Meet Josie, a Procurement Graduate Trainee

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Josie Cleary

Procurement Graduate Trainee

Pathways 2 NHS Procurement

I studied Maths at Oxford and was looking to get into the NHS after I left. I was interested in this scheme as it had locations in the North and seemed to offer a good work/life balance. I found the application process to be really clearly communicated compared to some other schemes I’d applied to, and everyone interviewing me was very friendly, which definitely helped with the job-interview-nerves!

I work at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, which is a large Trust with a procurement team of around 100 people total. I’ve found the working culture here to be friendly and welcoming - in particular, my managers have been incredibly supportive when I have had personal issues outside of work. Probably my favourite thing about the scheme is that I’ve had opportunities to work in every team within our procurement department, which has been great as I’ve been able to try my hand at different kinds of projects, and often worked with more than one team at once, so there was a lot of variety in each week. Now that I’m in a permanent role, it’s given me a good understanding of the whole procurement process that I can draw from. Doing the graduate scheme rotations also allowed me to get to know people across the department, which is actually really useful now as I know people in each team who I could ask for their perspective if I need it. It also just means I can go on a wander to say hi to some old colleagues when I need a break from my desk!

As the scheme went on, I had regular mentoring meetings with senior managers, who supported me to think about the kind of role I would like to go into permanently and develop the skills and experience needed to successfully apply for a permanent role at Leeds. Towards the end of the scheme, I completed a six month secondment as a clinical contract manager, which was really good fun as I got to work with surgeons to look at procurement opportunities for surgical implants and put together analysis to support our options. At the end of this secondment, I decided not to apply for the contract manager role permanently, as another role came up at Leeds which suits me better at this point in time. Now I work in the eProcurement team, which I really enjoy as we deal with the systems that allow orders from all over the Trust to be processed, so it’s very fast paced with a lot of variety. Working in a hospital is never dull!

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