MA Human Geography: The University of Edinburgh
Current Role: Consultant for Performance
Current Organisation: Children in Scotland (CELCIS)
Previous Roles: Assistant Service Manager (x2), Assistant Programme Manager, Project Manager, Customer Service Advisor, Bartender, Student Marketer, Recreation Assistant, Sports Coach
Previous Organisations: NHS Lothian, The City of Edinburgh Council, RBS, Amazon, Nationwide, Harrow House, Bar Aspen
Why do you think you were successful in completing the scheme: Jumping into the scheme with energy, and with a willingness to develop and to learn across the three years, helped me to successfully complete the scheme. I was keen to make a good impression by achieving results and by remembering the patient in everything I did.
Top bit of advice you'd give an applicant or new trainee:
Make sure that your values match those of the NHS and never forget that everything you do is for the patient.
Before the Management Training Scheme:
Growing up, I spent seven years in the care system in London and whilst this wasn't an easy experience, I developed a deep resilience and appreciation of the importance of person-centred services. I moved up to Edinburgh to study Human Geography as an undergraduate, and I always worked part time and volunteered throughout my A-Level and University studies. I worked at Boots, as a Student Marketer and a Bartender and I also volunteered in a number of roles for WaterAid and Who Cares? Scotland - these roles helped to prepare me for the Management Training Scheme by improving my understanding of person-centred services and how to effectively prioritise my time. After graduating, I worked for a year in a range of roles including in banks, at Amazon and as a Sports Coach. I didn't have a healthcare or a management background, but that didn't impede my success for getting onto the Management Training Scheme because I was able to demonstrate that I still shared the values of the NHS in everything that I did.
During the Management Training Scheme:
Getting onto the Management Training Scheme was one of the best things to happen to me in my whole life. For the first time in a job, I felt extremely invested in. Getting to complete a qualification in Project Management, undertaking learning masterclasses and action learning sets, finishing eight sessions with an Executive Coach and graduating in a Masters in 'Integrated Service Improvement: Health and Social Care' allowed me to expand my skills, my self-awareness and my ability to lead and deliver on change across the health service. These factors supplemented the core aspect of the scheme - undertaking four deeply challenging (but extremely rewarding) work placements across NHS Lothian. Every aspect of the scheme ensured that I had the right combination of experience, knowledge and skills to be an effective healthcare manager.
On the scheme I met a whole range of people across the organisation; from Board Members to those working operationally at the coal face. The factor I found most challenging was managing change across multi-agency, multidisciplinary environments and teams where the common ground could often be quite limited. It was also quite testing being such a young manager and directing services with people who often had decades more experience than I did.
There were so many highlights from across my time on the scheme but I think the work I completed with my Executive Coach was the most impactful. Having eight sessions to talk about what was important to me, at work and in life, helped me to better understand my leadership style. Having this space to reflect on my work in each of my roles has allowed me to be more mindful about my practice in the future, as well as helping me to better understand what motivates me.
After the Management Training Scheme:
I worked at NHS National Services Scotland for a year as a Programme Manager for a National Managed Clinical Network and a National Managed Diagnostic Network. I then moved to the Centre for Excellence for Looked after Children in Scotland (CELCIS) where I now work as a Consultant for Permanence. Here, I improve the experiences (and therefore outcomes) of looked after children by using improvement methodology to ensure complex systems work in the best ways possible, thus speeding up the process of permanence for this vulnerable group. I use all of the skills and experiences that I learned on the Management Training Scheme in this deeply challenging and rewarding role."