Real-life story - Steve Lee
Steve started as an apprentice with Health Education England (HEE) and is now a project administrator where he is passionate about helping those with learning disabilities get into supported internships.
How I got into the role
I completed a 14-month apprenticeship with HEE in July 2017 and achieved a Level 2 NVQ qualification in business administration. I then worked in providing administrative support for the East of England Leadership Academy team but this post was for a fixed term with my contract ending at the end of the year.
In the beginning of 2018, I was invited for an interview for the role of a project administrator for the Talent for Care team. I was attracted to this role as the bulk of my job is to provide administrative support to an upcoming project aimed at getting those with learning disabilities into supported internships in the NHS.
I’m very much supportive of any initiative which helps those with conditions such as autism, learning disabilities or difficulties and long term health problems to succeed in life and in work, so for me this was an opportunity too good to turn down.
What I do
I wouldn’t say that there is a typical day in this role, as every day is different.
For example, there’ll be a day where I’m booking meeting venues and train tickets, then be another day I format PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets.
The best bits and challenges
The best bits about this role are learning about the various initiatives we have in getting people into employment with the NHS. Being a former apprentice it is quite fascinating to hear about what is happening from the ‘other side of the fence’.
I expect at times there will be challenges that I’ll need to face, but I’m ready for whatever comes in my direction and I’ll handle it professionally.
I think the thing I’m proud of the most is not giving up, especially during times when my ongoing mental health condition threatened to get the better of me. I’ve come to realise that I am stronger than I sometimes think I am.
I can’t think of anything I would change about this role – I enjoy organising things and getting things off the ground and this role certainly allows me to do that.
Life outside work
Listening to music inspires me to be creative, to be confident in what I’m good at and to keep aiming for the very best.
To maintain a healthy work-life balance, I look after myself outside of work. A healthy personal life is a healthy work life, so I make sure I go to bed reasonably early during the week, keep myself fully hydrated throughout the day and eat sensibly (particularly snacking on fruit at my desk and having salads for lunch).
But most importantly, I make sure to remain positive in my personal life by surrounding myself with things and people that make me feel good. This then reflects how I am whilst at work.
Career plans and top tips for others
At some point I would like to try and achieve a Level 3 NVQ qualification in business administration. I feel that this would be a massive advantage for me professionally as I would like to progress to a band 4 role.
My advice to anyone considering a role in administration is to always listen and learn. I’ve learnt that you shouldn’t expect to know everything from the word go. As they say, every day is a school day!