Reflections on the First Year

Posted by: Callum Bennett - Posted on:

I write this blog at the end of the first week of my flexi placement, and felt like this seemed like a fantastic opportunity to give a reflection on my first year in its entirety, including three key things that I learned about the Scheme.

1.  It goes quicker than you think, so make the most of it.

I remember my first day on the scheme with astounding clarity. I was about as nervous as I had ever been in my life up to that point. It’s weird to think that it was over a year ago now because it goes so quickly. The Graduate Scheme is intense, challenging and enjoyable, and I got so caught up in the day to day experience of being on the scheme that a year seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye.

When I look back I have to be honest with myself and say that I didn’t do everything that I wanted to in that time. That is a regret of mine from my first year, and my advice to future trainees is to take some time out from all the activity to clear some head space, think about what you want to do and then think about how you can achieve it. It’s so easy to get caught up in everything that’s happening but you only get to do your first year once, so it’s important to make the most of it.

2.  You will change and adapt.

Despite what I wrote above though I can look back on this as a year of incredible growth. When I started my placement I had only ever used a spreadsheet in an IT lesson, didn’t really have much of an idea on the role of HR and had never even had a job before. Over the year though my knowledge, skills and abilities grew. I built good relationships with my colleagues and found out things about myself that I had never realised. I found myself to be more resilient than I ever believed, and that, in a far cry from my natural shyness, I was able to easily present on topics that varied from Brexit to Data Protection laws to senior figures at the Trust. Due to the support you get and the opportunities you are given your skills will likely develop throughout the scheme.

3.  Talk about it.

One of the most crucial things that I learned from my Placement was that you need to be open. My instinct is to be a private person and this was very hard for me, but it’s one of the most important things for a new trainee to be aware of, in my opinion. The Scheme is challenging and transformative, and it generates a lot of change in your life. For some it could be the first time you’ve had a first full time job, for others you may choose to move house for the scheme, and still for others it may be the first time that you’ve balanced work and study. All these things can be difficult to manage, and sometimes it’s helpful to talk about it, whether that be with your family, other trainees or your managers. The Scheme is an incredible experience, but you need to look after yourself, and part of that can involve being open with those around you.  

I hope that any-one reading enjoys the blog.

Have a nice day,


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Alert: GMTS Scheme applications are now closed for 2024 entry