I started working with Global Oncology in August 2013. I am currently a Software Product Manager at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA.
A friend brought me to the first meeting of the GO volunteer group developing the tumor boards between Malawi and Boston hospitals. Having studied global health in school, I was immediately drawn to the mission of GO to reduce inequalities in cancer care and treatment in low and middle income countries.
What is your role as a GO volunteer?
I originally began working to establish tumor boards between Malawi and Boston; however, I transitioned full time to volunteer with the GO Map in Spring 2014 as the concept of creating an interactive online map to enhance collaboration and reduce inequalities in cancer care and treatment became a reality. I am the project lead on the GO Map and helped build the map from its inception over three years ago.
When you’re working on a GO project, what most energizes you and why?
The majority of individuals on any GO project are volunteers. It is incredible to work with and see what a small group of dedicated and passionate volunteers can do when they set their minds to achieve the impossible. GO volunteers come from diverse backgrounds, whether it be software engineering, public health, business, or science. Learning from everyone has been an invaluable experience. I am always motivated by the energy of my fellow volunteers and drive to change the world. As a collaborator on the GO Map said to me a few years ago after launch of the first version of the GO Map: "I've never seen a group of volunteers accomplish so much. You [Global Oncology] is changing the definition of volunteer-work."
What do you gain from this experience?
Volunteering with GO has taught me that all you need is a strong vision and a dedicated team to make a difference. As a GO volunteer, I have not only gained insight into how to collaborate with others, but also how to lead a volunteer team from diverse backgrounds and living in different time zones towards a common goal. GO gave me the first experience of how to develop a successful product from the ground up, something I have continued to use in my professional career. We all learn from each other every single day, and GO has given its volunteers the opportunities to dedicate our time to something we are passionate about.
Ilyana Rosenberg, Software Product Manager, Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA