General Management

From student to manager: Don’t let the fear of inadequacy hold you back

Posted by Alexandra Close, 05 Oct 2018

Being my first post, I’ll introduce myself. My name is Alex I studied Biology with Science and Society at the University of Manchester and (like a lot of you contemplating applying for the scheme) this is my first full time job. 
 

In my final year of university, I was pretty unsure of what I wanted to do. All of my previous work experience was with animals, but after working at Paignton Zoo for my placement year I realised the zoo life was not for me. I wanted a complete change in direction. I went to my careers department and explained that I wanted a job where I could influence real change, which would positively affect the society we live in. It was then I was told about the NHS Graduate Management Scheme.

I was totally blown away. After reading through all of the blogs, tweets and religiously watching the snapchat story for weeks on end, I decided to apply. I thought I had no chance. My plan was to apply just for the experience and then apply again next year when I had more relevant experience. This time last year I would never have imagined that I would have got to where I am today.

Here’s where I give you some patronising advice based on my experience. When you look at the numbers of people applying for the scheme it can be so daunting. You think, “17000 people, they are never going to pick me!”; but that it’s the wrong attitude. If you think you are right for this scheme, that you could positively influence our NHS services you should be thinking, “Why wouldn’t they pick me?”. What they look for is not bags of experience, its enthusiasm, resilience and grit. If you have these characteristics, along with a genuine passion for the NHS, then you will go a long way! Believe me half of the fight is just believing in yourself and talking that first step.

Alexandra Close

Alexandra Close

2018 intake

My degree helped me realise that I enjoy the application of science more than its intricacies. That drove me to apply for the scheme, which offers the opportunity to become involved in the management of scientific innovation. I didn't always think that this would be my path. I spent a year at a zoo working with animals including giraffes and meerkats. But the scheme will hopefully give me the opportunity to shine in a different work environment. 

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