Our management trainee scheme provides ambitious and high calibre individuals with an entry point into a dynamic and stimulating career in university management and leadership. The 18-month programme includes a rotation of placements across different areas of the School’s professional support services and academic faculties, complemented by a tailored training and development package and mentoring.
Meet our Management Trainees 2021/22
- Trainee 9
Why I applied
I applied to be part of the scheme after a few years of working in a student-facing role in another higher education institution. I was interested in gaining management experience working in different university functions, which the Management Trainee scheme allowed me to do.
My first placement was in the Communications department with the Internal Communications team working on a project to upgrade LSHTM’s intranet. I got involved in all stages of the project, including mapping out the existing intranet sections and pages, conducting user testing, project governance and putting together papers for the project board, coordinating training, inputting into the upgraded intranet’s design, and communicating with stakeholders across LSHTM and our external consultants.
My second placement involved supporting the development of LSHTM’s organisational values. I collated and analysed feedback from the wider LSHTM community, including staff, students, alumni and external stakeholders about potential values, worked with external consultants to formulate the values, wrote papers for relevant working groups and decision-making bodies at LSHTM to approve the values and accompanying values statements, and supported on the design of the values icons.
Alongside these main placements, I compiled a business case for a new intensive master’s degree, MSc Climate Change and Planetary Health, supported education groups, and wrote sections of the weekly staff and doctoral candidate newsletter.
I really enjoyed my time as a Management Trainee. I was given a lot of responsibility from the outset of my placements, and I felt like my contributions were valued by colleagues – I was not treated like a junior member of staff. I also got a lot of exposure to different people and teams across the School. Additionally, our team’s work on the intranet upgrade project was highly commended at the LSHTM Awards (staff awards) last year, which I was proud of.
I now work as the Internal Communications Officer, a role that I would not have had enough relevant experience to apply for had I not been part of the Management Trainee scheme.
- Trainee 10
Why I applied
After completing my studies at UCL I was looking for a job that meant I could stay in Higher Education, as the sector boasts great holidays and job security for those in professional/central services. I was interested in the variety of the Management Trainee scheme and was not disappointed, working across the School with Professional Services and academic staff alike on a number of key strategic projects.
For my first placement I worked in the Strategic Research Office (SRO), principally supporting the review of clinical trials but also working on a number of funding calls and initiatives at LSHTM, including the COVID-19 Doctoral Student Support scheme. At the same time I began working with the Director of HR on the implementation of LSHTM’s Hybrid Working Framework and the review of the School’s Safeguarding Policy, both of which continued throughout my time as a Management Trainee.
During my second placement I worked with the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team on two projects: firstly, the introduction of an Equality Impact Assessment (or EIA) process that’s designed to imbed equity in all new initiatives at the School; secondly, I initiated the Widening Participation working group, which then led to the drafting of the School’s Strategy to Promote Access and Widening Participation (which I co-authored after taking up my current role as Access and Widening Participation Coordinator).
Organising the recruitment of the next batch of Management Trainees is an incredible full-circle moment – there’s a real sense of being trusted throughout the scheme as you work independently on project of strategic importance, and this continues right until the end of the scheme when you hire those who will be replacing you.
Meet our Management Trainees 2019/20
- Trainee 7
Why I applied
I applied for the scheme after working several years in medical administration as I wanted to explore the different paths Higher Education could offer. I was attracted to the flexible and rotational nature of the scheme as it meant that I would be able to explore different career paths within the University.
My first placement was with Governance and Executive Services, my task was to respond to the CMAs advice on consumer protection law in Higher Education by developing an audit template and liaising with teams across LSHTM to complete it. Using the findings from the audit I assisted with the development of a School-wide action plan to address the advice.
My second placement was in the EPH Faculty Office where I developed an Access database which is used to record academic citizenship and also helped with the Athena SWAN Bronze application for the Faculty.
My next placement was at the Ugandan Research Unit, where I spend a month placed at the Unit working to update and develop charging systems for some services they provide.
My final placement was in the PHP Faculty Office where I lead the development of the Project Administration Portal, a SharePoint site compiling the necessary information for Research Project Administrators to succeed at their jobs. This is now a widely used tool across LSHTM.
Along with the other Trainees in my cohort I also provided secretariat support for Management Board, planned the LSHTM week party and Director’s Awards 2019, and worked on Wellbeing services across LSHTM, including assisting in the implementation of the Report and Support tool.
