Interested in applying for the 2018 scheme?

Catch up on the #AskTheGrads twitter chat from 7 February 2018, where we put our 2017 graduates on the spot to tell us about their experiences at South, Central and West so far. 

Watch a video from our 2018 graduates as they explain their experiences so far. 


Rebecca CullenRebecca Cullen shares her development journey from graduate through to her current senior contract manager role 

"I first entered SCW and the NHS when I was offered a place on the first ever Central Southern CSU Graduate Management Training Scheme in 2014. Back then, before the merger formed SCW, the scheme was 1 year in duration and trainees did two 6 month placements in different departments. Honestly, I had little idea of the role of a CSU when I joined but I had always wanted to work in the NHS and so I chose Finance as thought it would be interesting. My second placement was with the Provider Performance Management/Contracts team who were looking for extra support for the annual contract negotiation round. I was definitely thrown in at the deep end but it stretched me in the way that I had been actively seeking when I joined the NHS.

From then, I haven’t looked back and when I completed the scheme in Sept 2015, having submitted and presented my project looking at the standardisation and best practice of performance reporting in a local Mental Health and Community Trust, I successfully applied and interviewed for a Band 6 Assistant Contract Manager working in the newly formed Independent Sector and Community Contracts team. In this role I focussed on building my technical knowledge of the NHS Standard Contract, building relationships with colleagues and a reputation for being reliable and diligent. Once I had built the necessary technical knowledge, I earned a position as a Contract Manager in just under a year. I am lucky that the soft skills required for the job comes quite naturally to me but my success has also been down to the strong support of colleagues. In Sept 17, I took on my next challenge when I was successful at interview for the position of Senior Contract Manager; and like every other day I have spent in SCW so far, every day is different and learning is continuous.

The graduate scheme kick-started all of this progression for me. From first offering me the opportunity to delve into a completely new area, to supporting with mentoring, building confidence and finally the opportunity to build contacts and work on some high profile projects in the organisation. However, I will say that I strongly believe that the scheme will only give back as much as you put in. Hard work, willingness to roll up your sleeves and try new things that may be outside your initial remit and an open, can-do attitude will be the biggest drivers of success on the scheme, in my opinion. Never turn down an opportunity!"