UW-Madison alumnus reflects on lasting impacts of the global health certificate

Eric Obscherning emphasized how participating in the field study component of the certificate is central to the global health experience. / Photo provided by Eric Obscherning

Earning the Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health and working at UW-Madison’s Global Health Institute (GHI) gave alumnus Eric Obscherning the tools he needed to land a dream job three years after graduation and paved the way to how he thinks about his career and the industry.

Obscherning graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and English and a certificate in global health. He worked at GHI for three years, completing administrative and research tasks and helping with the certificate program.

Both the certificate and working at the Institute left lasting impacts, including how to think entrepreneurially. Being exposed to the collaboration between different disciplines — like health policy, business strategy and political science — has helped him understand how to build partnerships between different companies and governments.

“The certificate provided for self-discovery, which led me to pursuing a career that’s more entrepreneurial and finding my own niche within the global health field,” Obscherning says. “The opportunity for research and partnership with professors and making the certificate your own really allowed that entrepreneurial spirit to flourish.”

Obscherning joined C&M International, a global trade, regulatory affairs and public policy consulting firm, as an associate consultant in December 2017. In his position as an associate consultant, Obscherning will help Fortune 100 companies and other organizations enter new markets, shape policies, resolve trade issues and develop strategic partnerships and initiatives. He is working at the intersection of health policy and business strategy on issues related to digital health, rare diseases, vaccine confidence, tuberculosis, HPV, cervical cancer, antimicrobial resistance, regulatory harmonization for pharmaceuticals and medical devices and healthcare financing.

Obscherning helps his clients achieve different commercial successes through policy in markets around the world. He is working with companies to create an environment that fosters biotechnology innovation, job creation and economic development.

“Fostering partnerships and working with these huge companies at a very high level so soon after college would be impossible without the things I learned from the global health certificate,” Obscherning says.

By Izabela Zaluska / August 17, 2018