Hello there! It doesn’t seem like very long ago that it was me reading these blogs and now here we are a year later and I’m writing one – it’s crazy how so much can change in one year.
My name is Joanna, and I’m on the 2018 intake for HR currently 3 weeks into my first placement which is in Harrogate, Yorkshire. I studied Theology, Religion and the Bible at the University of Sheffield, which (quite bizarrely) lead me into a career in the motoring industry as a Service Advisor for 3 years.
I joined the motoring industry fully intending to stay within the sector and work my way up into management. However, it became clear to me fairly early on that I didn’t want my career to be about making money. I was tied into the organisation for 2 years, so after that was over I started looking into what I really wanted to commit my life to.
What struck me about the NHS was the over-arching and foundational value that everyone should be able to access healthcare no matter their wealth or health. Having worked in an industry where money is king, this felt super refreshing to me as no matter what role you play within the NHS, you are working for an organisation that’s about people and for people – rather than the private sector which ultimately is all about making money. So I decided to apply for the scheme.
As someone that had worked in another industry for 3 years, applying to something completely new felt very scary. I liked being in a job where I knew what I was doing and was good at it – so starting something completely new and putting a trainee badge on again was not something I was excited for. However, the scheme is so well regarded, that putting the “trainee” badge on here, actually gives you amazing opportunities and support. So many people I’ve met on my placement so far have been really excited to meet me, “the new HR graduate management trainee” and rather than seeing me as someone useless, have been excited to have me and offered their help and encouragement.
So, if like me you’re considering a career change to apply and are worried about being the trainee again, know that being an NHS management graduate trainee doesn’t come with any of the stigma of a usual trainee – people see you as someone who’s going to be significant and worth investing in, rather than someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing (even though you don’t!!).