Jack (Dorjjantsan) Ganbaatar

When did you do your MPH course?

I started my MPH journey in the second semester of 2019 and I have not finished, as I still have one more semester to go.

Which Stream did you do?

I chose social science-related topics during my course due to my background and working experience. I am a queer rights activist in Mongolia and worked for the first and only LGBTQI human rights organisation for five years in charge of a health program. My interest in public health is LGBTQI health, social determinants of health, and health inequality.

What value did you get out of the Stream?  

My course has helped me to expand my horizons and develop my skills in social determinants of health, showing how social status and identity could create huge disparities resulting in inequality and inequity in health among communities. Moreover, I have gained valuable knowledge around intersectionality that may have a great influence on my future work. I also found a new interest in qualitative research and I may want my career to go in that direction. Academic research, particularly qualitative research has lots of potential for minority health issues and it is one of the efficient ways for me to keep my activism for the LGBTQ community going forward in Mongolia by providing sufficient evidence.

How has the course helped you in your career?

The MPH course has definitely helped me to think more critically and respond more efficiently to issues based on scientific evidence in an academic manner. Therefore, this course has given me a more reliable and confident voice and may contribute to my career as a young activist and health professional.

What advice would you give to potential students?

This course is a chance for you to decide which way you want to go in the future and realise your passion through a stream that you want to specialise in, particularly for young people who are doing this course. Be smart to choose your electives and have fun with it. Simultaneously, take good care of your physical and emotional well being. As an international student living alone far from my comfort zone and everyone that I love, I found this experience is not an easy one. Being a good student is a priority but do not forget that you are also a parent, a child, a friend, and a lover who deserves to enjoy life and have fun.

What is the best part of the MPH course?

The best part of my MPH course was access to limitless resources and amazing support. Compared to many parts of the world including where I am from, this is not the case. It is good to feel that I am supported and that I can seek help regarding anything that I have difficulties with.

Jack Ganbaatar
November 2020