NHS Grad: What’s in Store?

Posted by: Freya Macfarlane - Posted on:

Congratulations to everyone who was given a place on the Scheme early this month! I know my HR colleague has been stalking the new HR recruits on Twitter already making sure they know who they need to chat to if they have any questions. You will be joining the NHS in its 70th Anniversary which I feel is a good omen for your future endeavours. I suspect what is now filling your mind, apart from frantically filling in references and organising your life for September, is what on earth you will actually be doing. Generally, I would say don’t OVER-think this as there is really no set plan for any of you. Each placement is so unique it is hard to predict what you may come up against. I know people who are in Acute Trusts to CCGs, in Surgery or Family Care, in a small team or a large one. Whereas some were thrown into managing a group (mostly general managers), others have had quite a slow uptake in the amount of work they are doing. The latter would mostly describe mine – at first I think it was hard for my HR team to give me some cases as they were used to taking the brunt of it themselves, maybe even unsure in my capabilities. Not that I blame them, but it is hard to prove yourself without an opportunity. However, post-Christmas that all changed, now they can’t wait to give an investigation, or a meeting, to ease the load. All I can say is that I didn’t think I would be feeling this competent in a profession I had zero awareness of 12 months ago.

Regardless, each one has its benefits and limitations, and one day you might be bored senseless, the next running around with to do something IMPORTANT. Luckily you will have a wonderful group of fellow trainees, your regional group most likely, to help you through the process. It may be you need to vent about a particular irksome situation (or person), or maybe you need some help from the finance grad on what the h*ll you are looking at on a directorate spreadsheet. I think I would have lost the plot a long time ago without my trusty Whatsapp groups. The next few months will be a whirlwind so take a deep breath, and relax – You did it! See you in September!

Freya Macfarlane

I’m Freya and I joined the HR stream 2017 intake. For the past few years I’ve been a postgrad student, graduating with an MA in Education (2015) and an MA in Art Gallery & Museum Studies (2016). My experience as an educational practitioner, supported by my research into cultural equity within institutions, solidified my ambition to an agent of positive change. I applied for the NHS since I believe it is the bedrock of our society, and its values would motivate me in a way that profit-driven organisations couldn’t. Furthermore, I’m certain that the scheme will not just utilise my skillset, but encourage me to develop and flourish. Now I’m in the heart of it, I cannot wait to continue my journey and ‘be an instrument for good.’

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Applications for the September 2021 intake will open in October 2020