A day as a director of operations

You work in the corporate service department at your local NHS hospital, and arrive at 9am for a meeting with other members of senior management. You discuss national healthcare targets, and ways to improve patient experiences in your area. After listening to ideas, you suggest the central hospital be extended to house new medical equipment and an additional reception. You believe investing in new facilities is likely to increase numbers of patients choosing to be treated at this hospital - and will therefore be a financially sensible choice. The group asks for more information, so you begin researching similar projects and their outcomes. You love playing a key role in shaping healthcare in your area, and being responsible for improving patient care.

Does this sound like you?

You're confident, responsible and a good leader. You can think up clever solutions for problems, be a tough negotiator if necessary and communicate well with others.

What's next after GCSE?

You'll usually need five 9-4 (A*-C) grade GCSEs (or the equivalent), so you can apply for at least two A levels (or the equivalent) at college or 6th form.

What's next after A level and beyond?

Gaining at least two A levels (or equivalent level 3 qualifications) is a good idea, in order to take a degree - preferably in business management or similar, relevant subject. Check out university prospectuses for courses and entry requirements. Also, take a look at the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme for information on graduate training schemes after university.