Career advancement & family life: perspectives from a global health research manager, with Lathika Laguwaran
Play • 46 min

Family life and career advancement is a topic that deserves more than just one episode so we are committing to bringing you different perspectives on this podcast. We are big believers here at PH SPOT of learning from those who have done something before us, and using their lessons and experiences to craft our own path based on our unique situations. We want to share the stories of public health professionals at various phases of their lives and careers to get a glimpse into their way of life and thinking. With the launch of the Career Advancement and Family Life series, we hope more of you will reach out to share your perspectives with the public health community.

In this week’s episode, Sujani sits down to speak with a good friend of hers, Lathika Laguwaran. Lathika is someone who Sujani has loved learning from since she met her back in 2012. Both Sujani and Lathika completed their Masters together at the University of Saskatchewan. After graduating from her MPH, Lathika took a role up with the Global Strategy Lab, not really thinking about whether she would stay in that role for too long.

Today, she has grown within the Global Strategy Lab and is the research manager, managing the operations of the lab and leading research projects pertaining to health news misinformation and international law. During this 6-7 year journey, Lathika also got married and became a mother; and that’s the journey we talk about in this episode.

You’ll Learn

  • About Lathika’s career progression within the Global Strategy Lab (GSL): from research assistant, to research coordinator, to research manager
  • How it is working on Stephen Hoffman’s team
  • Why Lathika chose to join the GSL despite a very low starting salary
  • How location played a role in her career journey (and how her commute has changed over the years)
  • The importance of building trust and a strong relationship within your organization for family life
  • What a day looks like at the GSL for Lathika
  • Things Lathika had to consider when her baby was born (i.e. childcare, family support)
  • The importance of being happy in your role for family life
  • How to have discussions about your role and change in family life with your manager
  • Transitioning back to work after parental leave: how things changed around her, what she had to change, how communication became a key factor during the transition period
  • How she manages extra curricular activities with family life and a career

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