Location, location, location!

Andrea Fadel, 2nd year Epidemiology

Realtors aren’t wrong that location is the most important part in finding a home, but it is also pretty important when finding a job. One of the biggest perks of attending Rollins is its location- literally across the street from the CDC. This close proximity helps maintain a close relationship between Rollins and the CDC, making it more convenient for CDC employees traveling to Rollins for speeches or to teach classes. Yet the location is also important for students looking for REAL jobs as well.

REAL (Rollins Earn and Learn Program) is similar to a work study program, except that students work in a public health setting. (My intent is not to talk about the REAL program. For more information, please visit this website: http://www.sph.emory.edu/rollins-life/real/index.html). When applying for a REAL position, location is often a consideration. I wanted to share my experiences working at my two REAL positions over my time here, and the differences in location.

At Rollins
My first REAL position was in Rollins, in the HPM department. Working in Rollins was extremely convenient- after classes ended I could just head up to work. I didn’t have to allow any time for travel when planning my schedule, worry about parking/transportation since that should in theory already be handled, and could easily schedule other activities such as meetings with a professor or club events. If something were to come up suddenly such as a lunch meeting, I was usually able to fit it into my schedule. However, I felt like I was always on campus, particularly on the occasional weekends I had to come in for work. I felt that I was spending too much time in the Rollins buildings and wasn’t really exploring the area as much as I would like.

Downtown Atlanta
My second (and current) REAL position is at the American Cancer Society, located in downtown Atlanta between Peachtree Center and the Olympic Centennial Park. Working downtown has been great for exploring Atlanta. I have been exploring the wonderful restaurants downtown, especially the ones only open during business lunch hours. Last semester I would eat out at Peachtree Center every Friday with some of the other interns. On a side note, I would like to recommend Aviva’s- great food and the compliments are free! We are also located near CNN tower and other fabulous places for lunch, so work parties always have great food. Also, if I plan on meeting friends after work, it’s very easy to meet them downtown! It’s only about fifteen minutes to Piedmont Park/Midtown, and the wonderful restaurants there (such as Café Intermezzo). Recently, a cable car line has opened up that transports passengers from downtown near the office and Edgewood, which is a convenient way to meet friends after work. However, the commute downtown is not very fun. There is usually lots of traffic, with delays occurring frequently. Parking can also be hard to find, and can cost anywhere between $4 and $20 depending on what events are occurring on any given day. While options like MARTA and Emory shuttles are affordable and easy, they are often (read: almost always) late, which can be frustrating in bad weather. It’s also pretty difficult to schedule times; with transportation being a hassle, I tend to schedule for larger chunks, effectively blocking many hours where I was unable to attend anything on campus.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to experience both environments. I am sure others have different experiences in terms of the location of their REAL job. When you are looking to apply for REAL or volunteer positions, keep an open mind to location! There are so many options, and it is always fun to explore.

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