I arranged the first meeting with Tim Smart via email with his very helpful secretary. After a brief email conversation with her, an initial meeting was arranged at the University of Birmingham Medical School. This seemed ideal as Tim was due to deliver a talk to medical students about what it is like to be in management in a large hospital.
I was nervous before meeting Tim, but I had no reason to be.
He was really friendly, laid back and welcoming. We only met briefly for a chat and it was really nice to get to ask questions about his career, and answer the array of questions that he asked me. We had a great discussion about the health of the public at the moment which I really enjoyed. I also asked for his advice about how best I should tackle my chosen career of becoming a dietician. He very truthfully told me that he knew little about the field, but was still able to give me very helpful advice, suggesting that I look for voluntary work experience over the Easter or summer breaks and also that I speak to dieticians in local hospitals or surgeries for their advice.
Further to this Tim gave me ideas for how I could broaden my career horizons and suggested that I look into public health communication as he thought that it may be something that not only would I be interested in but that I may also be good at. I really enjoyed my first meeting with Tim and although it was brief, I feel like I learnt a lot and went away motivated to work and find out about opportunities. I was also given Tim’s mobile number and personal email address so that I could call or email him if I had specific questions following the meeting.
I also wanted to mention that I was fortunate enough to have been able to attend the University of Birmingham’s annual alumni event in The House of Lords. This event which is run for alumni and people who have given gifts to the University of Birmingham was a really great experience that I would fully recommend anyone to attend next year if you get the chance. The event was an excellent way of meeting people at the top of their careers and networking with them. I also learnt some interesting things about the university’s past and also heard about the developments that are planned for the university in the following years. I also got to go on a tour around the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which was really exciting. Overall I really enjoyed the evening!