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A look back at my first 12 months as a NECS Consultancy apprentice

Friday 1st July 2022

A look back at my first 12 months as a NECS Consultancy apprentice

Greta Vitonyte, Apprentice Administrative Assistant – Yorkshire and Humber Consultancy team shares her experience of developing skills through supporting client work for NECS Consultancy.

Since I joined NECS in March 2021 as an apprentice, I was fascinated with the various projects and programmes that my colleagues managed. They seemed like great opportunities to gather experience as an administrative assistant, learn new project management skills, and begin to understand the ways of working in the NHS.

I spent the first months of my apprenticeship learning the NECS approach, establishing relationships with colleagues and proving that I could be a trusted employee. After the initial settling in period I was excited to be assigned to my first client project.

The first client engagement I supported was an event bringing together health and wellbeing boards from across Yorkshire and Humber. During this engagement I learned about project management tools, such as Gantt Charts and Risk Logs, and the importance of programme/project planning. My confidence grew through regular contact with my engagement lead who explained how these tools are used to deliver NHS work. This project also required me to quickly gain knowledge about Microsoft Teams and all its capabilities. I had to set up the event using MS Teams, as well as establish breakout rooms and problem solve any IT issues. I also took responsibility for stakeholder mapping, which allowed me to provide regular client updates via a weekly highlight report. During my time on the project, I expanded upon my knowledge of stakeholder management, IT skills, problem solving and project documentation.

My second project was a review of the Accessible Information Standard (AIS). I joined this programme part way through which meant I had to ‘hit the ground running’ to ensure I supported the workstream effectively. My tasks included setting up meetings with external stakeholders, taking meeting notes and minutes, and being the first point of contact for stakeholders. This project helped me gain self-confidence, flexibility, adaptability and reactiveness.

My current programme – providing PMO support for the NHS England Federated Data Platform – is providing me with many opportunities to greatly improve my skillset, as well as helping me see different aspects of project management that I’ve not encountered before.

My time working for NECS Consultancy has allowed me to approach new challenges with opportunities to learn and develop. As new possibilities arise, I’m confident that my experience and skillset will expand further to allow me to take on more challenging tasks and roles. I look forward to seeing where this takes me in the remainder of my apprenticeship.

If you would like to know more about the work we deliver at NECS Consultancy or within the Yorkshire and Humber team, please get in touch at: NECSU.consultants@nhs.net