NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme
“The summer of 2014 I completed my degree in Economics at Coventry University and started on the NHS Graduate Management Scheme during September of this year. I found out about the scheme whilst at University by looking at various graduate job sites and league tables. Initially I applied during my studies, however, I was unsuccessful. After practicing my numerical and verbal reasoning skills and with additional work experience I decided I would try again. As in the first application I chose finance as my specialty; applicants are able to choose between General Management, Human Resources and Health Informatics. What is interesting is the large mix of different degree backgrounds for each of the specialties.
As part of the scheme you will undertake various placements, my first, where I am currently based in the Heart of England Foundation Trust in Birmingham. I am part of the management accounts team, I assist with completing journals, writing directorate reports, liaising with clinical departments for the Emergency Pathway and getting stuck in with month end, which is really challenging and a great introduction to finance. I will be at the Heart of England Trust until June when I will move to my next placement; which will also be within the West Midlands. As part of the scheme I have completed an orientation period, this involved visiting a number of different departments across the hospital including catering, A&E, Operating theatres and pathology. It was a great way to be introduced and improve my understanding of the NHS and specifically, my trust. Also I found it quite refreshing to meet the staff and speak to those who work within the different departments.
In November I sat the first of my CIPFA accountancy exams, to prepare for these I have been attending online and classroom based lectures. It is great to be studying with the other finance graduates and everybody has been helping each other get to grips with the material. I have also been in Leeds for residential courses, which have been comprehensive and useful, another great bonus of the NHS Graduate Scheme. These courses have been focusing on leadership and varied from sessions with actors, to understanding the structure of the NHS and learning about networking. They are also a great opportunity to catch up with the other ‘schemers’ and hear about their experiences and their jobs so far.
If you were to apply, I would recommend taking the time to practice online tests and understand the stages of the application process. These are key, without mastering this stage you will not get the opportunity to really present yourself at the second interview stage, I think this is where I went wrong the first time round! Finally ensure you have as much knowledge as you can of the NHS, its values and the challenges it currently faces, and most of all get as much practice and experience as possible. My experiences of applying, interviews and my further work experience all helped me the second time around.”
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