Vijayakumar Neethi

Public Health MSc

View the course
  • Year of graduation: 2023

Your university/career journey

Why did you choose your course at UON?

I’ve always wanted to graduate from a reputable university abroad. When I began my search, I wanted to look at health programmes in the UK, as one of the key advantages of studying in the UK has always been that foreign students are well accepted.

Universities in the UK place a strong emphasis on hiring some of the top faculty members in the world, in addition to offering high-quality education. As a student one can very easily blend into the rich culture of the nation, and the universities make sure that the students are at ease and able to quickly adapt to their new surroundings – this is what drew me to the United Kingdom. Additionally, I travelled to the UK as a tourist in 2017 and was smitten with the people and the culture.

And the reasons to pick UON were many. I learned about the University of Northampton from the UK Malayalee group on Facebook and as I dug deeper, I discovered that everyone I spoke with was pleased with the education, the teachers and the campus. Moreover, “World leading” research was discovered in submissions for Allied Health Professions, Art and Design, English Language and Literature, History, Geography and Environmental Studies, and Education in the most current Research Excellence Framework (REF, 2014).

Northampton is also one of the UK’s leading universities in terms of giving value to society and making a social impact. The University has received numerous honours for their work in this field, among others, but what matters most is that they ensure that their students and graduates have opportunities to make a difference in the world as well. This made UON the first university in the UK to be awarded as a Changemaker Campus in 2012.

What more motivation does a student need to attend this prestigious University?

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most and why?

While I was a student, I had the honour of studying under eminent professors and engaging in interesting academic debates. These opportunities not only widened my knowledge base, but also enabled me to win the award for Academic Excellence in the MSc Public Health programme. The well-equipped libraries, as well as the extensive assistance of the academic librarians, have provided me with an incredible learning environment that has benefited my intellectual development. The massive library and 24/7 access to it were two major charms for me – I could access it day or night.

Extra-curricular activities

Did you do any extra-curricular activities while at UON?

Yes, I got fantastic opportunities to hold numerous positions at UON. I served at the Student Information Desk as a customer service assistant, a member of the welcoming team, a graduation ceremony assistant, and an exam invigilator. I also worked as a catering assistant in The Market restaurant and the Waterside Restaurant.

How did these extra-curricular activities enhance your career prospects?

In addition to my academic accomplishments, the University of Northampton provided me with the opportunity to gain practical experience through part-time jobs. I had the excellent experience of interacting with students from all over the world and successfully resolving their queries while working at the Student Information Desk. These chances enabled me to apply theoretical principles in real-world circumstances, thereby expanding my abilities and knowledge. It also helped me develop valuable skills such as teamwork, managerial abilities, interpersonal skills, problem-solving, the ability to adapt, and time management, to name just a few.

How do you think your studies have helped your career or personal development?

My education helped me to gain knowledge and abilities in a variety of disciplines, which has increased my comprehension and competency in those domains. This has also assisted my personal development. My time at UON also helped me to improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Engaging in academic studies typically requires analysing information, considering opposing perspectives and developing critical thinking skills, and I was able to acquire these skills through my education which helped me to make sound decisions and successfully resolve challenges. Furthermore, these abilities benefited my work at UON’s Student Information Desk.

My studies also exposed me to new ideas, cultures and experiences, allowing for personal growth and broadening my viewpoint. Collaboration, presentations, and debates were required in my course, which aided in the development of my communication and interpersonal abilities.

Describe your career progression so far, and any plans you have for the future. Are there any particular hurdles you may face?

I’m currently looking for new employment possibilities in the Public Health sector. Yes, there can be a number of obstacles for anyone starting a new career, but because of the exposure I had at UON, I feel confident about my future.

Your Advice

In one sentence, what advice would you give to undergraduates interested in this career path or anything you wish you had known earlier?

My advice to undergraduates interested in pursuing a Master’s in Public Health is that there are several benefits to pursuing a career in this sector, including the opportunity to make a positive impact on the wellness of the population, contribute to the prevention and promotion of health, work in diverse and interdisciplinary settings, tackle social determinants of health, and engage in meaningful research and policy work to improve community well-being.

How would you summarise your UON experience?

A community that welcomes all – inspiring learning, connections that last a lifetime, and unforgettable moments.