Why did you decide to study an MSc in International Health Management and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
I decided to study the Master’s programme because of my passion for healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry in particular. The Business School has a great reputation and student support is outstanding. Just another quality that makes the Business School so unique is its links to many different industries, which provide more insights to students. Wanting to join a community of passionate, inspiring and highly capable individuals was also a reason for applying to Imperial College Business School.
What makes the MSc International Health Management at Imperial College Business School unique?
While there may be many programmes at other universities that teach postgraduate courses on health, the International Health Management programme links business courses, health care challenges and practical applications of the content covered in a unique way. Working together with other postgraduates from different fields and specialisations (and also a variety of businesses) makes it possible to gain broad and specialised knowledge about business as a whole and healthcare in particular. Furthermore, the community in the International Health Management programme is somewhat special as we are highly supportive of each other, with some even comparing it to a family. The programme is extremely successful at evening out differences in capabilities caused by the variety of academic backgrounds. After autumn term, I personally was able to better understand thought processes in the field of natural sciences and healthcare and I feel like my peers were able to adopt a business mind set at a very high pace.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy?
For me personally, I mostly enjoy working together in groups on projects for extended periods of time. This gives me the opportunity to apply the knowledge I have acquired during the modules as well as diving deeper into the material. Final project presentations are the highlight of each project; listening to the ideas and solutions of our peers and also contributing our own has been highly rewarding. Also, a trip to Kingston Hospital in spring term has been highly enjoyable as we were able to clearly see the management challenges and solutions of healthcare we had been studying. Generally, the strong link between academia and practice is something I enjoy in particular.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
As I have a business background, which brings with it a strong focus on hard evidence, it was interesting to change my mind-set to the challenges of healthcare. These can be much more multidimensional however, it is a very enriching experience to take a different perspective on issues and decision making.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
Meeting people from various cultural, as well as academic and professional, backgrounds is incredibly rewarding to me. An advantage of doing a Master’s degree is exactly this; different students have the ability to provide different insights and perspectives making the learnings form the course applicable to a variety of settings. This also makes discussions and opinion sharing during class that much more exciting. This is even further enhanced by the great number of nationalities within the programme.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
So far my favourite module has been Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour with Dr Michael Brocklehurst. Much of the work of a manager is about relationships, communication and working with people in general. Gaining insight into motivation theories, conflict management and many other topics is a great asset to each business student, as it will allow them to better handle critical social situation in their professional lives. In the end however, it is mainly the links between the varieties of modules that are enjoyable. When, around mid-autumn term, everything starts falling into place and the connections between the contents become clearly visible, this is the most exciting part in which all modules are involved.
Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
My favourite event at the school so far has been a panel discussion called ‘The A&E Crisis – Failure of leadership, media molehill or symptom of a creaking NHS?’. Hearing from professionals with different perspectives about one of the most pressing issues in the NHS and most other national health systems was highly interesting, allowing me to gain a deeper insight into the extent of the problem, management issues and potential solutions.
How would you sum up the Business School faculty?
The faculty is a challenging but highly rewarding and supportive environment. The focus on research and the great awareness of the necessity of application makes the Business School unique. Also, the faculty has a great community, which fosters exchange across postgraduate programmes, allowing students to learn about much more than just their own speciality. The sense of community that the faculty lives every day is an inspiring, unique and incredible experience!
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
All professors and lecturers I have met are specialists in their field and highly passionate about it. This passion translates to the students, which is a great motivation and gives every student the opportunity to discover their own strengths and areas of interest. It is therefore impossible for me to just name one of our professors and lecturers as outstanding.
Imperial places a large emphasis on group work, what inspires you the most about working in this type of environment?
Especially in the International Health Management programme, there is a great variety of academic and professional backgrounds in the student body. This makes group work even more inspiring, as different ways of thinking and problem solving can lead to great outcomes and insights. Learning from each other is just as important in the programme as learning from professors, lecturers and other professionals. This learning takes places during group work and discussions.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
The International Health Management cohort is highly international, with a great variety of academic and professional backgrounds, career interests and past experiences. The comparably small number of students creates a friendly and somewhat family-like atmosphere, which is highly enjoyable.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I am involved in the Staff Student Committee in which I am the Careers Leader.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?
Apart from living in London and being able to access professional networks and a variety of companies, the greatest opportunity so far has been studying in the inspiring environment in which Imperial is. Also, the Careers and Professional Development Service at Imperial is outstanding and unique in its quality.
How have you benefited from the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Service?
The Career and Professional Development Service has been of great help to me. CV and cover letter checks as well as quick pieces of advice by email or on the phone have helped me a lot during my applications. There are many other great offerings from the Career and Professional Development Service. I really cannot stress enough the amount of positive influence the Service has on the sometimes stressful application process. They are always here to help!
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities? Please share any positive experiences you have had.
I think being able to access such a variety of big international companies as well as highly specialised smaller companies is a great advantage of living in a location like London; it gives everyone the opportunity to get in touch with exactly the organisations that are of interest. Personally, I have been able to get to know Morgan Stanley as a company at an event at its office in Canary Wharf. The personal contact with employees of companies is invaluable and allows interested students to really gain an understanding for the company culture and can be of incredible help with applications.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
I would like to work in the pharmaceutical or consulting industry. Overall it is the passion to improve healthcare that drives my career goals. Generally, Imperial has helped me reach these goals by providing me with insight into the workings of these industries and by helping me understand even better what the challenges to business and health systems are and will be in several years.
Where do you see yourself upon completing the programme?
I would like to work either in the pharmaceutical industry or in consulting upon completing the programme. Personally, I find it immensely important to be passionate about the work I do and I think Imperial has given me the opportunity to really discover these areas of interests and deepen my knowledge within the field.
Whereabouts do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
When I moved to London initially I lived in Shepherd’s Bush, an area of London I really love due its vibrant nature and variety of opportunities. The commute to Imperial is also fairly short and its proximity to Holland Park really makes it a great area to live in. Later in the year, I moved a little further south to West Kensington to get to know another region and way of living in London. West Kensington also is a beautiful area with many opportunities and a great community.
What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?
The opportunities in London are endless! Going to the theatre or a concert with fellow MSc students, discovering new areas of London, weekend trips to the country side or simply relaxing in one of London’s beautiful parks are only a few of the options to choose from. From a weekend full of adventures to a few calm days to recover, there is something for everyone.
In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting, undiscovered place in London.
For me, the most exciting undiscovered place in London is Kyoto Garden in Holland Park. It really feels like entering another world and is a great place to take a break from the exciting rush of the city.
If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
For me personally, moving to London has been full of benefits. Moving to a city as multinational, multicultural and vibrant as London has been an amazing experience. Also, the career opportunities and meeting likeminded people who share the same passions is a great benefit. House hunting might seem a little daunting in a city like this, especially when you do it for the first time; my advice is trying not to worry too much about it. The Student Hub is very helpful and there is a great place to live for everyone in London.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the course?
My advice would be to carefully consider what you want to do as a career and match it against the programme contents. For me personally, the programme has been an ideal match. Also, the application preparation can take some time, so it might be advisable to start early in order to craft a perfect application that really represents the applicant’s aspirations and personality. Overall, do not feel intimidated by the idea of moving abroad and joining Imperial College Business School! It is a great community and an incredibly enriching experience.
Share with us a handy hint or trick which makes campus life that much easier!
Get to know the whole of campus and find you favourite place! Might it be Queen’s Lawn on a summer day or your favourite place to get coffee, discovering the campus also beyond the Business School is amazing.