Molly Sheldrake, first-year Graduate Management Trainee in Customer Development, talks about her experience on the graduate scheme.
I’m Molly, a 23-year-old graduate of SCW. I joined SCW in October 2021 and have been placed in the Customer Development service line for the duration of my two years.
My experience of applying - I completed my Masters in Archaeological Science in October 2020 and in January 2021 I had no idea what I wanted to do with my career. COVID-19 had halted my plans of travelling and I’d decided that I didn’t want to further my academic background. During the pandemic, however, I decided that I needed and wanted to work for an organisation that made a difference in health and social care. When I stumbled upon SCW in my job search, it seemed like the perfect company and opportunity for me, aligning with my own values and ambitions.
The process of applying for jobs can be an absolute minefield. I certainly didn't know where to begin or what was expected of me throughout. It's definitely easy to get hung up on this, but in my experience as long as you are yourself and let your personality shine through you’ll not only do well but also enjoy the process too.
My experience on the scheme - Working in Customer Development, I am on a four-month rotation for each team (Communications, Marketing, Insight and Opportunity Development) where I’ll be part of a project. I have started in Communications, helping to recreate our entire staff intranet from scratch. Alongside this, I'm involved in work for our different networks like the Disability Network, as well as sending out our weekly staff newsletter and posting on our social media and website, and much more.
My projects in future months include planning for a large, annual NHS-wide event with the marketing team, working with the insights team, looking at large-scale trends and situations within health and social care and aligning these to the work we do, and the opportunities team, who work through the bidding process.
Alongside this, as a grad, you complete different qualifications throughout your two years. This year, we've all been working towards the Edward Jenner Leadership Course and an Agile Project Management course.
No two graduates’ experiences within the scheme are the same, and I think this is one of the things that makes the scheme so good. We all create our own paths within the company alongside the formal graduate training, meaning that we can continuously learn from each other and about the opportunities others have taken up within the company.
SCW as an employer - Since starting the graduate scheme, I have already seen such a difference in myself. I’m much more confident and have been learning new skills and utilising new opportunities every day. Working for SCW has given me purpose, made me feel like a part of something bigger, and given me opportunities to grow.
I didn't know it was possible to feel so welcomed by so many people when starting a job, especially remotely. The fact that we all share this one culture surrounded by our values has meant that most people are like-minded yet still bring their own ideas and differences to the table too, creating an all-round inclusive culture that I've been welcomed into from day one.
Looking to the future - I have always disliked the question 'where do you see yourself in 5 years?', but since joining the grad scheme I can see my path forming ahead of me with many opportunities to come in the future. The great thing about the grad scheme for me is that I can see what role suits me best. I, therefore, hope that by the end of the grad scheme, I have found my niche within SCW, where I want to be placed and what work I want to be doing, as well as where the organisation thinks I am the best fit. This is something I am already thinking about and have had conversations with people from many different teams to learn more about what I may want to do in the future.
Looking to apply to the SCW graduate scheme? - My main tip for anyone thinking to apply would be that you don’t need to have all the knowledge before you start, you just need to have enthusiasm. Everyone brings something different to the table (I applied with no previous NHS experience), so simply focus on what values and skills you have and want to work on and keep these in the forefront of your mind throughout your application process.
If anything I've said has resonated with you, I’d encourage you to apply for the SCW graduate scheme.