"I've found that prospective employers always value the skills that maths students can bring to a role"

Student Hailey Pottinger stood in front of a brick wall smiling
Hailey Pottinger
Operational Manager, Neurosciences at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
MMath Mathematics
After graduating, Hailey joined the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. The mathematical and problem solving skills Hailey learned during her MMath degree helped her secure her place on the scheme, and led to her becoming an Operational Manager for Neurosciences at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

After graduating with a first in MMath Mathematics I went on to join the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. After several general management placements based in community health, commissioning, and acute hospital services, I passed the graduate scheme and secured my current role as Operational Manager for Neurosciences at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

I chose the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme as I knew I wanted to work with people in my career, and I wanted to work for a company whose vision, values and purpose I could identify with. I also knew I wanted to learn a whole new set of skills, and be challenged to keep on learning and developing as I had throughout my degree.

I have consistently found that prospective employers always value the skills that maths students can bring to a role. My mathematical skills came in handy with the tests as part of the scheme application process, and my problem solving skills and ability to interpret data quickly were very useful in the assessment centre.


I hope to stay working in NHS management for the next few years at least

Hailey Pottinger

Operational Manager, Neurosciences at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals


The wider set of transferable skills I gained from my degree also helped me secure my current job. Complex problem solving and perseverance are fundamental when working in the current healthcare climate, as well as an ability to work with and interpret numbers, data and finance. My final year project as part of the MMath helped me build my report writing and presentation skills.

As an operational manager, I am involved in modelling capacity and demand for healthcare services, managing service performance, working with data and statistics to identify service improvements, writing business cases and budget management. I have also gained a new set of skills in people management, teamwork and project management to complement my skills from my degree.

To prepare for the competitive process of applying for graduate schemes, I attended interview skills and assessment centre sessions organised by the Careers Service. I also attended a number of talks by employers about graduate opportunities, which was how I actually found out about the NHS Graduate Management Scheme.

Whilst I’m not sure what my long term career plans are yet, there are a lot of opportunities for career development, including operational management, strategy or healthcare analytics in the NHS. Working in the NHS supporting healthcare professionals and helping patients is such an interesting, challenging and rewarding career I hope to stay working in NHS management for the next few years at least.


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