What was your motivation for applying to GMTS?
I’d worked in a few different roles after leaving university and never really found the right ‘fit’ for me. I enjoyed the work I did but I didn’t find anywhere I could really see myself staying and progressing over a long period of time. I’d always been interested in HR and loved the idea of working in healthcare. I also believed that the ethos of the NHS fits in with my own personal values so I knew it was somewhere I could really see myself building a career. I actually stumbled across the application page purely by chance and thought it meshed my two interests perfectly, so I applied there and then.
What do you think people should know before applying – now you’re a trainee?
It’s not just for what you may think are ‘typical’ grads! – in that there is such a diverse range of people on the Scheme, some of whom like me graduated several years ago and haven’t been in education for some time. Some have had careers in other sectors before applying; some are former nurses! So please don’t put yourself off applying because you aren’t fresh out of university – I almost did because I thought ‘they don’t want an almost 30-year-old parent on the Scheme’ and I was incredibly wrong. It’s been a great opportunity for me and I’m honestly so glad I took the leap and applied.
Can you describe a typical day in the life of a GMTS trainee?
Very varied – I have so many opportunities to be involved in different projects and for me it’s been such a fantastic way to learn and gain experience. My manager is also very open in our meetings and if I want to get any experience in other areas or projects, I am able to ask and my placement will try to accommodate this. My days are usually spent holding HR-related meetings with managers and colleagues, responding to queries and working on any other projects, for example policy work.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a trainee?
I would say the experiences you are able to have being as a trainee. My Trust are incredibly welcoming of GMTS and the colleagues I’ve worked with are always happy to take the time to help me and deepen my understanding. I had a moment on my induction where I was able to observe surgery in theatres and I thought about how fortunate I was to be able to have this inside view and perspective. It’s not every day you are able to see amazing things like this and it’s really rewarding.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced on GMTS so far?
Balancing my time has been a challenge because alongside my role at my placement, I’ve also got the HR Education, my EGA Education, GMTS competencies and then my roles and responsibilities as a parent and my desire to still have a social life and spend time with family and friends! So it can be a lot. But it’s manageable, I just have to be quite strict with my time and make sure I’m organised and aware of my deadlines. The GMTS team and my placement manager are very supportive though and I always feel like I can speak to someone if I’m struggling to balance my time and look for solutions.
What have you felt most proud of achieving as a trainee?
Aside from learning some of the main acronyms (the NHS loves an acronym) I’ve felt really proud of myself for understanding some of my HR processes at my Trust and I feel a lot more confident now with these than when I first started.
What’s your NHS career ambition after leaving NHS GMTS?
I can definitely see myself enjoying a role as a HR Business Partner from what I’ve experienced so far. I’m due to start my second placement in November so maybe I’ll discover other roles I’d aspire to, but HRBP is my goal at the moment.
Hi I’m Sophie! I’m 28 and a Human Resources September 2022 trainee based in South Yorkshire. My partner Luke and I have a 2 year old little girl who is an absolute ball of energy and sunshine and in my spare time I love going out with friends and family, discovering new places to eat and doing yoga (when I have any energy left!). I’m currently almost halfway through my first placement and I’ve had an amazing experience so far and met some wonderful people, both at my placement and on the GMTS as a whole.