CBSelfie with Jesse Abelson

April 26, 2016
This CBS undergraduate is globetrotting to take on health issues all over the world. 
Jesse Abelson

Your name: Jesse Abelson

Your year: Junior

Your major(s): Biology and Nutrition

You studied abroad in Tanzania and now are studying in New Zealand. What made you want to study in these countries?
I really wanted to study in Tanzania because I am very interested in global health and I wanted to learn first-hand how healthcare systems work in a developing country such as Tanzania. As for studying abroad in New Zealand, I have always wanted to travel there and I found a couple interesting courses at the University of Auckland. With the flexibility of CBS, I was able to get these courses approved for credit and now I can check something off my bucket list while still at the University.

What is greatest lesson you learned about yourself while studying abroad?
I think one of the biggest lessons I have learned is what truly makes me happy and what is truly important to me; things like family, friends, and even something as simple as talking to someone face-to-face. It made me appreciate what I have and remember not taking things for granted as we so often do in our society.

Where is the next place you want to travel and why there?
Once I get back from New Zealand I am traveling to Haiti for two weeks to work as an EMT in a hospital. I do that twice a year and it’s an incredible experience. After that, I would like to travel more around Central and South America, and learn about different health-care systems and organizations working in those areas.

What are your career aspirations? What is intriguing to you about that area?
I am planning on pursuing a career in global health. I am planning to apply to (and hopefully attend) medical school. I would like to get my M.D. as well as either an MPH or an MBA in social entrepreneurship. After I complete that, I would like to work for Doctors Without Borders or a similar organization. Once I have done that I would like to either work for or start my own NGO dealing with global health and poverty.

If you had to offer a piece of advice to your first-year self in CBS, what would it be?
I’d tell myself to study hard and start off your first year well in terms of grades because it’s incredibly difficult to get your grades up if you mess up the first year. I’d tell myself to go to my professors’ office hours and use the SMART Learning Commons at Walter Library. Both are great resources if you don’t understand a homework problem or are having difficulty grasping a concept … and they’re both free!