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Celebrating NHS success: How a Graduate Apprenticeship gave Lyndsay new career opportunities

Find out how Lyndsay gained new career opportunities with a Graduate Apprenticeship in Business Management with Industrial Experience.

Lyndsay's story

Ahead of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, Lyndsay shares her journey of graduating with first class honours, while balancing her home and work life.

Who is Lyndsay?

Lyndsay is a project support officer working in the NHSScotland Management Training Scheme. She has worked for NHS Education for Scotland (NES) for 8 years, having started as a network coordinator. 

Deciding on a career pathway

When Lyndsay left school, she did a Modern Apprenticeship in Retail Travel with a travel agency. After completing her Modern Apprenticeship, she joined a bank rising through the ranks to become a business and private banking associate. Lyndsay explains: "I was keen to find a management career within NHSScotland so I applied to NES."

Lyndsay joined NES as she was particularly attracted to the NES principles and how much support staff receive for their own learning and development. She also had to take into consideration what flexibility NES could offer her around her commitment to her young family.

After seeing an internal advertisement for a Graduate Apprenticeship in NES, Lyndsay knew she had to apply: "I was delighted when I saw the Graduate Apprenticeship opportunity advertised. I had always had the desire to study for a degree to allow me to progress my career."

Lyndsay’s Graduate Apprenticeship experience

Lyndsay studied for her Bachelor of Science (Hons) Business Management, with Industrial Experience, at the University of Dundee. When she started her degree, Lyndsay would work in the office for 2 days, attend university one day and study from home for the remaining 2 days. This worked well for Lyndsay as she could not study at the weekends or evenings as she was looking after her family.

The highlight of undertaking the Graduate Apprenticeship was Lyndsay realising her love for studying. She had to learn how to study effectively, as well as write reports and essays. Once she had the skills needed mastered Lyndsay flourished as did her love of learning: "I loved meeting new people and always found the university lectures interesting."

Balancing studying and home life

During the pandemic, balancing her home and work life became challenging. Overnight, Lyndsay had to make sure her children, who were now at home, were keeping up with their schoolwork while completing her online lectures and assignments.

Lyndsay considers herself very fortunate as she had a supportive line manager and colleagues in her team at NES. She reflects: "I couldn’t have carried on throughout the pandemic without their help, support and understanding."

Lyndsay had great support from her university. She also built lasting friendships with people who supported her through challenging times.

Lyndsay’s advice for anyone wanting to do a Graduate Apprenticeship

For Lyndsay, the Graduate Apprenticeship gave her a massive sense of achievement. It gave her the confidence to apply for a project officer role in NES. Lyndsay cites: "the ability to communicate effectively" as the most important skill of being a project officer.

Lyndsay credits the Graduate Apprenticeship as giving her these communication skills and a whole other host of useful skills such as:

  • Public speaking
  • Report writing
  • Delivering presentations

She feels very proud to be working in the NHS. She now supports new trainees progressing in their NHS careers and studying for further qualifications.

When asked if there was anything that she wished she had known before starting the Graduate Apprenticeship Lyndsay said: "I was in the first cohort of the Business Management GA programme. I would have appreciated a full plan for the year at the beginning, showing a timeline of topics we would cover and when we would cover them."
Having a clearer plan would have allowed Lyndsay to prioritise her study time around her work and family commitments.

Despite the initial challenges, Lyndsay's experience highlights the support she was given by her team in NES. It allowed her to graduate with a first-class degree.

Find out more about apprenticeship opportunities.

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Scottish apprenticeships are fuelling Scotland’s skills generation, creating a skilled workforce for now and the future.

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