Global Business School for Health


MBA Health Student Spotlight: Alexandra Hughes

13 July 2022

We speak to Alexandra Hughes, who will be joining the first-ever cohort for the innovative UCL MBA Health in September 2022, about her background, career goals and why she's excited to begin studying for the UCL MBA Health.

Alexandra Hughes Headshot for MBA Health

Tell me more about your background – it would be great to find out more about your education and career so far.

I have always been interested in people and health. So, after studying natural sciences at Cambridge I moved on to study medicine at UCL. I have been working as a doctor in the NHS now for the last five years where I have moved through the ranks, first as an academic foundation doctor in London and then as a psychiatry trainee in Edinburgh. 

Why did you choose to apply for the UCL MBA Health?

Creating positive change in people’s worlds is my fuel and so working as a doctor to help patients have better lives has been a privilege. Experiencing work at the face of acute health services though, particularly during the pandemic, has really shone a light for me on the challenge that frontline medical staff have in instigating positive change on a scale that extends beyond that of the individual. We are trained to provide safe and good quality healthcare, but there is less of a focus on understanding and therefore making a difference in the system in which we operate. To do this I think it’s really important to seek out hands-on and practical training in management, leadership and business within healthcare and I think that the MBA Health at UCL will offer this. 

What aspect of the UCL MBA Health programme are you most excited by?

I am definitely most excited about being taught by some of the leading experts within the healthcare industry. And all out of a university that is one of the best in the world for health!

Is healthcare management an area more business schools should be exploring? If so, why?

In short, yes. I started off by looking at general MBAs and it just felt like healthcare was always an afterthought - a module to be tacked at the end of the programme. And whilst a general MBA definitely makes sense for people in other industries, I am a medic and I know where my passion and future career path both lie, so the focus of the MBA Health addressed this issue for me. Also, if the last two years have taught me anything, it is that healthcare is not only an incredibly unique industry but one of the fastest growing and changing sectors globally and so creating more MBAs that specifically focus on health will be a key recognition of this.  

Is there a particular area of global healthcare management that you are interested in? If so, why?

Training in psychiatry, my interests lie in mental health systems locally and globally but I want to keep an open mind. The programme’s breadth and dedicated career advisor will allow for this. 

What value do you feel a UCL MBA Health will add to your career moving forward?

The MBA Health at UCL will elevate me to becoming a physician who not only understands frontline healthcare but also the behind-the-scenes structures and management of healthcare systems. My intention after the MBA Health is to use this edge to excel in a career in health management. 

What advice would you give to prospective students thinking about applying for the UCL MBA Health?

This is a really innovative and unique programme that stands out from the crowd and so I would just say, take the leap and apply! 

Learn more about the UCL MBA Health