From day one of the scheme, I was entrusted with real responsibility and tasks that played a role in the running of LSHTM. The scheme overall was an invaluable learning experience for me.
Although very difficult to choose one specific highlight spending time at the Ugandan Research Unit was an amazing experience, I enjoyed meeting our colleagues in Uganda and learning about the management of the Unit. The placement was challenging but also extremely rewarding as I got to see my work being implemented across the Unit.
I now work as a Research Project Coordinator in the International Statistics and Epidemiology Group and I also still lead the maintenance and development of the Project Administration Portal. The scheme played a key role in helping me to decide and focus my career path.
- Trainee 8
Why I applied
Six years into my career development and in search of my next challenge I found this role which was aligned with my ambition to continue working within research and with my medium/long-term career goal to work in project management.
My first few months were spent working in the Project Management Office. I worked alongside the Governance Officer and IT Business partner on the Research Office Improvement Programme writing up; options analysis, feasibility studies, recommendations and improvement reports. While developing a financial monitoring template for IT and Estate projects (which is still used 2 years on) and updating the information on the PMO intranet.
My other placements were in Human Resources, Legal, the Faculty of Infectious Diseases and the Division of Education. While in these positions I was involved in a variety of different urgent projects, including; reviewing and implementing the recommendations from the external GDPR audit and swiftly developing a programme of works in response to the impact of COVID 19 on education.
The Management Trainee cohort also provides; secretariat support for Management Board, plans the LSHTM week party, Director’s Awards 2019, and works on various ad hoc projects, these included; supporting the Wellbeing Committee develop an action plan and the implementation of a bullying and harassment reporting tool.
My first placement within the Project Management Office was an invaluable learning experience that offered a structured work plan, training and review. I was immediately made to feel welcome and a part of the team and was provided with well thought out and clear projects whereby I was encouraged to take the projects where I wanted.
I now work as an Assistant Project Officer in the Project Management Office with a specific focus on Education and Service Improvement Projects.
Meet our Management Trainees 2017/18
- Trainee 5
Why I applied
My background is in science and global health, with an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences and an MSc in Reproductive Health Research from LSHTM in 2017, so I knew I wanted to work in the global health field but not necessarily as a researcher or clinician. I was attracted to the scheme as it offered rotational experience of practical management and delivering projects in a global health research environment.
For my first placement I worked in the Project Management Office supporting and coordinating the transfer of the MRC Units in The Gambia and Uganda to LSHTM, providing hands on support for multiple workstreams and a wide stakeholder community.
My second placement was in the Strategic Research Office (SRO) supporting the reinvigoration of LSHTM’s innovation activities by improving and increasing resources for researchers. This was great exposure to LSHTM’s research portfolio, and through working with academics and reviewing best practice from other institutions, I helped to inform the priorities of the SRO and the Innovation Committee. Through this I gained a breadth of knowledge of technology transfer activities, and acquired an understanding of the research innovation and funding landscape across UK HEIs.
I was then based within the Faculty of Public Health and Policy coordinating the design, content and delivery of financial management training for principal investigators. I also continued to support the Strategic Research Office with the upcoming Research Excellence Framework submission, and now work there as Strategic Research Coordinator.
Additionally, I have been involved in the following School-wide projects:
- Supporting Senior Leadership Team and Management Board as well as other senior committees
- Coordinating the inaugural LSHTM Director’s Awards
- Planning the LSHTM Week all-staff Celebration
- Running My Pledge, LSHTM’s month-long health & wellbeing initiative
For me, the best part of the scheme is that all of of us who have been through the programme have had our respective interests and career goals taken into consideration in terms of project allocation, as well as receiving mentorship and support. Few other graduate programmes seem as flexible or as committed to the individual development of its trainees. Additionally, working for and alongside senior management we are exposed to high-level processes, strategic decision-making, and different management styles, which in other junior roles can often be hard to come by.
- Trainee 6
Why I applied
I applied to the Management Trainee scheme after university as I wanted the flexibility to explore different career path options within Higher Education. Having had some experience of working in a higher education institution before, I was passionate about improving the student experience and making a positive difference. The rotational nature of the scheme allowed me to explore different areas and learn new skills.
