Medical School, University of Birmingham
Working as an eye surgeon for the NHS
I graduated from medical school in 2014 and have been working as a doctor in the NHS ever since. My goal was to become an eye surgeon, and I was successfully accepted onto a seven-year training programme in 2017. I have presented research at numerous international medical conferences and published several peer-reviewed scientific articles. However, my biggest sense of achievement has always come from my day-to-day work helping patients.
Where business meets STEM
Medics generally work towards their goal of becoming a doctor from the age of 15. It is a microcosm and can leave you feeling at odds with the wider world. I chose to study a Global Online MBA to acquire knowledge on different aspects of business in a short period of time. Doctors today aren’t only expected to be clinicians – they have a growing role in healthcare management as well as their skills being utilised in fields of entrepreneurship.
The MBA programme at Imperial came highly recommended by other doctors who had studied this degree here. I was accepted onto an MBA at other schools, however, I chose to study at Imperial because, with my medical background, I felt an affinity with it as a STEM institution.
Challenges and rewards of the programme
At the start, I found overcoming imposter syndrome quite tricky. As a medic, I was worried I would be on the back foot compared to those coming from managerial backgrounds. Imperial recommended some online preparatory modules which helped, as well as their own specific preliminary learning requirements.
I have seen my self-confidence outside of medicine grow as I have excelled in unexpected areas. For instance, I never saw myself being able to understand financial accounts, but I do now, and it has completely changed how I appraise my own business plans and those of others. Another example is economics – I had never studied the subject and at first the idea seemed daunting and the expectations of learning outcomes seemed high, and yet, Managerial Economics has been my favourite module so far. I was pleasantly surprised by how fascinating the subject matter was and the amount of knowledge I gained in such a short period of time.
I have learned to appreciate the value of applying lateral thinking to all scenarios – not just healthcare or patient case management. As long as you have foundational knowledge, you can trust your instincts and extrapolate from there.
Using The Hub to study remotely
Studying remotely has given me a huge amount of flexibility to work at my own pace and in my own time. It allows me to allocate more time to certain areas I am less sure of. The Hub has been a bridge between fellow students, the faculty and myself. It is very intuitive and fosters a sense of community even at a distance.
Developing a global mindset
London is a central hub of great minds and my cohort at Imperial is diverse. They are from all around the world and from different backgrounds. You are able to have meaningful, engaging discussions and learn from the experience of others. Global peers help you to develop a global mindset. You see past your local, or even national, concerns and start to realise the world really isn’t that big. Pandemic-willing, I hope to engage with the Global Experience Week and international elective choices.
Working in groups
Group projects have been particularly interesting, and reminiscent of my undergraduate days. Imperial chooses the group strategy to reflect real life; sometimes you immediately gel, but sometimes it takes work. Luckily, my group has been well balanced. It is nice to have the support of your teammates and the feeling you can open up if you’re struggling.
But group projects have not been the only place where I have been able to benefit from the diverse cohort. During the pandemic, I have been engaging with the Imperial Enterprise Lab, where people from all different backgrounds come together to develop entrepreneurial ideas. I have really enjoyed the Lab’s lectures, especially those delivered by female entrepreneurs and leaders.
Exploring career options
I want to explore medical entrepreneurship, improve my leadership capabilities and understand medical investment. While being at Imperial, I have managed to explore ideas, complete a business plan and speak to potential investors.
I have found Careers a good companion for accountability along my journey. It is very easy to let the time slip by, but if you utilise all the resources afforded to you, you can have a really enriching experience here.
I am exploring various technology startups at present. I have found the MBA runs alongside this nicely in terms of foundational academic knowledge gained and the practical aspects of putting together a business.
Returning to the NHS
As a medic, you become used to juggling a very tight work-life balance. I was fortunate enough to be granted a break from the NHS to complete this degree, but another option for medics may be to apply for less-than-full-time training. After gaining my Global Online MBA I am going to return to my role as a registrar eye surgeon in the NHS and complete my training. I would like to take on wider healthcare management roles as I become more senior as well as continue to dabble in medical entrepreneurship.