I've found that 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
Programme Lead, Quality Improvement, Chesterfield Royal Hospital
Mathematics MMath
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 management roles in the NHS.

After graduating with a first from my Mathematics MMath 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 a permanent 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 an organisation 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.

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.

The wider set of transferable skills I gained from my degree also helped me apply for roles after finishing the NHS Graduate Management Scheme. 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 was 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 also gained a new set of skills in people management, teamwork and project management to complement my skills from my degree.

In 2021 I moved roles to become a Programme Lead at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, where I am part of the Quality Improvement team. I work with clinical services to support improvement and transformation, aiming to ensure the NHS can provide high quality, safe, and sustainable services in the future.

There are a lot of opportunities for career development, including operational management, masters level education, 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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