NHS Graduate, Emma Burkinshaw, reflects on her placement with Attain

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Attain are proud to offer NHS Graduates a work placement for eight weeks, to understand how we work with the NHS to improve health and wellbeing.

We asked Emma Burkinshaw about her experience with the Attain team and here she reveals what her favourite aspects were and what she’s learned.

What did you want to get out of your experience with Attain?

I applied for a placement with Attain because I wanted to gain insight into what it is like to work with the NHS as a client, compared to working internally within the NHS. Attain’s values align to my own, so I also wanted to understand what it means to work for a values-based organisation, and whether it influences the company culture. I found it really does have a positive impact. Everyone holds themselves to a high standard and works hard to achieve them, whilst also having best interests of the NHS at heart.

What were the highlights of your placement?

Working with Attain has exposed me to a range of projects and teams within the business. I was based in the service transformation team and had the opportunity to shadow some projects and take a more active role in others. I particularly enjoyed the responsibility I was given when helping to write a long-term plan for a client. I was also given the chance to shadow a primary care network event, and helping to prepare for this will be useful for my next placement as Primary Care Network Development Manager at West Norfolk CCG.

What was your favourite aspect?

Everyone I have worked with or spoken to has been incredibly friendly and welcoming, and I have felt part of the team right from the start. Even though I have worked remotely on many occasions, everyone is always available to answer any questions or talk through a piece of work.

I really enjoyed attending an internal training day and a company meeting. These gave me the opportunity to learn more about Attain, meet lots of people, and develop my knowledge and understanding of the company.

What have you learnt from your experiences?

To not be afraid to ask for support or feedback!. Attain expect a high standard of work, but there is always someone at the end of the phone to offer support, feedback and guidance. I really like the team culture of sharing knowledge and expertise across the team.

I have learnt about the importance of being creative. I have worked on presentations, which have developed my understanding of how to present large amounts of data and information to make it relevant and engaging.

Would you recommend Attain’s graduate scheme?

Yes, definitely! I’m sad to leave as I have really enjoyed the experience. Everyone I’ve worked with has been supportive, and I’ve really enjoyed the flexible working style; a mix between working at home, in the office and on client sites.

The graduate scheme has allowed me to have a say on which projects I’d like to work on.  I really have developed a much deeper and broader understanding of the different services within the NHS, as well as how a healthcare and delivery organisation works.

If you’re interested in gaining experience with us in 2020, contact us for more information.