For those who are thinking of applying to the scheme, my first tip is – push through any negative thoughts you have about whether you’re good enough and go for it! I was in your position 12 months ago and I know exactly how easy it would have been to fall at that first hurdle, so put those limited beliefs aside.
This time last year, I was working in the NHS, thinking about what I wanted to do with my career and after exploring many different graduate programmes, the NHS management graduate scheme stood out by a mile. After consuming everything on the website, Facebook and Twitter, and then speaking to some senior managers within the NHS (don’t be shy in asking, everyone I asked was extremely willing to give me their time!), I decided that the scheme was for me.
I won’t gloss over the fact that the application process is tough. You wouldn’t expect anything else from a programme of this calibre (ranked 7th by the Times for 2018/19). But after the lengthy online application process, the interview, and the demanding assessment centre I was very fortunate to be offered a place on the scheme. As far as personal life highlights it would be up there with getting a PlayStation 2 for my 11th birthday, achieving my degree, and being named sports athlete of the year in sixth form (something I like to constantly remind my old school friends of).
The tips below helped me when I undertook the online assessment for the scheme, and may be helpful for you:
- Make sure you’re in a comfortable environment where you feel relaxed
- Don’t allow yourself to be distracted or procrastinate
- Take breaks during the application process (you can save your progress)
- Have a pen and paper to hand as well as a calculator
- Read the question fully until you understand it
- Embrace the challenge and answer honestly
Ultimately you’ll know what works best for you but hopefully these tips will be some help during the process.
Good luck with your application!