What tops the list of the 10 skills employers most want in 20-something employees? You may be surprised that it is not analysing quantitative data, solving problems, or possessing technical knowledge. Rather, it is the ability to work in a team.
Whether you are pursuing a MBA or MSc, teamwork is a significant part of the curriculum and overall experience at Imperial College Business School. For the MSc International Health Management (IHM) cohort, group projects compose 30% of each module. At the beginning of the first semester, students are assigned to a syndicate group, composed of 6 to 7 members, each of which is from a different country. As you can imagine, navigating new cultures leads to many informal learning opportunities.
Although working with people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives can be challenging at times, it is a great skill to have because it really forces you to see another individual’s point of view and collaborate with them to create something you never would have thought of on your own. Personally, working with team members from other countries has forced me to speak slower (something I have always struggled with as a natural born fast-talker) and communicate more clearly, both of which are crucial for success in job interviews.
In addition to working with my syndicate group this past semester, I worked with a team that consisted of three IHM students and three Masters in Public Health (MPH) students. Our first assignment was to conduct an economic evaluation of a healthcare intervention/drug. For this task, we chose to perform a cost-utility analysis—from the perspective of the National Health Service (NHS)—of Point of Care (POC) testing for chlamydia in a sexual health clinic. The professional backgrounds of the team, ranging from medicine to biology to pubic health, allowed us to approach the analysis from various angles and ultimately produce a beautiful 8-page decision tree.
I am proud to have been on a team with these individuals whose unique knowledge and expertise I greatly appreciated when trying to figure out all sorts of economic enigmas such as analytical horizons, QALYs, and discounting. Although I really won’t miss researching chlamydia or spending long hours hovering over my laptop at Starbucks trying to find the itemised cost for procedures, I am happy to have had this opportunity to become more familiar with how medical decision-making occurs in the real world.
Carissa is studying our MSc International Health Management programme.