Frontrunners helps speech therapist find their voice in interviews

A speech therapy graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has praised the university’s popular Frontrunners program for helping her get a job with the National Health Service (NHS).

Beckie Tunnicliffe has been enabling people to get the most out of their voice for nine years, with the 31-year-old from Nottingham having previously set up her own business as a vocal and piano coach.

She will now help adults with mental health issues communicate more effectively as a trained speech-language pathologist, thanks in part to The pioneers of DMU initiative – a paid internship allowing students to gain additional work experience.

Although the program provided many students with practical skills, Beckie learned to improve her soft skills such as managing stakeholder expectations. All of this, combined with interview techniques and systems, helped Beckie succeed in her Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust interview.

“A lot of people said I was crazy looking to do extra work in my senior year, but I loved working as a Frontrunner,” Beckie said.

“I’ve been self-employed as a vocal coach for a while now so my interview technique was a little rusty, but the Frontrunners team – along with DMU Works – have been fantastic in helping me prepare for my NHS application. .

“The team do job interviews themselves all the time, so they were able to share some really helpful answers with me that focus on NHS values, as well as some general advice on how to get my experience across more effectively. I had a few practice interviews, where I was able to get their perspective on what they look for in candidates before I had my graduate job interview.

“I discovered the STARR system (Situation, Task, Action, Result and Reflection) and the team helped me to implement it in my current jobs. I created a table with examples from my previous experience in running a business, what I had learned in my studies and what I was doing through Frontrunners. From there, I wrote down the tasks, actions and results of each experience that made me really helped in my interview.

Each year, up to 100 students can secure a place in the program, working for up to six months in different areas of the university, including professional services and academia.

Beckie worked with the postgraduate pharmacy team to help redesign and simplify the learning materials used in the university’s distance pharmacy courses.

During her time with the team, she was able to attend career and application workshops set up by the university as well as the unmissable Christmas party and well-being sessions.

Beckie said: “Working with the postgraduate pharmacy team and following surveys with various students, I was able to reformat pages of educational material into something that is now more accessible to students, especially those diagnosed with dyslexia.

“It was flexible and I could work around my studies. The team was incredibly supportive and supported any changes I suggested, which empowered me.

“I was also able to collect testimonials from former students, which will be used to create a testimonial video to help advertise the course as well as redesign the postgraduate pharmacy webpage.

“I will miss working with the postgraduate pharmacy team. They welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like part of the team, including me in the wellness activities and their Christmas meal.

Posted on Monday, September 26, 2022

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