15/11/2021 | Press releases

Graduate management trainees share their goals for the future

Behind the doctors, nurses and ‘white coats’ of the NHS, are thousands of skilled professionals also helping to care for patients.

Among them are managers making decisions about everything from finance, bed management and the buildings where patients are treated. Every year graduate trainee managers are recruited to keep the NHS wheels in motion.

Serena Patel and Hannah Belok are two of this year’s intake. They both successfully applied for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme and undertook a rigorous recruitment process for their sought-after places.

They’re now based at ESNEFT to train on the job as NHS managers.

Hannah Belok who has been on an ambulance shift as part of her training

Hannah, who grew up in Surrey and hadn’t heard of Colchester before being placed there, graduated from Oxford University after studying for an MSc in Maths.

She said: “I wanted to have a really meaningful career in something that makes a difference and aligns with my values.

“My goal is to be a part of the process to make health the best care for patients that I possibly can. I’m really inspired and energised to get going.”

Hannah is specialising in finance, so her training will span across two and a half years, with an accountancy qualification at the end.

Serena Patel at Colchester Hospital

Serena is covering general management, so her training is two years. The 21-year-old from the Midlands finished her law degree from Lancaster University before starting the training scheme.

Serena, whose title is now histopathology service support manager, said: “I wanted to choose something that would make a difference and I wanted a really rewarding career.

“It was really important to me to get a job that created a sense of feeling fulfilment – and that’s already happening.

“Since starting in the NHS, it’s already become clear that people pull together so much because of how much they care. They continue to work tirelessly despite the relentless challenges and, in particular, the adversity of the last two years.”

There have been several weeks of induction to the Trust and health service as a whole.

Serena Patel
Serena Patel

Serena added: “We’ve been to so many different areas. I’ve seen how long it takes to get a specimen of tissue assessed and the results back to the patient, we’ve been on an ambulance shift as well as attended exec meetings to discuss how improvements can be made.

“It’s extremely challenging and I’m taking responsibility, putting myself out there and finding a way to lead in these roles.

“I’m proud to start my journey here and work for the NHS and am excited to deliver meaningful contributions which shape lives for the better.”

Hannah Belok at her graduation

Hannah agreed that it’s already intense – but fascinating.

She added: “It’s been such an interesting process already. We’ve looked at where the bed blockages are across the hospitals. I’ve seen hip surgery happen – which involved more hammering than I imagined – and I’ve been to meetings about strategy.

“I’m looking forward to putting all the theory I’ve learnt into practice and getting stuck into the job.”

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