My first placement at LSHTM was within the Development and Alumni Relations Office to support the Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Team with various events and campaigns, increasing my understanding of donor stewardship and fundraising within a university environment. These included LSHTM’s first North American fundraising campaign, the 2018 LSHTM Fund Telethon, LSHTM’s Giving Tuesday Appeal, and a Student Alumni Networking event. I was also able to progress my development further by gaining a certification in a fundraising software platform.
I then moved on to a placement with the faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (ITD), supporting research projects such as the Gates Foundation-funded IDEAS project to gain insight into the lifecycle of a research project. I also assisted core faculty objectives such as managing budgets, arranging travel for collaborators, assisting with staff recruitment, and using LSHTM business systems. My main objective was to develop a performance overview tool to enable stakeholders to have an overview of staff activities, such as active research projects, teaching data and publications.
Additionally, I have been involved in the following School-wide projects:
- Secretarial support to Management Board and the Senior Leadership Team as well as other senior committees.
- The ITD and LSHTM Athena SWAN Submission.
- The inaugural LSHTM Director’s Awards and the LSHTM Week all-staff Celebration.
- My Pledge, LSHTM’s month-long health & wellbeing initiative.
The highlight of the scheme is the level of responsibility Management Trainees are entrusted with. From the first placement, you are given projects and tasks that are wholly your own responsibility, allowing you to grow and understand the area you are working in. The scheme improved my confidence and project management skills, allowing me to take on new opportunities that I would have never thought possible. Before starting the scheme I would have shied away from any quantitative or data-based projects, but the training offered and the support of colleagues has enabled me to take on new challenges, and I have been able to hone these skills into strengths.
I have now gone on to take up a position at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge as a Regular Giving Officer, which wouldn’t have been possible without the exposure and skills gained as a Management Trainee.
Meet our Management Trainees 2016/17
- Trainee 1
Why I applied
I have always been interested in Higher Education since the completion of my BSc Geography degree, and after graduating knew my motivations are aligned to the public sector and making a positive difference in whatever shape or form. I was particularly interested in this scheme because of its rotational nature, which would give me a broad experience of delivering projects within professional and academic services.
Since being at the School I have been placed with Finance, Human Resources, Governance and Executive Services, and the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health. This has given me a fantastic opportunity to be part of some really exciting and impactful projects. This has included:
- Supporting the School’s Research and Development Expenditure Credits application by meeting with Principle Investigators to assess whether their grants (which total in excess of £42 million), meet HMRC requirements. This gave me a great insight into the School’s research portfolio, experience of working with academics in a professional setting and contributed significantly to the School’s financial sustainability.
- Redeveloping HR pages for the staff intranet. This has involved working with our web team to design a site map, updating content, chairing the HR Intranet Working Group, and carrying out testing with users to gain feedback on the new pages.
- Producing a desktop evaluation of the short course accreditation within the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health.
- Coordinating audit inspections such as SAPO and UKVI to ensure statutory compliance.
- Development of internal reporting systems e.g. risk registers, internal audit recommendations and committee actions.
I now work in the Governance and Executive Services as the School’s Governance Coordinator. This involves managing internal boards such as Management Board, Policy Advisory Board, and providing secretariat support to the Committees of Council such as Institutional Principles and Policies Committee and Senate. A major part of my role is to improve and embed risk management and good governance arrangements in the School through training and resources. I also provide strategic project coordination for the Senior Leadership Team for governance related matters such as audits, policy alignment and staff elections to Council.
The highlight for me of the management trainee scheme has been its authenticity. We are entrusted with delivering high level projects, managing our own work load, recruiting new staff, managing small budgets and attending, chairing and presenting at meetings. I do not think any other management trainee scheme would be able to give such invaluable managerial insights.
- Trainee 2
Why I applied
I began working in Higher Education shortly after my graduation in 2013, and I felt the scheme would be a great opportunity to develop and formalise my experience. I had worked primarily in student advice, and I knew the role of Management Trainee would be a unique chance to gain varied experience from a managerial perspective. The prospect of working on a range of projects also appealed to me, as I felt I would be able to put my skills into practice and see tangible outcomes.
Throughout my time on the Management Trainee scheme, I carried out placements with the Communications and Engagement Team, IT Services, Estates and Governance and Executive Services. I was able to work on some exciting and business critical projects. These included:
- Supporting the development of resources for researchers for evaluation of public engagement activities. I engaged with academic colleagues across the School, as well as external stakeholders such as the Wellcome Trust and UK Research and Innovation.
- Initiating a School wide review of ‘Digital Capabilities’ in order to gain insight into how technology is embedded into teaching and research, and how institutions adapt to an increasingly digitalised world.
