Half a year at 2020! This milestone has prompted me to reflect on my six months in the working world, since graduation. The time has absolutely flown by – not surprising as I have packed five projects into it!
A highlight has been the wide range of projects I have been involved in, across a variety of sectors and project types.
On my first project, our aim was to support NHS trusts to plan better for the most challenging season for health systems. “Winter is coming” is a phrase that instils fear in healthcare professionals almost as much as inhabitants of the Game of Thrones universe! Colleagues were incredibly helpful in getting me up to speed with all things NHS and our ways of working. This was a high-level piece of strategy work, and resulted in a clear methodology for winter planning and an improved escalation framework.
My next project included an options analysis of the future models of care for people with Sickle Cell Disease, a genetic blood disease. I would encourage anyone interested to learn more about Sickle Cell Disease – a life-changing condition that is under-represented in the media. The project split into two main parts, one of which was modelling the future state of demand on the healthcare system by those affected by Sickle Cell, and the other focused on stakeholder interviews to inform, test and review our thinking about the models of care.
I was then involved in a project focused on assessing and analysing the artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities of nations around the world. I found this work especially fascinating. It was incredibly interesting to dig into global and national AI development, and challenging (in a good way) to determine a subjective assessment methodology, based on both quantitative and qualitative data.
On my last project, I worked in a team of eight people to research how to improve services in education. This included a fact-finding mission around services currently being offered and then a more in-depth analysis on specific areas in smaller teams. As a team, we implemented some agile ways of working such as having daily “stand-ups” – at the start of each day everyone comes together for 10 minutes or so for a quick round-up of who is doing what, and to highlight particular challenges upcoming. This useful technique really did bring clarity and pace to our work.
Currently I am supporting an NHS Sustainability and Transformation Partnership to help manage the demands of meeting the NHS Long Term Plan.
Training and personal development
In my first six months, I have had taken up development opportunities including in-house digital and financial modelling training as well as mental health awareness training and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) training.
The main training came right at the start: 2020’s internal three-day induction training course called “Delivering Fast Effective Projects” which every new consultant undertakes. Seven of us had joined around October 2018 and did this course together. It was an intense, action-packed week, but I enjoyed every minute of it: the training is interactive, engaging and directly relevant for our day to day work. We have some Python training coming up soon, which I am also looking forward to!
If I had to choose one word to summarise my first six months at 2020 Delivery, I would say ‘variety’. I feel I have been very lucky to cover such a diverse range of projects in a short space of time and to have the opportunity to work with and learn from so many experienced and inspiring colleagues on the way.
If you’re thinking about your graduate career in the public sector and this sounds like something you could see yourself doing, find out how to apply here. Personally, I’d recommend it!