Kori Otero

Kori Otero


Undergraduate Institution: University of Kentucky

Why did you choose the Brown University School of Public Health?
Brown is well-known and loved for its open curriculum, which allows undergraduate students to have freedom and flexibility when designing a course of study. I was pleased to find that this ideality also extends to the School of Public Health. I chose to earn my MPH here because this program enables me to both take courses that are specific to my interests and structure my concentration based on those interests, rather than limiting students to courses that fulfill a particular concentration’s requirements.

What made Brown’s program different from other programs you considered?
When I was deciding which program was best for me, Brown checked every box. Ultimately, the faculty and class sizes made Brown stand out among other programs. The faculty were engaging and supportive, and the atmosphere they created enhanced our small classes.

What did you enjoy most about your program?
While I loved the MPH program as a whole, the students were my favorite part. I didn’t know a single person when I moved to Rhode Island. After a couple of months, however, I met some of my closest friends. Whether you want to start a study group, need help finding an internship, or just want to grab a cup of coffee, someone is always there for you. Because of this close-knit community, I was able to make strong connections with other people in my field through the friends I made in my program.

What was your academic area of interest and why?
I took a variety of public health courses during my undergraduate career, yet epidemiology was always my favorite. I concentrated in epidemiology with a special interest in infectious diseases. One of the first courses I took was infectious disease epidemiology, taught by a professor with contagious enthusiasm for the field (no pun intended). This fueled my interest for infectious disease and became the main focus of my master’s thesis.

What did you enjoy most about Providence?
As someone who is originally from the desert, I love always being close to the water. Rhode Island is home to some of the best sailing, fishing, and beaches in the world. Providence boasts an amazing restaurant scene including the nation’s best seafood. Arguably, one of the best of these restaurants is right on the first floor of the public health building (Fan of clam chowder? Check this one out!). Providence may be a small city, but there is never a shortage of things to do and see.

What advice would you give to prospective applicants?
I advise you to choose a school that not only challenges you intellectually but will also provide you with the environment you need to excel. I’m not saying we’re better than Hogwarts, but Hermione did graduate from Brown.

Learn more about Brown's MPH program