NHS Graduate Scheme – Ihtishaam Malik

21 Jul NHS Graduate Scheme – Ihtishaam Malik

Course studied: Economics and Business Finance
Year of graduation: 2016


When I left Brunel…
My plan was to enjoy my summer break and then get into the world of work. I was fortunate enough to have secured my job during my final year of university on a graduate scheme, and so the pressure of finding a job was lifted. I planned on finding a scheme where I would do further study at a higher level.

At the moment…
I am currently on the NHS Graduate Management Training scheme, as a Policy and Strategy Trainee. This is to do with developing the economic and business policy in healthcare, and working with government departments and various organisations around the UK. As part of the graduate scheme, which has been established for over 50 years and is one of the highest rated graduate schemes, I am also enrolled in post graduate courses, a health management PGCert at University of Birmingham, and Health Policy PGDip at Imperial. I am also a mentor for new starters to the graduate scheme.

How my career goals have changed…
Initially, my career goal was to go into the financial world and pursue a career in corporate finance or banking. However, after my placement year, my motivations changed into wanting to work for the public sector, in order to be a public servant and help the community. I found healthcare particularly interesting, due to the reliance on it by everyone in the world, and due to the intense scrutiny and pressures facing the NHS. Therefore, I decided to apply for the NHS Graduate scheme.

How I have developed professionally since graduating…

  • I have developed my networking skills so that I can make contacts and am confident in speaking to high level directors and chief execs – including the CEO of the NHS.
  • I have built a good work ethic in my first placement.
  • I have learnt how to prioritise and negotiate.

How I have developed personally…

  • I now understand what type of work motivates me and what interests me.
  • I understand more of where my strengths lie and what type of personality I have in the workplace.
  • I understand the importance of having a good work/life balance and how to achieve that.

My advice to recent graduates/students graduating soon…

  • Do not apply for any random job – pick the job that would be best suited for you!
  • Networking is a very important and useful skill to use, so do it as much as you can.
  • Read around the area of work you are in, whether that be books or news articles.
  • Help younger students in their career decisions.