MBA student joins the virtual frontline to fight against Covid-19

Date 1.06.2020

A University of Northampton Masters in Business Administration (MBA) student, Farsana Kodavandi, is putting her critical thinking and research skills to good use, working for the NHS Test and Trace service.

Before the Covid-19 crisis began, Farsana had just embarked on a placement as part of her MBA studies, working within the Human Resources function of a company managing recruitment, training and shift pattern allocation for care home staff. Farsana credited her university experience for giving her the tools to manage the many changes she’s faced since the start of the pandemic, Farsana said: “My MBA is centred around helping me to develop my critical thinking skills, and ways I can come up with creative solutions to problems.

“When lockdown started, I was initially working from home, caring for my young son, and keeping up with my MBA studies. It wasn’t easy juggling all of these things, but university skills I’ve developed helped me to stay on top of everything.

“Unfortunately, my placement couldn’t continue due to Covid-19 and the drastic changes this caused within my placement organisation in working practices. It was at this point that I truly began to understand resilience, I didn’t get disheartened, I know that I had to do something to support the effort to fight Covid-19.”

In April 2020, the Government announced plans to recruit thousands of contact tracers to create a virtual frontline to fight Covid-19. Student Farsana, decided that her way to make a difference was to apply for a role working to help keep people safe.

She continued: “Based on my experience of working in the care home industry, I was well aware of the hard work being done by the carers and nurses to keep the vulnerable people within the community protected against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“When I saw the contact tracer role, I was determined to get the job, so that I could have the opportunity to do my part, serve the community, and help people to stay safe. Covid-19 has taught us to stay united and to put other’s lives and safety first before our own.”

Farsana will shortly begin working gruelling shifts, speaking to Covid-19 sufferers to understand their movements, whom they may have been in contact with, and giving advice – for example, urging them to self-isolate, as well as tracing people who may have been exposed to the virus.