Sarah Blades (BSc'07)

A day in the life

Sarah Blades (BSc'07)

Sarah_Blades

I can’t stress enough how important and beneficial it was to stay connected with the organizations that supported me in my internship and undergraduate projects.

Creating the right network

It's a bit of an understatement to say that Sarah Blades was a little busy while at Dal. Not only did she complete two degrees at the same time—a BSc in Health Promotion and a BSc in Psychology—she also managed to work part-time as a clerk at the IWK Health Centre. It all combined to get the ball rolling on her career.

“It’s how I discovered Child Safety Link, and decided it would be a wonderful place to work,” she says. “In my final year at Dal, I completed my internship with Child Safety Link. Shortly after, I was asked to stay on in a small part-time contract, which got extended into a slightly larger part-time contract, and now I’m a permanent full-time staff member.”

Sarah is now a health promotion specialist with Child Safety Link, a program based at the IWK that aims to reduce injuries to children and youth in the Maritimes.

When she started at Dal, Sarah was enrolled in the Psychology program and planned to then apply to Pharmacy. Things changed, though, and a future in pharmacy wasn’t in the cards. But she realized a lot of the health-related electives she was enjoying were in the Health Promotion program.

“I decided that if a whole degree could be awarded by taking classes I loved, this is the degree I should get,” he says. “I would have loved to have known about the program from the very beginning!”

The switch to Health Promotion, combined with her Psychology studies, prepared her well for starting her career. The skills and knowledge she acquired transferred easily into such work initiatives as broad-based programming, education, awareness, advocacy, and research.

“I develop and revise injury prevention educational tools for family support people such as public health nurses and family resource staff,” she says. “I also often speak with the media, and have written research proposals. Every day you can find me answering questions from families and community partners about home safety, poisoning prevention, helmet use, and playground safety.”

It was Sarah’s internship in fourth year that really helped to start her career. It allowed her to connect with the right people while still in school—something she advises students to take advantage of while in the Health Promotion program.

“If you ever find yourself wondering if you’ll ever find a job in your field, consider that everything is what you make it,” she says. “Much of my current success is due to the connections I was able to make during my internship. Stay connected in the field of your choice by volunteering, joining email lists, checking online forums, and meeting people.

“My job is so rewarding, and I really look forward to going to work. Every day I get to come to the IWK and work on initiatives that I know will help our community partners keep children safe from serious injury.”