Health and Management Alumna Preeta Varghese tells us about her career in healthcare
Prior to this, I worked for a private healthcare group in Belfast, which is where I’m originally from. I wanted to further my education and advance my career hence, I decided to resign my job and do Master’s full-time. My Master’s degree helped me develop management knowledge and skills around areas such as leading and transforming services, leadership roles, managing people in the public sector and health law and ethics and my dissertation topic was based on NHS performance targets. The research I did around various topics as part of my modules and dissertation gave me a good insight into various subjects such as how to manage people and about National Standards with regard to waiting times, in great detail. The latter greatly helped me in my current role to understand the consequences of breaching waiting time targets and how to manage waiting time lists to provide patients with appointments within appropriate timescales.
When I decided to relocate to Surrey to begin my career in the NHS, not only that I had to get adjusted to a new city, but I also had the challenge of learning about the new job, hospital work environment and culture. It was the exact same feeling I had when I moved to Brighton for the first time- it was both nerve wrecking and exciting at the same time!
Although I always wanted to work for the public health sector, it was quite a challenge to take up the job as I had no previous experience of working in the NHS or managing a team. However, when I got to know that my Master’s degree was the deciding factor for the interview panel to offer me the role, I felt confident that I could manage a team on my own.
My Master’s degree along with the work experience and skills I gained over the years, significantly helped me find my feet in the new work environment. I have been able to successfully apply a few management theories and concepts at my workplace, in the span of just six months, particularly on ways to motivate my team and to adapt different management styles according to the context.
Recently, I accepted a new job offer, which will be on a higher pay band, within the same hospital and I believe the new role will enable me to make more use of my academic knowledge and skills to manage a bigger team and to handle more responsibilities.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Brighton, both my academic life and the city life. I was lucky to have had the most supportive lecturers who were always available to offer help and guidance, when needed. A tip for students currently pursuing their degree is to stay focused and to seek help from your lectures when necessary and to make the most of the resources provided by the University to ace your degree!