Imperial College London

NHLI postgraduate life - Before and After

by

Emmanuel and Davina

No two university journeys are the same.

We checked in with some of our students across all of the postgraduate programmes offered by the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) to see how they were feeling at the very start of their programmes at NHLI, and how they would sum up their experiences at the end of their time with us.

If you’d like to learn more about postgraduate study, have a look at our webpages and watch out for information on the upcoming online Open Day on Wednesday 20 May 2020.

BEFORE

Why did you choose your course?

As a registered nurse, currently specialising in cardiology I chose the course to help career progression and for my passion of cardiology. I also really enjoy learning new things and taking on challenges. Priya Reehal, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare

The prospect of studying novel advancements in medical therapeutics in a first-class institute (NHLI) was the main reason why I chose the course. Emmanuel Okwelogu, MSc Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells

I was searching for a short and demanding programme linking human genetics and medicine. Originally, I was looking at UK universities simply because masters are only one year here, not knowing how much the whole field is promoted at the moment. That was a welcome surprise. Alex Schwinges, MSc Genomic Medicine

I chose this course as I believe it will equip me to progress in my career. Working as a cardiac physiologist, my BSc trained me within all cardiac investigations except echocardiography. I knew I had to train in a hospital in order to progress and learn ultrasound. When I found this course online, I instantly knew it fulfilled what I needed. Not only will it help me learn ultrasound practically, it will also help me to broaden my research skills. Davina Sadyakeethy, MSc Medical Ultrasound

I have always wanted to pursue my postgraduate studies at a top leading university that will provide me with the opportunities, knowledge, and support as I improve my clinical and research skills and work towards becoming a better healthcare practitioner. I chose CRH MSc because of its unique program that is led by multidisciplinary lecturers who enthusiastically share their knowledge and expertise with their students. The MSc curriculum covers a wide variety of cardiovascular and respiratory specialities with respect to patient-centred care as well as healthcare at a population level. Sulaiman Alsaif, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare


What has been the highlight of studying at NHLI for you so far?

Learning about the massive scope of the 100,000 Genomes Project in one of the early lectures by Professor Mark Caulfield, Chief Scientist for Genomics England, was definitely my highlight. Alex Schwinges, MSc Genomic Medicine

I really admire how the college is embracing diversity throughout its campuses. Studying with colleagues from a wide range of healthcare backgrounds at NHLI is certainly the highlight. The MSc structure and the interactive nature of the sessions enable students to draw upon their own clinical and research backgrounds to enrich   our learning experience. Sulaiman Alsaif, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare

For me the highlight has definitely been meeting fellow students, professors and learning about upcoming research. Davina Sadyakeethy, MSc Medical Ultrasound

During our course, I was fortunate enough to attend the Annual British Thoracic Society (BTS) Winter Conference and had a personal interaction with the former Chief Medical Director of England, Professor Dame Sally Davies. Emmanuel Okwelogu, MSc Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells

I have really enjoyed meeting new people and being taught by such amazing lecturers and professors. The support has been incredible so far. Priya Reehal, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare


What’s the best thing about studying in London?

The environment is amazing. There is so much to do, places to eat and meeting different people. Davina Sadyakeethy, MSc Medical Ultrasound

The multicultural diversity in the city of London is very remarkable. Also, Kensington is at the heart of wonderful monuments and exciting exhibitions for example the Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall. Emmanuel Okwelogu, MSc Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells

The best thing about studying in London has to be the social aspect, the shopping, bars and clubs. There is so much to do with friends and family in between studying. It is sometimes difficult to juggle everything but if you really want something and you put your mind to it, you can do it! Priya Reehal, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare 

London is a well-known and a great centre for academic excellence. This makes it the perfect place for professional networking and opportunities. Also, it is a culturally rich city which makes it ideal for students who are interested in learning about other cultures. What’s more, London is full of life, so there is always somewhere new to visit. Sulaiman Alsaif, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare

London is a great city with many things to do. I love to explore the city, and if I only want to relax I have plenty of friends at the student accommodation I am living at. Alex Schwinges, MSc Genomic Medicine


What do you hope to go onto after completing your MSc?

