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During my career, I have gained both practical work experience and further qualifications to improve my overall knowledge and experience to enable me to progress within the organization.

Leaving school I started a carpentry apprenticeship with a small business at a time when the economy was struggling, I gained my NVQ level 1 before placements became hard to come by which eventually lead to me leaving the course as gaining the evidence needed was not possible without a work placement. When I started for the NHS I worked in a kitchen as a porter and this is where I learned my passion for food and customer satisfaction. I quickly grew more interested in the food production side and started to shadow the cooks and food production assistants as well as continuing my role as a porter which was responsible for the hygiene and cleanliness of the kitchen which helped me appreciate the need to keep things safe, clean and tidy in my future role as a cook. I then used these skills to help myself gain a promotion to cook/housekeeping assistant in a small new Alzheimer’s center run and set up by the health board. During my time working there the satisfaction of helping people become a passion and this is where I gained my NVQ level 1 in cleaning, customer services, and hospitality. These qualifications helped to provide a high standard of service to the patients and relatives as well as give me personal job satisfaction and push me to start my educational journey. From there I started as a head cook in the Rookwood hospital which was for spinal and brain injuries. I gained a lot of experience in this role in the different physical and nutritional needs of patients as well as the dangers of allergies and contaminants. In this role I also realized that I was a good team leader and guided my team whilst keeping good working relationships, this was something that I previously did not believe I was capable of as I always had a lack of confidence when dealing with difficult situations. This is where I completed my level 2 food hygiene qualification as well as NVQ level 2 in cleaning and support services and hospitality. I then started as a supervisor in the U.H.L. site which was a large hospital that was in the process of an expansion of a whole new building dedicated to mental health patients. I lead the setting up of the catering and housekeeping services which gave me great experience in organization and leadership. This was a stressful time as there was a lot expected of me and looking back now, I should have asked for more help and assistance which would have gained better results as well as made it a more enjoyable experience for me. During my time at UHL, I gained further qualifications such as a food hygiene level 3 and NVQs in both facilities management and healthcare support services. these qualifications gave me the knowledge I needed to progress to the management role that I am currently in.

During my development I have recognized that I am a practical learner and gain better experience by working with someone and physically performing the task to learn, these include working with a mentor to ensure the correct decisions are made with staff requests, issues, and complaints as well as customer expectations and complaints and the day to day running of our services. An example of this is when I was promoted to the U.H.W site as a team manager, part of my role was to manage and monitor the daily and weekly rotas for all staff and the supervisory team. I was paired up with another manager and observed them working on and amending the rotas. After some weeks I realized that by watching I was learning but thought I would pick it up a lot quicker if I completed them myself with my mentor present to evaluate and assist with any information I may need. I found by completing the rotas myself with someone there to guide and recognize mistakes helped me pick up the information I needed much faster and helped speed up my training in the role.

I have also found that when completing qualifications, I work and perform best by conversing and explaining my evidence rather than reading from an internet source or textbook and typing my answers down. In a previous qualification, I and my tutor recognized that I sometimes misunderstood a question or thought too much about a particular question and didn’t get all the information required when I provided my evidence In conversation, I could explain my clearly in detail my evidence. When completing qualifications written work is always required but where possible I have recorded conversations with my tutor to help gather evidence to help gain credits in my qualifications.

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