BA Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge
Analyst, Willis Towers Watson
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
During my undergraduate degree, I had worked every summer as a student mentor at summer camps for international students in Cambridge, and during my time at the Business School I’ve had a part-time role as a Research Analyst for the Entrepreneurs Hub Ltd, which I actually secured through the Imperial Career’s website
Why did you decide to study an MSc International Health Management at Imperial College Business School?
The programme seemed like it was the most in-line with my interests at the time, and the Business School is also well-renowned, which is great to have on your CV when you're job hunting. Another bonus is that Imperial is located in South Kensington in London. I’ve been wanting to move here so it was a great incentive.
What aspects of the programme do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the diversity of the programme – I have made new friends from so many different places from around the world and the structure of the programme means that I spend a significant amount of time interacting with new people during group work. I have also liked that each term of the programme teaches me a completely new set of skills that I can use in the future.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module so far has been Health Economics because it is so different to anything I have ever done before. As someone who has no background in economics but had to study quantitative subjects in my undergraduate degree, it was interesting to see how I could apply my skills in new contexts and see real-world applications of them.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
Completing the first piece of coursework that was assigned to us in our Business Strategy module, where we had to act as consultants to produce a five-year plan for a top pharmaceutical company, even though we had only had a few introductory lectures on business at this point. Having never studied business before, it was so satisfying to think outside the box in the production of the report, whilst integrating skills we were learning in lectures. My group eventually produced a piece of coursework that we were very proud of, setting us off on the right foot for the rest of the programme.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The most challenging part of the programme was the amount of assignments that were going on at once! In my undergraduate degree we did not have coursework aside from a dissertation in third year, so constantly having tasks to complete throughout the term, as well as exams looming, took some time to get used to. The cohort in my programme are very social, which was great and allowed me to take my mind off some of the work that was due!
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
The opportunity to meet so many individuals on my programme who are from different countries, in different professions, and in different stages of their professional career was an amazing opportunity. Not only has this helped me in terms of learning from advice they have given, but it will no doubt be instrumental for professional networking opportunities in the future.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My immediate career goals are simply to gain corporate experience. I have long-term goals of using the skills I develop in the early years of my job to then specialise and move into the healthcare sector. The wide range of opportunities and the number of careers fairs offered at Imperial, as well as the programme I study, really helped me realise that I want to work in a business/consulting setting, and that any experience that I can gain in that sector will be very helpful to me in the long-term.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
I have received an offer from Willis Towers Watson in their Actuarial Consulting graduate programme. I will start as an Analyst, and throughout the programme will qualify as an Actuary with broad knowledge, and with opportunities to specialise in healthcare after a few years.
How did the services from Careers help in your professional development/securing employment?
The Imperial Careers services were very helpful to me, as an international student, as the resources offered by my undergraduate careers service were not geared at all towards international students who need visas to work in the UK after graduating. By providing this service, Imperial made the entire job search process feel much more manageable!
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Definitely! Most large corporations have offices in London, which makes searching for a job a bit easier since there is a wealth of opportunity. Although the Business School focuses primarily on finance and consulting careers, you are in no way restricted. I think that the London location is critical for Imperial in putting on so many careers events, and with so much variety offered our networking options have a much better scope.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live in Wood Lane Studios, the graduate student accommodation advertised by Imperial. I chose to live here out of convenience, as I was moving to London for the first time and didn’t want to go through the hassle of trying to find accommodation. I am very happy I chose to live here – all the bills are included; the facilities are great and there is a free shuttle bus that takes you to Imperial every hour during weekdays.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
I am really interested in health and fitness, and especially since summer has started, I have loved walking to and from the Business School, trying different exercise classes, and walking around parts of London that I’ve never been to before. As a vegetarian (mostly vegan), London also has so many exciting food options for me to try, and I have barely made a dent in my list of places I want to go to. Most of my friends from my undergraduate also now live in London, as well as my new friends from Imperial, so I also like to spend time with them.
What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London?
I have always lived in big cities growing up, so moving to London for me was not as hard as it might be for someone who has grown up in a small town. The biggest benefit for me moving to London from Cambridge was that there are so many things to do here, and it is so easy to get around the city. There are also so many different areas of London, so you never get bored, and if you need a change of scenery, you can always take a train somewhere else for the weekend. In terms of challenges, I think that London can be a bit overwhelming at times, especially if you are moving to the UK for the first time and don’t already have some sort of friendship group or support system in place. London is also so expensive! The tube is convenient but adds up so quickly – if you have a 16-25 rail card you can link it to your oyster card and get 1/3 off fees!
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
I think that having a predetermined idea of what you want to achieve from the programme can be helpful going into it, as it can give you some direction at the beginning when there is so much going on. At the same time, try and stay open-minded to as many opportunities as possible because you might find something new that you really enjoy!