Microfinance to epidemiology – Why did you decide to pursue an internship with PeerCorps? – Luke LaCava

Having studied mathematics and finance at McGill University, I was interested using these skills in the area of international development.  Naturally, this led me to a job in microfinance.  I was given the opportunity to work for the Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) in South Africa, exposing me to the world of micro-credit.  Though I found the work to be stimulating and rewarding, my interests were being drawn towards healthcare.  Having asked myself the question:  What field combines healthcare and quantitative methods, while allowing for a possibility to operate internationally?  The answer I came up with was epidemiology and this led me to pursue an internship position with the PeerCorps Trust Fund.

My experience with the PeerCorps Trust Fund provided me with insight into how an epidemiological study is designed and run. As interns, we were given a lot of autonomy as to how we wanted to carry out the study.  The local project leader made sure that all methods were followed correctly to ensure accuracy and legitimacy in our research.  It was a perfect balance of individual responsibility and following direction from an epidemiologist. Not only did this experience confirm my desire to pursue epidemiology, but international medicine as well.

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