Ish N.
General Management Graduate Trainee 2016 Intake
Specialism General Management

About Ish

Key Experiences

Healthcare focused, I swapped my lab coat for the NHS!
Having always been interested in science, I graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Natural Sciences in 2014 - not really knowing where I was going or what I would be doing post uni. I knew I didn't want to go down the research route because people were far too interesting, but I needed a way to merge the scientist within me with my goal of making a positive difference to people's lives.

I tried out lots of careers during uni from outreach/mentoring to lab research and the Civil Service but after graduating I joined Birmingham Children's Hospital on an non-clinical internship, wanting to learn more about what makes the NHS tick following a stint in a genetics lab. In my first role I worked alongside a GMTS trainee and it really opened my eyes to the huge range of opportunities available on the scheme and within the NHS as a whole. I spent a year in a transformation team, working on cost improvement projects, quality improvement areas and supporting staff to implement change.

I applied for the scheme and was successful on my second try - starting on the General Management stream in September 2016!

Current Position

I'm the improvement lead within our Cancer Services department
I'm currently in my first placement on the scheme, based in Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust within the North West.

Cancer Services is a fascinating area to be working in - high pressure with key performance targets, its a support service which works alongside most other departments in the hospital alongside being part of the North West Coast cancer network with patients moving between various hospitals during their care.

Main Motivations

The variety - every day is different, you never know who you'll meet!
The NHS touches all of our lives, caring for people when they're at their most vulnerable which is a huge privilege. It's also one of the largest organisations in the world, bringing with it unique challenges around being publicly funded, adapting to new advances in science and technology and constantly changing to remain efficient whilst providing high quality care.

Top Advice

You don't need the next ten years mapped out, work on what you enjoy
A year into the scheme I still don't know where I might end up - there's no need to have everything planned out (but if you do, that's also fine!). Just focus on what you enjoy and find interesting, be open to the possibilities on the scheme and talk to as many people as you can. Make the most of two years which fly by, ready to take all that learning and use it to be the kind of future leader we'll need in the NHS.

Greatest Achievement

Launching and rolling out the 100,000 Genomes Project in my hospital
Whilst working in Birmingham I was lucky enough to be part of the team rolling out the 100,000 Genomes Project to our hospital, using my genetics degree in the process. A Government initiative launched in 2012 to sequence 100,000 Genomes by 2017 across the country from patients with rare diseases, cancer and infectious diseases, we started launching the project in 2015.
It was a chance to see how a national initiative was implemented in a single hospital, with all the issues, challenges and barriers which come with it. I project managed the roll out, working alongside consultants, managers, nurses and support staff to make sure we were ready to go live for our patients.
I had a brilliant time and really enjoyed working on something with so many people - plus there was a huge sense of achievement when we recruited our first participant and all that hard work paid off!


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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