What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Most of my experience came from the non-governmental sector. I was a leader of the Medical Student Association and a member of at least three other non-profits. In addition, I’ve had clinical internships in Lithuania, Mexico and Austria.
Why did you decide to study MSc International Health Management at Imperial College Business School?
During my final years in medical school I realised that “treating” the whole healthcare system was more interesting than working with individual patients. My extracurricular experience certainly contributed as I was exposed to various systematic issues of the sector. The MSc International Health Management programme is a great transition from clinical to managerial world which is very different.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?
The group work. University simulates the real-world work environment where you are part of a team and depend heavily on others. In this setting you learn a lot about team management, leadership, communication and decision-making which is essential in business. There’s a lot of application and practice, not only theory.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module was Health Systems, Policy and Financing. This module gives you tools to understand and evaluate any healthcare system in the world. This changed my perspective of my national health system since I was able to see it as a whole, not only from the service provision angle as a medical professional.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
Two things. Firstly, it was tough to understand and adapt to other people’s preferences in a group. Some members value discussions and details while others favour individual tasks and big picture. This is just an example, but you have to make it work especially if you are managing the particular project. Secondly, it was challenging to get rid of my clinical thinking and transition to the business environment where there’s no clear curriculum or rules, originality is highly valued and the bottom line is more important than your opinion.
How do you describe your cohort at Imperial?
My cohort are a diverse group of people who come from different sectors and have unique perspectives on everything. I was surprised how many questions can be asked in each lecture, and I’m always thinking “I couldn’t have come up with that one, I’m glad somebody asked that”. Additionally, I feel I’m always supported and encouraged to improve. This is a different culture compared to what I was used to, and this is the most valuable part of Imperial for me.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
All of them are professionals both in their field and in lecturing. For my personal top three I would pick Dr Marisa Miraldo (Health Economics), Pedro Rosa Dias (Health Systems) and Claire Perry (she used to teach in Imperial, but we invited her to our event as a guest speaker). I think they excelled in communication skills, clear structure, continuous support and clear understanding of students’ perspective.
Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what did you like the most about working in this type of environment?
As mentioned above, I loved the challenge of making a group of completely different people work. I had to put people in the best positions for them, manage disagreements and balance various preferences. I failed multiple times, but this helped me learn and develop as a manager.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
Opportunities are in front of your nose every day at Imperial. I especially liked speaking with guest lecturers after class and asking questions regarding my home country.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
It’s hard to pick one, but I will try to be original. Academic writing, plagiarism awareness and proper citation workshops were boring but very valuable. Strangely enough, I lacked these skills before coming here.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I am the MSc President of the Healthcare Careers Club.
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
Imperial alumni really helped me with job applications. They had tips for interviews and motivational letters, as well as gave invaluable insight into consulting and healthcare management sectors.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My long term goal is to go back to Lithuania and contribute to the development of the healthcare sector. Imperial provided me with strong foundation and opened the door to work in the UK where I can continue my personal growth. I understand better what I want compared to just one year ago.
How did the services from Imperial College Business School Careers help in your professional development/securing employment?
Careers really helped me in every step from CV and motivational letter to the fourth stage of a recruitment process in a consulting company. I’ve had some mock interviews and it definitely helped me to secure the job offer. I recommend that students use all the career services that are available!
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
London is a great location for networking. You can find people from basically any company and sector here.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I lived in GradPad Studios in White City. Since I’ve never been in London before, I chose something simple and straight-forward. It is possible to find something cheaper however.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in London? Have you had opportunities to travel?
I love London. Here there’s something happening every day. I’ve attended many musical shows, museums and restaurants. Also, as a Lithuanian, playing basketball every week was most important for me. Finally, I’ve travelled a lot around UK. I’ve visited Bath, Manchester, the Lake District and towns in Scotland.
What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
I was anxious about finding a place to stay, so GradPad Studios made it easy. Also, getting used to high prices took some time and during the first month I spent too much, especially on transport. My tip – watch “tips for living in London” videos on YouTube.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
Rest properly during the summer and prepare to enjoy one of the best years in your life in one of the best cities in the world.