Feeling Excited About The Future

Going in to meet Cilla, I had a set of expectations. I expected Cilla to offer me really helpful advice about my CV, job prospects, and career plans (which she did do). I expected to get lost in London (it was a good life experience). However, I didn’t appreciate the true range of topics that we would discuss, nor how helpful and insightful Cilla would be concerning all of them. We covered so many things, from how to increase my confidence (and why struggling with confidence can be a big positive in the long run) to what exactly makes a good leader. Continue reading

Questions for my Mentor

My second meeting with Jane Lodge took place in the second term. At the end of first term, I had been accepted onto my first choice engineering graduate scheme. I used the advice Jane had given me on how to practice for interviews, especially using the mirror and making eye-contact with myself when giving a presentation to practice for my assessment centre. In addition her advice to do as much research on the company, including recent events, was very useful as I was asked what the company had done recently. Continue reading

Celebration event at the House of Lords 2015

The House of Lords is a very grand building. In the middle of the evening rush hour, it feels every bit like the centre of the UK. Tourists surround it, admiring it from the outside, but they aren’t usually allowed in. Imagine my excitement then, when I was invited into the building for the ALMP Celebration Event. Of course, the grandiose architecture didn’t help my nerves. I was about to go to a two hour networking event with some of the most successful people in the UK. Like meeting my mentor for the first time, it was quite daunting. Continue reading

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know.

So I’m pretty much at the end of everything now. The Celebration Event is next week (it’s in the House of Lords, which I suspect I won’t get the opportunity to visit again). I’ve just clapped through my graduation ceremony. And now that there’s some time to reflect, I realise how big a part of my life the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Promgramme (ALMP) has been for the past year. I’ve had four meetings with Cilla, yet the Programme has been so much more than that. As Cilla said at the start, the idea of the ALMP is that the mentor only gives a ‘light touch’ to help guide their mentee, with the mentee doing most of the work. Continue reading

Last minute advice on Assessment centres (Blog 3)

In February I was fortunate enough to have been invited to two assessment centres in one week, and so I decided that this would be a great time to get some advice from Andrew. With only about two weeks between the invitations and the actual days I emailed Andrew to ask for his help, hoping that despite the short notice he would be able to find some time for me. Continue reading

Invaluable Counsel and Amazing Advice

Hannah Coakley’s blog – Dr Rowan Hillson

I applied to the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme to increase my understanding and knowledge of possible future career options. I wished to learn from the experience and wisdom from an accomplished alumnus and gain a greater appreciation of how to succeed after university.

I was fortunate to be paired with Dr Rowan Hillson, a retired consultant physician and former National Clinical Director for Diabetes for the Department of Health. I was particularly interested to learn from her about the realities of combining clinical work with academic research, something which I hope to do in the future. I have considered public health policy as a possible career option and I wanted to learn more from her about this particular area of medicine where there are few accessible role models.

From our first phone call, I have found Dr Hillson to be a very encouraging and helpful mentor. I didn’t know quite what to expect from the mentorship process but I have really appreciated her advice and found her counsel invaluable. During our first chat we got to know one another and I explained what I hoped to get out of the mentorship programme. She explained her experiences and the ways in which she could support me during my final year of medicine, and later during my future career.

We arranged to meet in November for dinner and she was kind enough to review my CV and offer tips and suggestions for improvement. There was also opportunity to discuss in-depth her career and, in particular, the work she has done for the Department of Health. We chatted about my aspirations to work in public health and she offered a fascinating insight into the realities of working with the Department of Health to develop public health policy. During her role as the National Clinical Director for Diabetes Dr Hillson drove improvements in diabetes care nationally. She was able to share her passion for improving patient care and health outcomes, and reminded me that that is the ultimate goal for all medical professionals. I was inspired by her enthusiasm and appreciated her advice as I look to begin my first job as a junior doctor.

Dr Hillson subsequently put me in touch with her colleagues who work in public health. I had a fruitful and interesting conversation with the training programme director for public health in the West Midlands. I was given practical information about how to purse this career path which has given me food for thought and possible avenues to pursue.

Dr Hillson’s support during my final year at university has been invaluable and I am appreciative of her support as I prepare for my medical school finals and beyond in my future career.