Musunga is a rising sophomore at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and School of Environmental and Biological Science, majoring in public health and biological sciences. As a student in a science field, Musunga has always thought of scientific research as taking place in a laboratory. The opportunity to participate in Project L/EARN has enabled her to broaden her perspective on the dynamic of empirical research and pursue her interest of learning about health research. As an intern, she enjoyed learning in a small classroom setting, which allowed her to feel comfortable asking questions and better understand the material. She also valued working alongside intelligent and motivated individuals. Musunga credits the program for giving her the opportunity to begin building a lifelong professional network. Project L/EARN has helped her decide that in addition to attending medical school, she also wants to attend graduate school to obtain a MPH and Ph.D. Her tentative career goals include becoming a pediatrician and possibly a pediatric surgeon. She also aims to be an advisor of public health policy and implementation in Zambia, her home country.
This summer, Musunga worked with Dr. Derek DeLia on a project that sought to identify whether length of patient stay is associated with hospital readmission for patients with congestive heart failure. Working with her mentor allowed her to learn some of the basics about the economics of hospitals and health centers and health insurance coverage topics which overlaps with her interest in and goal of becoming a medical doctor. She would like future interns to know that the program is intense, but not impossible as long as you manage your time well and ask questions when in doubt.