Name: Frank Molina
Class Year: 2014
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Major(s): Public Health Studies, Sociology, and Spanish
Current Job Title: Public Health Associate
Current Employer: Centers for Disease Control
Tell us a little about the path from graduation to your current job/career:
After graduating Hopkins I completed the CIIP for a second time as a Peer Mentor working with the Esperanza Center, a one-stop shop for immigrant services in Baltimore. With Esperanza Center i served as a healthcare coordinator as well as running their Annual Health Fair.
After that, I received the Baltimore Corps Fellowship, a nationwide fellowship seeking non-profit professionals to take on leadership roles in Baltimore Organizations. Through Baltimore Corps I was placed with Thread Inc. I worked as their High School Program Coordinator developing academic, life skills, team building, and workforce development programming for over 150 high school students. After Thread, I made a quick transition back to Hopkins in the Admissions Office where I worked with multicultural recruitment.
After my time with Hopkins, I returned to public health through working with the CDC. Currently I am working as a Public Health Associate in the California Department of Public Health working on evaluating how environmental health issues and policies adversely affect special populations in California.
Any internships/pre-professional experiences at JHU?
I completed the CIIP twice, once after my freshman year working with Higher Achievement Program where I taught 5th and 6th grade math and literature and provided high school entrance counseling and a second time with Esperanza Center proving healthcare coordination services to the immigrant population in Baltimore.
In my sophomore year I completed the Diversity Summer Internship Program (DSIP) with the Bloomberg School of Public Health. There I completed heart and autoimmune disease research. I remained active in the lab for my remaining time at Hopkins, which led to me completing a Senior Thesis in public health.
In what ways did your Hopkins education prepare you for your career?
My time at Hopkins taught me two very distinct things: the power of relationships and recognizing opportunity. Yes, Hopkins is a renowned institution filled with the world’s best and brightest studying fascinating and cutting edge topics, but I would not have gotten this far without the relationships that I developed during my four years at Hopkins. Hopkins is currently putting you into contact with leaders of their respective fields and encouraging you to develop you lasting professional and mentorship relationships with them. Through these relationships you re constantly being taught how to recognize and take advantage of opportunities that will propel you further into your career.
Any classes, faculty members, or involvements at JHU that helped to shape your career interest? How did they do so?
The best relationship that I had was with my public health studies advisor Dr. James Goodyear. From the moment that I declared my major he was constantly working with me to fully understand what exactly I wanted to get out of my degree in public health. He was there to strategize with me how I could add two additional majors and study abroad twice all while making sure that I had a clear direction in my studies. What Dr. Goodyear really taught me was that the only limitation to the any of the opportunities that Hopkins had to offer was my own capacity to take advantage of them.
Favorite Hopkins memory:
My favorite memory from Hopkins was the time that I was elected to address the incoming class of 2019 during their freshman orientation. I remember being asked to speak to my time at Hopkins and to encourage students to get involved andgive back to the city that Hopkins has called home for so long. It was a wonderful moment for me as I felt as though I was welcoming the next generation of students to continue the work that I and so many others have taken on to not only be a paft of Hopkins but to also be of the city.
What about being a Hopkins student do you miss the most?
What I miss most about Hopkins is the sense of community that you were able find on campus. Whatever you found yourself involved with on campus, from student groups to research or even volunteer work, you would always find yourself working with fellow students, staff, and faculty that are just as passionate and devoted as you are.
How did going to school in Baltimore affect your college experience and opportunities for pre-professional experiences?
Going to school in Baltimore while studying Public Health and Sociology was the best decision I could have made professionally. In Baltimore there are a number of opportunities that I would not have been able to take advantage of had I studies any where else, from completing internships with local non-profits, to running health fairs for immigrant populations, to conducting in-person interviews with community members as well as conducting heart disease research . Baltimore is home to so many different non-profits, organizations, and community leaders that it’s hard not to find someone in the city who is doing impactful work in your field to help you jump start your professional career.
Knowing what you know now, what would you want to tell your pre-college self?
I would definitely tell my pre-college self to come to Hopkins with a plan, but to be okay with veering off the original path that I set myself on. Early on I realized that my passions were not what I was pursuing but pushed on for longer than I needed to. When I finally decided to align my passions with my academic pursuits, all of the resources and opportunities at Hopkins finally presented themselves to me. It was once I embraced this change that my true Hopkins career began.