Following their first week on the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, the new intake came together on Monday 16th September at Taunton Rugby and Football Club for their Regional Welcome Event. The day was intended as an informal get together to allow trainees to start developing their networks and support systems that will be vital across their 2-2.5 years on the scheme. It was also a chance for them to hear from a number of second year trainees, who kindly took time out of their flexi placements to support the event and give their honest insights into what life is like on the scheme.
The day kicked off with the (often dreaded) ice breaker in the form of ‘Would I Lie to You’ style competition, set up by Josh, our 2nd year Finance trainee. Any tension soon left the room as the new trainees threw themselves into the game, filling the space with energy and laughter. We learnt some interesting facts about the new trainees and worked out who the competitive ones in the group are…
Given that a number of the new trainees had only just moved into the South West, we thought it might be useful, or at least interesting, for them to know a few key facts about each area. Chloe (Health Informatics) and Dean (Human Resources) used their own experience of the region, plus a bit of research to give us all some insights. Who knew that Westward Ho! was the only place in the British Isles to have an exclamation mark in it’s name (the only other place with this is Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! in Quebec, Canada).
Then it was time for the serious stuff – an overview of the education and performance monitoring components of the scheme. There were loads of really insightful questions from the new trainees, which our current second years were able to answer and provide some reassurance. This was supported by some hints and tricks from Rachel (General Management) on how to get the most out of using Geni, the online portal for GMTS, including some that even other current trainees didn’t know!
Eloise (General Management) then gave a comprehensive A to Z of advice and what to expect on the scheme such as:
- A – Anxiety
- B – Balance
- C – Competencies
- D – Deadlines
- E – Education
To end the day, trainees were able to hear a bit about where they could end up after the scheme from Simon Sethi, Chief Operating Officer of Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Simon joined GMTS 11 years ago and talked about his time on the scheme, including both the ups, like finding fantastic mentors who have stayed with him to this day, and the downs, such as loud and aggressive managers. He also spoke about his journey since leaving the scheme, covering a range of roles across commissioning, public health, operational management and strategic change, and what he had learnt from all those experiences. This left the trainees inspired for what their future could hold – and we look forward to supporting them in achieving it!
By Eleanor Wallace
GMTS Regional Trainee Support Manager (South West)
NHS Leadership Academy