Ashlyn Scott-Williams MSc International Health Management 2020-21

Programme: MSc International Health Management

Nationality: Barbadian

University and subject studied for undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), The University of the West Indies

About you

What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

Prior to beginning my studies at Imperial College Business School, I worked in healthcare as a physician. In 2018, I opened a general practice medical clinic which I currently still manage and work at as a physician. During this time, I also worked part-time as an intensive care unit physician in a private hospital.

Why did you decide to study an MSc International Health Management at Imperial College Business School?

After opening my own business, I realised there were some key elements of management that I needed to get a better grasp of, and which an education in medicine did not arm me with. In addition, I found that I loved the administrative/management arm of my business and I wanted to gain more information on how I could better execute their functions. After much research and student Q&A sessions put on by the Business School, I realised that Imperial was offering me everything I wanted in a programme and more.

Did you receive a scholarship?

I was awarded an Imperial Business scholarship prior to commencing my studies. When I saw the email, I was initially shocked and pleasantly surprised as this had a significant impact on my ability to meet my financial obligations to the university. After the initial lockdown with COVID-19, my loan process to pay for my tuition was in limbo, and given the foreign exchange rate between my country and the UK, it seemed likely that I would have had to give up my place on the programme. However, the scholarship helped to bridge these gaps and now I am a fortunate to be a student about to commence my second term at the Business School. My advice to future scholarship applicants is to apply to the programme as early as possible and especially prior to the scholarship deadlines - put your best foot forward and be your authentic self!


What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?

I enjoy the fact that my lecturers/professors are experts who worked in their respective fields prior to teaching. This allows us to get real world application for the course content in areas such as accounting, strategy, and marketing just to name a few.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

My favourite module has been Organisational Behaviour by Dr Maria Farkas. To be honest, all our modules are great, and our lecturers even better, but I found the core topics in the Organisational Behaviour module particularly applicable. I was able to implement information learnt in class into my office as well as with staff at the Hospital. The best part about Organisational Behaviour is that the classes with Dr Farkas were interactive and the assignments were creative.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

Being selected as a Student Ambassador and Student Content Creator for my programme and being able to interact with my class and other programme cohorts across the Business School in these roles has been the most rewarding. In these uncertain times with COVID-19, where classes are either online or multi-mode, it is a great feeling to be able to connect with people that you are not necessarily in the same room with, let alone the same time zone.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme? 

At present I am studying remotely from my home country of Barbados and therefore my classes are strictly online. The most challenging part of the programme is not necessarily the modules but undertaking these modules in a different time zone. Therefore, my classes could be as early as 4am local time which can make concentrating at that time a bit of a task. However, since daylight saving commenced, I was given a slight reprieve and most of my classes started around 6AM in my local time.

How have you found the multi-mode teaching delivery?

Disregarding the time differences, I can say I enjoy taking my classes online, and when I move to London, I will be looking forward to joining my cohort in the multi-mode teaching delivery


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

In short, my cohort is very diverse. We are a class of 78 (relatively small when compared to some of the other programmes in the Business School) made up of the newly graduated, medical professionals and business professionals.

Do you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

Thus far I have only completed one term in my programme and though I have a favourite module, I do not necessarily have a favourite lecturer/professor. This is because each professor/lecturer has their own unique aspects which make all of them quite approachable and favourites in their own right!


Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?

I have attended a few guest lectures/events since commencing my studies. However, the most impactful and useful to date has been the Student Leadership Day. This is a conference/workshop for all student leaders at the Business School and is held early in the school term. Our conversations with the Dean and Vice Dean on being an effective leader, as well as the knowledge gained from Professor Celia Moore on ‘Characteristics of Exceptional Leadership’ were mind opening and extremely informative in developing my knowledge around being an effective leader, especially in uncertain times.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?

I am a Student Ambassador and Student Content Creator for the MSc International Health Management programme. In addition to those roles, I am a member of the Healthcare Club and Consulting Club.

Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?

I have had the opportunity to socialise with other students across programmes in various settings to date. My first real interaction started with networking opportunities organised by the Careers team in the Business School. This then expanded as I joined clubs and participated in various student ambassador duties.


What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?

Initially when I started with the Business School my overall plans were still undetermined, but I was interested in starting my own consultancy firm in a few years. To some extent this still maintains, however, a potential opportunity to expand my medical practice has arisen and therefore in the short term, I am looking at exploring this.


Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?

Before sending in my application, I attended online webinars specific to my programme and then broader ones such as applying for a Tier 4 visa (given I am an International Student), and applying for scholarships and ways to finance your postgraduate degree etc.

Having gone through this process I would recommend this to prospective students as you acquire a grasp of the university and programme expectations, but you also have the chance to ask any questions you may have. In addition, there are currently virtual coffee chats available with student ambassadors from various programmes such as myself. Therefore, if you don’t feel quite comfortable asking some questions to the recruitment team or university officials, you can ask us and once it is within our purview, we will answer you or guide you accordingly to where you can get more information.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?

This programme encapsulates the best parts of healthcare with the best business has to offer. It is so diverse that by the end of the degree you can choose to go into healthcare management of a clinic or hospital, start or maintain your own business or even consult for businesses in the pharmaceutical and life sciences area. With that said, if you are sure the business of healthcare is what you are interested in, there is no better place to get your foundation than the MSc International Health Management programme at Imperial College Business School.

Interested in applying for a scholarship to this programme?

Programme: MSc International Health Management

Nationality: Barbadian

University and subject studied for undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), The University of the West Indies