Patrick De Barr
MSc International Health Management 2016-17
Pre-MSc International Health Management:

BSc Physiotherapy at University of Newcastle, Australia

Job prior to Imperial College Business School:


MSc International Health Management 2016-17

Academic and industry experience before Imperial

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

I worked in public and private hospitals in Sydney as a physiotherapist. I worked mainly in rehabilitation and with stroke survivors.

I also moved to Indonesia where I co-founded a business prior to starting my Master’s at Imperial. This tech company provided software and hardware solutions, as well as staff training to improve financial inclusion in Indonesia.

Studying MSc International Health Management

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

Through several experiences in entrepreneurship and management, I realised that my interest was in these areas. MSc International Health Management was a beautiful blend of knowledge that I wanted to attain through the business courses, combined with a health sector focus. This focus on healthcare was very important to me.

What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?

The most rewarding part of the programme is meeting other students from all around the world and learning from their unique experiences. There are over 30 nationalities represented in my cohort and it has been my privilege to get to know these wonderful and interesting individuals.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

My favourite module was Organisational Behaviour. This module explored how a company’s culture can influence its success and failure and how, as managers, we must be able to anticipate social dynamics in order to create strong and productive teams.

Guest speakers

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

I attended a talk given by Dr Beth Marcus, the entrepreneur and investor, who is also the entrepreneur-in-residence at Imperial College. She spoke on the topic of “Failing fast and often”. This highlighted the importance of failing as a way to learn and grow, and encouraged people to not to use “failure” as a reason to not pursue new ventures.

The faculty

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

Associate Professor Pedro Rosa Dias gave lectures that were interactive and thought-provoking. For example, he would have us imagine we were making difficult decisions about the financing or development of healthcare programmes in developing countries – and he would challenge us to consider alternative models of provision and system design. I really appreciated his teaching style – especially the energy he brought to the lecture theatre.

Your cohort

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work, what did you like the most about working in this type of environment?

I love working in teams of capable individuals, all rallying together and working towards a common goal. Some of my fondest memories are of groups sessions that go on longer then scheduled just because the ideas are flowing.

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Intelligent, worldly and curious!

Extracurricular activities

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

I have been the Chairperson of the programme and subsequently sat on the Dean’s Student Advisory Council. Through this opportunity, I have worked as part of a societal engagement group – our first project has been focused on designing and deploying an ICT literacy programme in White City.

Opportunities from studying at Imperial

What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?

I was involved in the Althea-Imperial programme. This programme supports female entrepreneurs at Imperial College. Students were encouraged to apply with an idea only and over the course of a few months, the ideas, as well as their owners, evolved. The programme included workshops, guest speakers, and interactive events. I have seen Imperial’s commitment to fostering innovative thinking and entrepreneurship and this has been a superb opportunity for me to explore this area and test out my ideas.

Career goals and jobs

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

I am still navigating the decision of my future career. I know that I enjoy health technology, process design and entrepreneurship. Since being at Imperial, I feel like I have become aware of so many exciting career options – and this has been truly remarkable.

Life as a student in London

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.

London is a hub of healthcare and technology. I was so pleased to be able to study here as it has lead me to think about my career goals more globally. By living and studying in London I have met many interesting people working in health innovations. For example, I am currently working with a stroke robotic company. I met the founder of the company at an Imperial networking event and quickly began working on the project as it suited my skills in business and stroke rehabilitation.

Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?

I live in Notting Hill. It is a brilliant location – close to everything I need and it is only a 30-minute walk from university. I love the West London architecture, art and restaurants. I am always in awe of the beauty of the buildings and Hyde Park as I walk to and from University. 

What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?

Weekends in London are always brilliant. My favourite kind of weekend would involve walks through Hyde Park or Holland Park, seeing a West End show, Sunday brunch and exploring a gallery or museum with some friends. There is always interesting events and live music all over this great city!

Advice for future students

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

Think about where you want to be and what you want to do in the future – and decide whether the programme will help you get there. But, also be open to the possibility that the programme will expand your mind and cause you to be curious about other areas. I highly recommend the MSc International Health Management to anyone who wants to learn about healthcare systems through an organisational and resource allocation lens. And for those interested in management, consulting or health innovation.

MSc International Health Management 2016-17
Pre-MSc International Health Management:

BSc Physiotherapy at University of Newcastle, Australia

Job prior to Imperial College Business School: