Alexandra S.
Alexandra S.
NHS Health Informatics Graduate Management Trainee
Specialism Health Informatics

About Alexandra

Experience

From refugee resettlement in the US to health informatics in the NHS.
Originally from Texas, I completed a BA in International Relations, concentration in Middle East and North Africa, in 2015. After undergraduate experiences living in North Africa and taking coursework in global health, I moved into non-profit work, working to help newly resettled refugees, many from the MENA region that I was very familiar with, to access health and social services in Houston. After a year in refugee resettlement, I moved to Scotland, where I spent the past year completing an MSc in Global Health and Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh. I'm now beginning work as a Graduate Management Trainee for the NHS in London, in the field of Health Informatics.

Position

I'm a Health Informatics Trainee with NHS England.
As a Graduate Management Trainee with the NHS, I'll have the opportunity to spend time in several hospitals and offices over the course of the next two years. My first year will be spent with the Greenwich and Lewisham Trust, where I will be involved with everything from the data warehouse to finance to the A&E. As part of the Health Informatics specialisation, I will study and apply skills including programming, data analysis, and data processing in order to help manage the large amount of information that is critical to the functioning of any hospital.

Motivations

I like the wide variety of opportunities/experiences offered by GMTS.
As part of the GMTS, I have the opportunity to gain academic qualifications in new fields like health informatics and healthcare leadership, whilst also working full time within the health system. I will have the opportunity to work in two different hospitals as part of my first placement with the Lewisham Greenwich Trust, and outside of a hospital during my flexi placement at Wellington House, in addition to a third placement that I have the opportunity to choose based on my own interests and goals. This combination allows me and other trainees to apply what we are learning in the classroom to real world work within different parts of the health system. Additionally, the many mentors and guides provided by the GMTS make joining the NHS a very comfortable and enjoyable process.

Advice

Follow your values!
Values are key to working with the NHS. The most important thing isn't that you come from a background in healthcare, it's that you share the values that guide and shape the NHS. Although my background is largely in policy and politics, with work experience in refugee resettlement, my values aligned with the NHS in such a way that I fit well onto the Scheme. The GMTS will give you the opportunity to learn your job; the main thing is that you come in with a focus on patient care and a good work ethic.

Achievement

I am most proud of being named Outstanding Grad after my BA.
When I completed my BA in 2015, I was informed that I had been nominated by multiple faculty members both for Outstanding Graduate in International Studies, and for Outstanding Graduate of 2015. After an interview with a panel of professors and university administrators, I was selected for both awards. To be named not only the top graduate in my field, but also out of my entire graduating class, was particularly meaningful to me for two reasons. Firstly, the nomination came from professors whom I highly respect. Secondly, the award is not a result of academic merit (although you must have First Class Honours to be eligible), but rather of contributions to campus and community life. I worked hard as an undergraduate, volunteering, being an officer of many societies, and a member of the honours college, and to have that work recognised as a contribution that would last after my stay at university was incredibly humbling.

NHS

Whatever your future leadership ambitions are, the NHS offers a fantastic start with a variety of challenging placements in an organisation that is wholeheartedly determined to provide equal opportunities to all employees. Selection for the scheme is based solely on aptitude and ability to ensure we have the best leaders for the NHS.

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