What degree course did you study and when did you graduate?
Economics, Politics and International Studies (2021).
Why did you choose that particular degree course?
I chose my particular degree course because I didn't necessarily have a specific career path in mind, whilst at university.
I developed a particular passion for politics at sixth form and I was keen to pursue this at university. I was keen to keep my career options open by choosing a degree course that would provide me with a broad range of skills, knowledge and expertise.
Tell us about your employer, your role and what attracted you to them?
I have very recently concluded my journey on the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, specialising in HR.
Following university, I was keen to secure a graduate scheme role within the public sector. I was fortunate enough to find a role as part of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. I was particularly drawn to the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme due to the career opportunities that the scheme provided. Over the course of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, I have worked in a variety of HR roles at Portsmouth Hospitals, Hampshire Constabulary and NHS South, Central & West.
As part of the scheme, I have developed and enhanced my experience working in different aspects of HR (e.g recruitment, operational HR, Equality Diversity + Inclusion, Organisational Development). In addition, I have completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Leadership and a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management (CIPD Level 7).
Prior to the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, I did not really understand what HR involved or what roles HR involved. I now recognise there are a number of roles and avenues to pursue working in HR and would strongly advise against any preconceptions you might have of HR; you might be pleasantly surprised!
What are the key skills you learnt at Warwick that have helped you with your career to date?
As part of the educational aspect of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, I have completed a number of academic essays and research. Essay writing and research skills, developed and enhanced at Warwick, have been particularly helpful in order to complete the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. As part of my Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management, I was required to undertake primary research into a HR topic area of my choice. As part of this, I particularly relied on research skills that I had learnt as part of the module 'Political Research in the 21st Century', which I completed at Warwick. At Warwick, I volunteered for Warwick Nightline. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy volunteering for Warwick Nightline, but this was hugely beneficial during interviews in order to secure a graduate scheme role following university.
What has been your greatest career challenge to date and how did your experience and skills help overcome it?
The greatest challenge that I have faced as part of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme has been managing a workload of regular fulltime working commitments, my Postgraduate Certificate and my Postgraduate Diploma. This has required time management, organisational and resilience skills in order to effectively manage these competing priorities and interests over the past couple of years. I believe that these skills were developed during my time at Warwick.
What ambitions do you have for the future?
I'm really excited to further my career in HR, taking opportunities for development as they arise. I have ambitions to work at a director's level at some point during my career. However, I appreciate that a lot of learning and development is required in order to achieve that particular ambition. I am also aware that unexpected opportunities will arise throughout my career so therefore I am not particularly fixated on a given job role, preferring a more open-minded approach.
What top tips would you give to students looking for a career in your market sector?
In order to effectively work in the public sector, your personal values must be aligned to those of the public sector. Working in the public sector, especially within the NHS, can be demanding and challenging. However, if your values are well aligned and you have a motivation to help others then you will thrive. Working in HR, specifically, requires interpersonal, communication and people skills.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were applying for jobs?
Unfortunately, rejection is a natural part of applying for jobs. Whilst I perhaps was aware of this, I didn't necessarily fully appreciate the extent of this whilst at Warwick. Applying for jobs can be very difficult and it requires resilience in order to persevere and succeed. While it can be quite demoralising, resilience and a determination to succeed will inevitably result in a successful job hunt.
Short-term pain will definitely translate into long-term success. Something you perhaps didn't consider before, or wasn't necessarily your first choice, may end up being something you really benefit from.