Fiona W.
NHS Graduate Management Trainee
Specialism General Management

About Fiona

Key Experiences

Starting the NHS Graduate Scheme after a degree in Chemistry
Since 2011 I have been studying towards a Masters degree in Chemistry at the University of St Andrews, including a year in industry working at a pharmaceutical company in Switzerland and modules in Biology and Psychology. Within the School of Chemistry, I acted as a liaison between students and staff particularly on welfare issues, and assisted with UCAS days for prospective students.

Outside my academic studies I was involved in various projects through the Students' Association. I joined the technical team at the Association in my first year and was appointed Entertainment Convenor (President) by my third. During my year as President I was responsible for the management of a volunteer crew and the organisation of most events held within the Association. After my year in industry, I returned to the technical team as Deputy and started overseeing training for all volunteers. In addition, I acted as Deputy for the Association's Raising and Giving (RAG) week, a charity fundraising week. RAG Week consisted of over 50 events and raised over £20,000 for various charities.

Current Position

Starting as a General Manager on the NHS GMTS
Since September 2016 I have been on the General Management stream of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. I am based at St James's University Hospital in Leeds, working as a Business Manager in the Oncology Service.

Main Motivations

An exciting start to an amazing career
I am looking forward to a graduate scheme that will challenge me to become a better leader for the future. The wealth of knowledge and support provided by the NHS Graduate Scheme is inspiring and I hope that during my placements I am able to learn from those around me and make a difference in our NHS.

Top Advice

Take every opportunity to learn
When I was waiting for my interview for the scheme I started talking to a fellow applicant and a current Graduate on the scheme and then later in my interview I spoke about some of the topics we discussed. You can never know when you might learn something valuable or who might have the answer you need.
Push yourself to experience new things rather than sticking to what you know. I went to every talk possible during my year in industry and that motivated me to pursue a career outside the laboratory.
Talk to as many people as you can at events, and get contact details! Use Twitter as a resource for articles, its so simple to do on trains or buses so there's no excuse.

Greatest Achievement

Helping raise £20,000 in one week for charity
During my final year at the University of St Andrews I was Vice Coordinator of the Charities Campaign's Raising and Giving (RAG) Week. Working alongside the Coordinator and our committee we planned the university’s only week that is solely dedicated to raising money for various charities. We liaised with over 150 societies and student groups to organise over 50 events across nine days. The events ranged from small societal events, like design workshops and political debates; to larger events, including the charity fashion show CATWALK, and competitions like King and Queen of the Bubble; to community events such as the Fife Food Festival, attended by locals and students alike.

Throughout the year I had various tasks such as sourcing raffle prizes, arranging sponsorship and overseeing the ten headline events due to my previous experience running events. I also had to take on roles that were outside my previous experiences when various committee members needed additional help, such as designing posters for online marketing and managing our social media accounts. It was challenging to keep all the various tasks on track and make sure communication was flowing between all the key players; however, I found it the most rewarding period of my degree. Over the course of RAG Week 2016 we were able to convert our £5,000 budget into over £20,000 for charity. It was an amazing success and I look forward to watching RAG Week grow further in the future.


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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