INSIGHT: Olly Gittoes reflects on his first five months in the Archus Graduate Programme
After joining the two-year Graduate Programme in September 2022, Olly Gittoes tells us more about his first few months at Archus, where the programme is taking him next, and the three words he would use to sum up life at Archus so far...
What have you been working on since you started?
Since I started at Archus in September I have worked across two of the service pillars so far. I started by spending my initial months in our Programme & Project Management (P&PM) pillar, where I worked on a National PCN estates strategy programme across three integrated care systems. I initially had a supporting role (around data collection which has really helped develop my Excel skills) but with support from the team I was quickly given the opportunity to contribute during client calls and given more responsibility within the project.
I have recently completed my first rotation, so I am now working in the Strategic Advisory pillar. This has given me chance to work with some of the senior leaders within the company in supporting the development of our workforce planning capability. Workforce is very much part of the ‘infrastructure’ of healthcare, and a critical challenge facing many NHS organisations at the moment, so it has been great to be able to contribute to the discussions and help with shaping the way we support our clients in this area.
While we have seven regional offices, people are often brought together from across the business to deliver our services to clients. So, while I work on a hybrid basis from our London office, I’ve also been involved in projects for clients in different parts of the UK, giving me the chance to get to know people from across the company.
How have you been supported since joining the team?
Since joining I’ve been welcomed by the team with open arms. I’ve had support from all levels of the organisation, from Associate Directors to current Graduates, who are helping me learn about healthcare.
I’ve been given clear visibility on what to expect from the Graduate programme, including how the rotations across the service pillars will work and importantly, where the support is. For example, as a cohort we have a weekly catch up to share news and talk about things we’re working on, and we also have support from members of previous Graduate cohorts, who started their careers with Archus as Graduates and have since progressed to become Consultants and beyond. It’s great to be able to hear about their experience, ask their opinion, and see what’s possible in terms of career development.
I also have weekly catch-ups with my line manager and separately, an Archus mentor, who both offer support to me on managing challenges inside and outside of work!
What opportunities have you been given to learn and develop?
Alongside the rest of the Graduate cohort, I’ve had an in-depth induction, with opportunities to meet a wide range of people and learn about different services and operational functions in the business. We have monthly graduate days which have different agendas each time with guest speakers offering insight on a wide range of topics, from areas of the business to managing your own work/life balance & mental health.
Involvement & interaction with clients is something I was quite nervous about initially; however, I have been introduced to this at a steady pace and given tips and advice from colleagues which has seen me become increasingly confident, and something I’m looking forward to developing more.
What are you enjoying most about being part of the Archus Graduate Programme?
The rotations around different service pillars are particularly beneficial for me as they allow me to experience all the business before deciding which area I’d like to pursue professionally. The company is really committed to involving the graduates in what’s going on around the business. For example, the office layout is incredibly transparent compared to previous companies I’ve been involved with – everyone works in the same space which gives visibility and the chance to spend time with senior managers and the Directors – it creates a great environment to work in and develop my skills.
Something I’ve valued most since joining is the array of backgrounds within the team. We have many clinicians working in the business such as Physiotherapists, Nurses and Doctors and outside of clinical roles, a large number of our team have worked directly in NHS organisations, from Estates Managers to Trust Chief Executives. Being able to talk to them and hear their views, provides me with insight from a fresh perspective, which is invaluable at such an early stage in my career.
Overall, the great thing about being part of Archus is the commitment it shows to its employees, and the way it rewards our commitment in return. The nature of the company and structure of the programme creates an environment where someone with a passion for healthcare can really learn and develop their skillset.
What is coming up for you next at Archus?
I’ll shortly be starting my rotation in our Technical Advisory pillar, where I’ll be learning about the services, we offer in delivering a whole range of technical expertise to our clients; from strategic facilities management, to business cases, to technical building guidance and more. The great thing is that because of the nature of the company I’ve already had the opportunity to work with some colleagues in this pillar, so there are already some familiar faces to welcome me and I’m looking forward to learning about another part of the business.
I’ve also been enrolled onto the Archus Healthcare Planning Diploma. This is a tailored training programme which has been developed by our team to support excellence in the discipline of healthcare planning, from design brief development to demand and capacity modelling and more.
Longer term, I’m hoping to have the opportunity to lead on the project management of a project with the guidance and supervision of one of our senior team. Archus is also expanding internationally, so in the future I’m hoping there will also be opportunities for me to support some of our work in Ireland, Canada and Australia,
Describe life at Archus in your own three words
Passionate, Exuberant, Family
Would you like to learn more about joining our team? Head over to our join us page, or find out more about our Graduate Programme.