- Supporting the governance processes for the School’s two major capital infrastructure projects. I was able to support tendering processes for architects and the initiation of a senior Steering Committee to sign off key decisions for the projects.
- Taking the role of Project Coordinator for the legal transfer of two African research units to LSHTM. This was a significant event for the School, and it was a pleasure to work on a project that impacted all departments and services. I was also given the opportunity to travel to West Africa as part of the project; this was an invaluable experience!
In addition to my set projects, I was able provided secretarial support to the School’s Committees, including Senior Leadership Team, Management Board, Audit and Risk Committee, Finance and Development Committee and Senate.
I’ve now finished the scheme, and I’m working in a substantive position as Governance Coordinator based in the School’s Project Management Office. In this role I coordinate reporting and risk management for strategic projects across the organisation, including capital estates works, IT infrastructure and major event planning.
When I started the scheme, I was nervous about coming into established teams as an outsider and trying to achieve impact whilst also trying to learn. My experience has been incredibly positive, and I was overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and supportive nature of the teams I worked with. Management trainees at the School are offered a level of autonomy and responsibility I feel is unique from other programmes. I was able to present reports to senior committees, deliver training sessions and implement new processes all within my first six months.
- Trainee 3
Why I applied
I applied to the Ambitious Futures scheme, because I wanted a varied career in the public sector. After spending five months working for the University of Cambridge, I came on secondment to the LSHTM.
I had thought of the civil service or charity sector while at university, but found Higher Education to be even more challenging and stimulating. LSHTM gives its Management Trainees real responsibility, and allows them to develop the skills they want while working in an incredibly diverse and important organisation. I was meant to be at LSHTM for four months, but nearly two years later, I have never left!
I spent my secondment working for the Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases:
- developing a system for assessing and recovering the cost of the Faculty’s laboratory equipment,
- supporting the UNITAID-funded HIV STAR Project with its finances, reporting and logistics,
- supporting the Faculty Athena SWAN team,
- and helping organise the Faculty summer party!
In addition to my projects within the Faculty, I:
- supported Management Board and the Senior Leadership Team in their committee business, preparing papers and writing minutes,
- became the convenor of the Mental Health Working Group, and led the team that got Time to Change accreditation for the LSHTM in October 2017
- and organised a concert for School staff.
Since leaving the scheme, I have had three different posts within the School, including spending time as Project Manager of the same research project that I supported when I first arrived here.
It is difficult to pick a single moment, but over my whole time on the scheme, what most inspired me was becoming involved in health research for the first time. My degree is in Music, and I had worked in the central administration service at Cambridge, so being thrust into the front-line of a research project working on HIV/AIDS in the UK and Africa was a completely unfamiliar experience.
But you don’t need to be a doctor to work at LSHTM; within days of joining, I was completely committed to the mission of the project and inspired by the researchers I was working with. Every day, lives across the world are made better by the work going on in this building; it is a huge pleasure to come into the office every day, and contribute to that effort in some small way.
- Trainee 4
Why I applied
I applied to the Ambitious Futures scheme due to the opportunities to develop personally and professionally in a wide variety of projects. I knew that the role would allow me to have the flexibility to engage in work happening across the School, which would give a greater insight into the range of roles available in the Higher Education sector. For me, this was more attractive than applying for a fixed role after graduating university, as I was able to test my skills and figure out where I saw myself working within the institution’s structure.
My main focus was a paper-light project in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy. This role involved coordinating with a range of stakeholders from within the School to deliver IT training, facilitate paper-based forms transition to online formats and pilot paper-free meetings, using various technologies.
Additionally, I was involved in the following projects/roles across the School:
- Providing secretarial support to Senior Leadership Team and Management Board meetings.
- Planning the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2016 celebration.
- Helping to develop the Major Incident Response plan for the School.
- Assisting with the administrative side of School strategy workshops.
- Conceptualising an institution-wide health and fitness scheme.
The highlight of the scheme for me has to be the University of the Year party. The management trainees were given almost total creative freedom to plan the party for staff and students. None of us had planned an event on that scale before but the party went off without a hitch and the turnout was fantastic. The atmosphere on the night was such a tangible product of our hard work and everyone really enjoyed themselves. The University of the Year party really exemplifies the degree to which this scheme gives you the opportunity to develop new skills and challenge yourself by managing big projects.