School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Student Profile

Alexander Cardenas
Master of Public Health / Master of Health Management (Dual Degree)
Mode of study : 
Face-to-face, full-time
Country : 
Previous Education : 
Bachelor of Arts - Charles Sturt University

On choosing a dual masters degree and UNSW

I decided to undertake postgraduate study to further my own career development within health. My interest in domestic heath planning, policy, and management, meant that the dual MPH/MHM degree was the most appropriate for me. I decided on UNSW because of its strong reputation for healthcare qualifications and the flexibility they offer for distance education.

The most important thing I have learned in my studies is to view the health system holistically. As a health care professional it is easy to become task focused and forget about the wider health system needs. During my studies I gained a far greater understanding of the health system and the role the ASNSW plays within it. I have noticed a tangible change in my practice as both a Paramedic and now Education Manager as a result of my further training.

The most challenging thing about my studies was finding the time and energy to complete them (although it was well worth it!).

Benefits of studying with a diverse student community

The thing I have enjoyed most was the opportunity to work with health professionals from diverse fields. The workshops and tutorials allowed me to work with people from varied disciplines such a Medicine, Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Services, from all over the world. The group work within the course offered not only a great social and networking opportunity but gave me a unique insight to other areas of health.

My message to newly commencing students is to find what you are passionate about within health and tailor your studies to it. It is tempting to study only what you think employers would like, however I found the most enjoyment and satisfaction came when I picked courses that were interesting and applicable to my practice.

On my career direction

After completing my MPH I was offered a senior role within education which has been further supported by my MHM. Over the next 5 years I hope to complete my PhD and then move into senior roles within Ambulance Research and Clinical Governance.