Deena Shahrabani

Deena Shahrabani

About you

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

Prior to commencing my Master’s, I took a year out to gain as much work experience possible in many different sectors to get a broader understanding of my strengths and interests. I worked as a Marketing Associate for a mental health clinic, where I ran Oman’s first nationwide campaign to promote mental health awareness. I also worked for UNICEF as a Programme Assistant for six months, followed by a three-month internship at a local NGO in Oman where I supported the education of children with autism.

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

Aside from the fact that it was actually the only university in the UK that offers this specialised Master’s, the structure of the programme as well as the opportunity to do a real consulting project on a healthcare issue at the end of the programme was attractive. The reputation of Imperial College London also helped a lot in this decision, as I would learn from the top academics and professionals in this field.

What were the benefits of receiving a scholarship?

I received the Imperial Business Scholarship, which really supported my decision to pursue the Master’s at Imperial. Given the high living costs in London, on top of the tuition fees, it was a great relief to receive this scholarship prior to commencing the programme.

Programme

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

I really enjoyed the group work we were given for most modules. The fact that we had to independently work on a large project with minimal guidance was challenging in itself, but to do it in a group of diverse individuals with different perspectives and strengths made it a bigger challenge. The end results of these projects were rewarding and clearly show the hard work and varied insights put into them.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

I really enjoyed Health Systems, Policy and Financing as it really gave us a broad overview of the structure and functions of health systems worldwide, the metrics to assess the best health systems, as well as the opportunity to analyse case studies of specific countries and identify challenges and solutions. I also enjoyed the final group project where we chose a country and gave a comprehensive overview of the system and why it is unique.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

The most challenging part of the programme is the time constraints. Most of our modules ran for a term or half a term, and had so much content and work that we had to submit. Time management and prioritisation ensured success and achieving the most out of the programme.

People

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

The best of the best! I genuinely made such strong bonds with so many inspiring people from all across the world. Our cohort was as international as it could get, and it was really amazing to see this at the start of the programme during induction week with our international showcase presentation.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

I respected all of our professors and really valued their input and advice. Jeremy Fernando, our lecturer for Accounting really introduced accounting well and as simple as possible. He structured the module really well and made it so interactive that it was impossible to find accounting dull. It also helps that he’s DJ Money in his spare time.

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

I loved gaining new ways to approach problems and seeing things from ways I could have not come up with myself. We had three different groups across the three terms and they each were unique in their own way.

 Opportunities

What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?

Directly learning from experts and academics at the top of their field and being able to attend so many different talks and events held on campus by leading professionals and companies. Networking is unparalleled when you go to a leading London institution like Imperial College Business School.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? Do you hold a student leadership position?

I was Student Ambassador representing my cohort so I attended many welcome events to prospective students, answered a lot of their concerns and made the application process a lot smoother for those coming to Imperial.

How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?

The best part was having the opportunity to attend optional modules at different Schools across the university, for example, I took part in the Health Systems Development Module at the School of Public Health, where I studied health from a different perspective and met with other students from different backgrounds. I also attended the EIT Health Innovation day where I worked with medics, engineers and scientists to come up with solutions to tackle problems with carers and elderly care. My team won bronze place on the day!

Career

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

I would ultimately love to work for the World Health Organisation in developing countries or war-torn countries, to support develop their basic infrastructure and incorporate innovative solutions to offer basic healthcare services and meet the UN sustainable goals.

How did the services from Careers help in your professional development?

The Careers service was one of the best things about Imperial, especially at the Business School because we get specialised advisors. I attended a lot of one-on-one coaching sessions and interview practices which helped boost my confidence. I also attended career talks by prospective employers which is was a plus.

London location

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?

Definitely. I can’t think of a better place to do your postgraduate study. The top companies in the world all have a London HQ, and to be able to network with them is incredible.  We had a talk from London’s top healthcare startups where the founders came and gave a presentation. It was incredible to be able to network with them in an informal and casual way.

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

While I was studying the programme I lived in Belgravia. I always enjoy walking to university, and this 25-minute walk was the highlight of my day. It was also close to cool restaurants, cafes and shopping when I wanted to unwind and relax.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in London?

I ran a food blog called icrave.London on Instagram where I documented my food journey across the coolest cafes in town. I also attended shows, concerts and different events! I also travelled across Europe, London’s proximity to top European cities was great and weekend trips were always on the agenda!

What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?

The top challenge is that London is a very busy city and you really need to be independent enough to make yourself at home! London has everything on offer, you just really need to know how to reach everything! Also, be smart in the way you spend. There are so many distractions, but try to use your student discount as much as possible – you’re only a student for a year! Get the Amazon Prime six-month free student membership.

Tips

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

Don’t think twice. It’s a great, well-balanced programme, guaranteed to help you land a good career! I met my favourite person in the world on my cohort, I hope you do too!

MSc International Health Management 2017-18

Nationality: Omani

Undergraduate Education: BSc Biomedical Sciences, University College London

Job after Imperial College Business School: Programme Manager, SparkLabs Energy Accelerator

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