Hi! My name is Carissa Gilbert, and I am from the city of Sugar Land, Texas, near the Gulf Coast of the United States. I am a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where I studied Health and Societies.
It’s officially been one month since I flew across the Atlantic and began the MSc International Health Management (IHM) programme at Imperial College Business School. I came here for the unique opportunity to learn about healthcare solutions and experiences on an international level as well as to gain a thorough understanding of healthcare within the context of business. This dual nature of the course is providing me with a background in subjects such as health informatics, strategic marketing in healthcare, and health policy and financing—all of which will equip me to become a future healthcare leader.
Since arriving, it has been a whirlwind time making London my home (i.e. setting up a bank account, buying all the things you can’t fit into two suitcases, exploring my new borough, etc.) and adapting to the ways of a new school—the most important of which is finding the location of all the coffee machines. Despite this craziness, the Business School has already proven to be an incredibly enriching experience for many reasons, including my inspiring classmates.
On the first day of Induction Week, our programme director, Dr. Benita Cox, said that IHM students consistently rank their overall satisfaction with the programme extremely high. The reason for this is the amazing community that comprises the IHM cohort. There are almost 60 students in my cohort. Collectively, we represent over 20 nations and speak well over 15 languages. We come from diverse professional backgrounds as well—doctors, nurses, dentists, biologists, pharmacists, economists, public health experts, and there is even a theologian. Naturally, this diversity makes for fascinating conversations. We have discussed everything from overcoming ambulance shortages in Nigeria to the critical success factors for implementing eHealthCare Systems in the United Kingdom. We are learning so much about comparative health systems just by listening to each other’s distinct perspectives and experiences.
Outside of the classroom, we have a very active WhatsApp messenger that helps us plan all of our weekend activities together. So far, we have explored the local pubs, brunched near Hyde Park, and visited street markets around London. As you would expect, we are becoming one big international family—specifically, a family that is preparing to tackle the challenge of improving healthcare access and quality around the world.
Carissa is studying our MSc International Health Management programme.