Joint Research Office


Sham Islam

Blog written by Sham Islam, Operations Manager

Reflecting on my career journey, I see a path filled with diverse experiences, opportunities, and personal growth. It all began with obtaining a degree in HR and Business Management, a decision that laid the foundation for the professional journey that followed alongside my MBA and CIPD qualification. Upon completing my degree, I embarked on a path that allowed me to witness the ups and downs of various sectors, each contributing significantly to my growth and adaptability.

My career kicked off with a bold step, joining the Tesco graduate scheme. Although I embarked on this journey with enthusiasm, I realised that the irregular shift patterns were not conducive to my desired work-life balance. Recognising the importance of aligning my career with my personal values, I made the courageous decision to quit Tesco, setting the stage for a transformative experience and went away on a holiday with friends from university. This re-evaluation led me to the National Health Service at UCLH, where I found my footing as a Band 2 Medical Records Coordinator on an agency-based role. In this role, I gained insights into the healthcare system's complexities and developed a strong foundation in organisational processes and patient care. It was a role that demanded attention to detail and dedication, and it instilled in me a deep sense of responsibility.

As I continued to grow and evolve in my career at UCLH, I moved into the position of Service Manager within the Outpatient Departments (OPD), where I had the privilege of contributing to the enhancement of patient care and services. This experience not only broadened my understanding of healthcare operations but also allowed me to develop leadership and management skills. The desire for growth and a broader impact steered me towards roles with increasing responsibility. Progressing through the ranks, I assumed the position of Service Manager in Musculoskeletal Services (MSK), acquiring invaluable experience in managing healthcare services effectively and efficiently.

My journey within the NHS didn't stop there. I further expanded my horizons by transitioning into the role of service manager for the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services (NEPTs). These roles provided me with a comprehensive understanding of various facets of healthcare delivery, from patient care to logistics and operations. This was an entirely different domain that demanded a fresh set of skills and a nuanced understanding of transportation logistics within the healthcare industry. This shift expanded my understanding of patient care beyond hospital walls.

A pivotal moment in my career occurred when I ventured into the Workforce department as I felt I was not fully utilising my degree. In this role, I became involved in the management of staff, medical consultant & VSM recruitment lead, this gave me understanding of the critical role that healthcare professionals play in delivering quality care. It was a profound experience, one that fostered my appreciation for the dedicated individuals who make the NHS a reality.

My journey took another exciting turn when I ventured into the realm of Research and Development. Here, I have had the opportunity to contribute to the creation and implementation of innovative solutions to the JRO, a role that combines my business management background with my healthcare expertise. Today, I find myself in the stimulating and innovative realm of research and development as an operations manager working with teams all over UCLH and externally. This role challenges me to think creatively, streamline processes, and contribute to ground-breaking healthcare advancements. I see my work as not only a career but as a mission to improve healthcare with research and make a difference in people's lives.

Reflecting on this journey, I see a rich tapestry of experiences, each contributing to my personal and professional growth. From navigating diverse roles in healthcare to understanding the importance of aligning my career with my values, my path has been marked by learning, growth, and resilience. As I look toward the future, I am eager to continue my journey, building on the experiences and insights I've gained thus far.

Furthermore, have learned the importance of being open to change, embracing new challenges, and leveraging every experience to fuel personal and professional growth. My career has taught me the importance of adaptability, continuous learning, and the value of making choices that align with my passions and values. With each step, I am better equipped to contribute positively to the healthcare field and to continue evolving as a professional.