 hours of work on assigned public health projects, learn about local public health in Massachusetts, build their resumes and real-world experience, and are paid a $2,400 stipend.
“I’m very open to where this might take me- I’m very interested in patient advocating,” says Archambault of the opportunity. “It’s very important to help patients know their rights. It comes naturally to advocate for people.” She will complete her internship this spring while working as a pharmacy technician and continuing her coursework at NECC. She’s on track to graduate in December of this year and looks forward to starting her career in public health.
About Health Care Careers at NECC
A third of the students at Northern Essex are enrolled in one of the college’s 22 associate degree and certificate programs in high-demand health care fields, ranging from nursing to respiratory care to sleep technology. Most programs are located at the El-Hefni Allied Health & Technology Center on Common St in Lawrence. The 44,000-square-foot facility features a Health Education Simulation Center, where health care students receive hands-on experience in simulated environments such as a hospital intensive care unit, a trauma room, an acute care hospital room, an apartment, an ambulance, and a doctor’s office. For more information, visit the website or contact interim Dean of Health Services Kathy Hudson to learn more.