I wish I was one of those people who could say, “oh yes, I knew all along, since I was born really, what I wanted to do with my life.”

When I was six, I wanted to be a princess; when I was 10, I wanted to be a doctor, and when I was fifteen, I had my heart set on being a journalist.

None of that came to pass of course, and two years ago, after muddling through university, graduation and a stint in the local Singaporean press, I joined the National Heart Centre Singapore (Singapore’s national referral centre for Cardiovascular diseases) as a corporate communications executive.

Now, you may be wondering why I’m explaining all of that, but bear with me, it all ties in to how I chose to pursue my studies at Imperial College. Being with NHCS has opened my eyes into the world of public health, and the good it does for society. It has grown my passion — for healthcare, for my patients, and for doing all I can to help doctors and nurses do their best work. When there was an opportunity to take a year off to study and improve myself, I jumped at the chance.

Our institute has always had ties with Imperial College. One of our Clinician Scientists, Professor Stuart Cook, heads the Cardiovascular Genetics and Genomics group within Genetics & Imaging at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) in Imperial’s faculty of Medicine.

Some of the IHM Class meeting up for a casual afternoon mingle!

Some of the MSc International Health Management class meeting up for a casual afternoon mingle!

It is no wonder that I chose to apply to Imperial College. While I intended to pursue a Master’s in Public Health, it was the Business School’s MSc International Health Management (IHM) programme that really caught my eye. Working in the public sector bears one very stark reality – we need to have a good financial sense. The IHM programme would give me a well-rounded education, with a comprehensive syllabus in finance and management, while combining it seamlessly to nuances only understood in my industry. Topics covered would also include health research and health policy, applied prudently in a global health setting. For anyone looking to go further in public service, or in health sciences, the IHM programme is likely the best place to be.  It certainly looked like the perfect mix for me as I hoped to further my career into hospital operations and management.

London’s reputation as a cosmopolitan city, coupled with Imperial’s dedication to maintaining a diverse student population was also a point of attraction for me. Healthcare is evolving by leaps and bounds every day, and in such drastically different ways across the globe. Having the chance to interact with people from different societies and cultures was a definite plus.

Healthcare is not solely about medicine and surgery, as hugely difficult as those two aspects are. For the doctors, nurses, surgeons, therapists and other healthcare professionals to be able to heal our patients smoothly, good operating systems must be put in place, finances must be in order, quality must be assured, and the patient’s emotional well-being must be looked after.

Within Imperial’s hallowed halls I hope to be able to glean as much as I can from our lecturers and professors (and international guest-speakers) so that I bring a bit more to the table when I return to Singapore.

Kristie is studying MSc International Health Management