Sports Management LabWestern Health Sciences

Erica Barbazza, BHSc '11

Erica Barbazza

After earning her BHSc, and completing a master's degree in England, Erica has landed a role with the World Health Organization.

Western Degree: BHSc '11, Honors Specialization in Health Sciences, Minor in Globalization

Other Degrees: MSc '12, London School of Economics, International Health Policy

Current Position: Technical Officer, Health Services Delivery Programme, World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe

Why I chose Western Health Sciences: While certain the field of health was the area of study I wanted to focus on in my academics, it was less clear when I first started my undergraduate degree what form this would take in my career. Western Health Sciences gave the unique opportunity to take courses from a range of disciplines as well as the flexibility to satisfy all my interests. I wholeheartedly credit the multidisciplinary study of health offered by Western Health Sciences as the reason I was able to discover my passion for policy and international health.

How my Western Experience prepared me for the next steps in my career: Graduating from Western I had a well-rounded undergraduate experience that prepared me for my graduate studies as well as life beyond the classroom. The diversity of courses ensured I had developed both qualitative and quantitative research skills in addition to a proficiency in writing that has proven to be an invaluable skill that I call on in my daily work. Studying in the dynamic and engaged community of Western, my student experience was constantly enriched by my peers outside of the classroom and it is these opportunities that ensured my communication skills, time management, and ability to work as a team member developed throughout my years as a student.

Football game

At Western, school spirit shows itself in the form of the colour purple. Erica counts that as one of her favourite things about Western.

What I find most satisfying about your career choice: I feel so privileged to have found a career path that has allowed the opportunity to consultant with Ministries of Health internationally and support their efforts towards the common goal of improved population health outcomes. The potential scale of impact is a continuous source of motivation to take on the technical challenges faced along the way.

My favourite Western memory: Seeing the colour purple everywhere and anywhere which really was a symbol of the school pride and ownership held by the students that made for such a contagious excitement and positive atmosphere.

Best thing about being a student at Western: That the Western community is truly global and has meant friendships wherever I find myself in the world.

My advice to future Western students: The field of health is dynamic and continuously changing. Be curious about these changes and let the flexibility of a Western Health Sciences degree take you wherever it is you need to be – because I can say without a doubt, it can get you anywhere.