Currently I am looking into various opportunities. The three major career paths are I am looking at are: working for the NHS or Genomics England, innovative startups making use of genomics technologies, drug development or personalised healthcare in large pharmaceutical companies. Alex Schwinges, MSc Genomic Medicine

I plan to pursue an Academic career in Advanced therapeutics thus a PhD is the next best thing for me. Emmanuel Okwelogu, MSc Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells

Sulaiman AlsaifI hope to become a clinical nurse specialist or to further study at Imperial. Priya Reehal, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare

In the next few months, I aim to improve my personal, professional, and research skills and to liaise more with professionals and organisations who are contributing to optimise the care of respiratory diseases patients. After the completion of my MSc, I plan to further my studies by pursuing a PhD and become an academic. Sulaiman Alsaif, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare

I hope to complete my MSc and go back into working for the NHS, hopefully after obtaining this MSc I am able to apply for a higher band, continue to progress and learn more skills within the ultrasound field. Davina Sadyakeethy, MSc Medical Ultrasound


AFTER

We got back in touch with the Alex, Davina, Emmanuel, Priya and Sulaiman as they were approaching the end of their academic year. 


What’s been your favourite part of the course?

The favourite part was the public engagement where I experienced engaging an audience of various backgrounds with what we do in gene therapy at a carnival. Emmanuel Okwelogu, MSc Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells

Definitely meeting new people and the diversity of Imperial! Davina Sadyakeethy, MSc Medical Ultrasound 

Meeting new people and making new friends whilst expanding my knowledge in the specialised field. Priya Reehal, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare

I really enjoyed working on my MSc thesis. I used a statistical approach called Mendelian Randomisation on UK Biobank data to explore the link between educational attainment and cancer risk. Alex Schwinges, MSc Genomic Medicine

The access to endless opportunities! I think one of the perks of being an Imperial student is the access to various academic, professional, and fun opportunities both within and outside the college. Sulaiman Alsaif, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare


What has been the most challenging part?

Time management for sure! At a postgraduate level you are expected to do a lot of learning in such a short period of time which can be quite challenging. Sulaiman Alsaif, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare 

Working alone on your assignments made me feel like I was writing a thesis all-year round. I think it depends very much on the preferences of the person how this is perceived. Some really enjoyed it, for me it was challenging. Alex Schwinges, MSc Genomic Medicine

Being part-time, time management has been difficult and balancing working full-time and study but it is definitely not impossible! Priya Reehal, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare

The time management of revision and social life. Davina Sadyakeethy, MSc Medical Ultrasound

The most challenging part was undeniably the six month long research project which in the end turned out fabulous. Emmanuel Okwelogu, MSc Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells


What are you planning to do next?

I'm off to Manchester to start a PhD at the University of Manchester, studying graphene nanomedicine in cancer diagnostics and therapy. Emmanuel Okwelogu, MSc Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells

Taking advantage of the extra opportunities, and the networking gained through my MSc served as great preparation for the next step in my academic journey, a PhD. And yes, I will be staying at Imperial for the next few years, exciting times! Sulaiman Alsaif, MSc Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare

I will be staying in London and have been offered a job for a private healthcare clinic where I will be utilising the skills that I learnt during my masters. Davina Sadyakeethy, MSc Medical Ultrasound

I have left London and am looking for jobs around Munich. It is the home of life science in Germany and the best area for corporate and start-up jobs in the field. Alex Schwinges, MSc Genomic Medicine


Reporter

Miss Lizzie Lomer

Miss Lizzie Lomer
National Heart & Lung Institute

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 9954
Email: lizzie.lomer@imperial.ac.uk

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Drugs, Alumni, Stem-cells, Cardiovascular, Genomics, Education
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