Alanis Linwood-Amor (Master of Public Health 2019) is a Policy Advisor for Health at the Ministry of Health in the Cayman Islands Government. She provides support to the health team on drafting, developing and implementing policies and legislation. Recently she has been involved generating COVID-19 guidelines, policies and disseminating public health communication.

Why did you choose Imperial as the place to follow your interest in STEM subjects?

Public health, health care services and medicine as a whole are always rapidly evolving. I knew Imperial prides itself on its research-led education and for me, this was a big deal, especially in the career path I wanted to go in. I’ve also always wanted to live in London, not only because it’s a social hub but also as an amazing city that provides many opportunities for networking.

What did you learn during your time at Imperial, in class or out?

That life begins at the end of your comfort zone. I was very nervous to apply to Imperial, knowing it was a competitive university and the fear of the unknown with living in a new city in a foreign country. I was also worried I wouldn’t fit in, but I was so wrong. I enjoyed every second of my course despite the many late nights of studying; I made a ton of friends that to this day I still chat with although we are in different time zones, and lastly London felt like my second home. Although my experience at Imperial was one of my biggest challenges, it brought the most significant life experiences that I would never forget.

How did you find life at Imperial as a woman?

It was good and maybe this is due to the nature of the course where more women are studying health and medicine so my class had higher women to men ratio.

During my time training with the Imperial College Barbell Society, they were eager for women to join the group as powerlifting is always seen as a sport for men and to my surprise, there were a number of women in the group and I never felt once uncomfortable. I’m forever grateful for IC Barbell as this made my whole Imperial experience!

Who did you find inspiring at Imperial and why?

My supervisor for my Dissertation, Dr Laura Lennox. She made my whole dissertation experience pleasant which might be weird to say as it was one of the most difficult things I had to do. However, it was easy to relate to Dr Lennox because she’s a woman in STEM with the same interest in healthcare systems and services like me and she gave great career advice.

What is your fondest memory of your time here? 

The friends I made in my MPH course. I miss the times we would study together and then treat ourselves with the wide array of restaurants London had to offer. 

Please tell us a bit about the work you’re doing now.

I’m a Policy Advisor for Health at the Ministry of Health in the Cayman Islands Government. I provide support to the health team on drafting, developing and implementation of policies and legislation pertaining to health. I am currently working on revising the Cayman Islands Public Health Law, 2002 (Revision), the development of a Human Tissue Transplant Programme for the Cayman Islands, and making new provisions to the Tobacco Law to regulate the use of e-cigarettes.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of my current work in the Ministry has involved generating COVID-19 guidelines, policies and disseminating public health communication.

How has what you learnt at Imperial helped you in your career so far?

The MPH course at Imperial has given me a real sense of putting my academic knowledge and experience into practice at a national/country level. The many essays, reports and paper reviews I had to do during my course have helped me a lot when writing guidelines and policies.

What have been your career highlights and lowlights?

In April 2019 I successfully planned a two-day Climate Change Workshop with 50 participants. The following August I was selected to attend a week course on Integrated Marketing Communication for Behaviour Impact (COMBI) in Health and Social Development in Barbados which was sponsored by PAHO/WHO.

What advice would you give to girls who are thinking about studying STEM, particularly at Imperial?

Never doubt yourself and always give it a shot. You never know where your career in STEM may lead you because the opportunities are endless.  

What makes you proud to be an Imperial alumna?

I’m proud to be an alumna from one of the top ranked universities in the world. Everywhere I go, I get a "Wow, you studied at Imperial!?” It’s a great feeling.

What one word or phrase would you use to describe Imperial alumni?