Management Training Scheme (MTS)

Graduate trainees

Trainee: Catherine Kim

TYPE: Finance


Degree title and University: MA (Hons) French-Hispanic Studies

Current Role:  Support Manager, Surgical Division, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Current Organisation:  NHS Grampian

Previous Roles:  Communications Officer, Corporate Communications/Project Manager, Donor Retention

Previous Organisations:  NHS Grampian/ The ARCHIE Foundation

Why do you think you were successful in completing the scheme:  Being willing to learn and getting on well with other people has helped a lot.  Also not being afraid to ask for more work when my original workload began to dry up means I was constantly able to contribute in a meaningful way to each team I was in - this has resulted in me being kept on by the department I did my second placement in for my substantive post

Top bit of advice you'd give an applicant or new trainee:

Don't worry too much about the other people around you whether in the role or during the application process - focus on your own strengths and what these can bring to each situation you encounter.

Before the Management Training Scheme:

I was a languages student at the University of Aberdeen.  I had lived abroad and my experience teaching in France and Peru had confirmed that teaching was not for me!  The other "obvious" career option for languages was translation/interpretation but that didn't really appeal to me either.  Outside of the lecture hall, I served as a class representative, led a small group in my church and mentored first year students - I realised that I could use these leadership and organisational skills in my career which led to me pursuing the Management Training Scheme

During the Management Training Scheme:

The Scheme has been some experience!  I started in Corporate Communications with two high level projects trying to improve communication between members of the Executive Team and NHS Grampian staff.  I then did my elective in The ARCHIE Foundation running a data analysis project on the charity's donors.  From there I moved to the Surgical Division in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.  I am a Support Manager for Plastic Surgery doing everything from creating a timetable for a new consultant (much harder than you think!) to coming up with ideas to improve our performance against government targets to managing day-to-day issues with staffing, theatres going down, patient feedback.  The list goes on!  I've met lots of amazing people, making new friends and getting to work with people from every walk of life.  The Health Service is dependent on the people who work for it and this is probably the most challenging aspect of the job as well as being the best bit!  Lack of confidence has made dealing with conflict (whether with teams I've managed or just boisterous characters) but I've definitely grown in this area during my time on the Scheme.  There is a tendency for people to blame management when things go wrong (often these things are completely beyond our control!) so I've definitely developed a thicker skin being here!  My highlight from the Scheme has been those moments when you can make a difference for individual patients whether it's getting someone who has been waiting a long time a date for their surgery or bringing a clinic appointment forward for an urgent patient - these things are a small part of the job for me but make a world of difference to the patient.

After the Management Training Scheme:                                                            

I really hope I can continue working in an operational role in NHS Grampian.  It's a great place to work and the job brings something different every week!