Author: Peta Andreone 1st year Management Intern Applying for the Health Management Internship Program was a leap of faith I made because I am passionate about a career that contributes to improving community wellbeing. The health sector provides the opportunity to contribute directly or indirectly and you don’t have to be a clinician to add value. Below I have reflected on my first six months of the HMIP program. Going back to University I’m not sure what was more difficult to manage; the essays or the essay related anxiety. Okay, so changing jobs, moving house and going back to University within a three month period was not the best way to maintain comfort and stability but when it comes to disruption, go big or go home, right? The Masters workload is not for the faint hearted, but it is manageable and I have found the content is relevant and interesting. Best of all, you are able to apply your learning in real time in your role as a Management Intern. Starting a new job This year I am placed at the Clinical Excellence Commission. The CEC is one of the pillars of NSW Health and its primary focus is to promote and support improved clinical care, safety and quality across the NSW public health system. I don’t think of myself as a shy person however I may have been perceived this way in my first couple of months at the Clinical Excellence Commission. Making a step toward my future meant leaving my treasured colleagues behind and adapting to an unfamiliar workplace culture. I found several colleagues who were HMIP graduates and it was great to chat to them about their experience and their subsequent career path. It was inspiring and demonstrated to me the variety of career pathways available for a Health Manager. Six months on and I feel well and truly a part of the Clinical Excellence Commission and the wider NSW Health team. Feeling uncomfortable This program takes you on a journey of personal and professional development. Right from the beginning of the selection process you are placed outside your comfort zone, then you commence in a new role in a new workplace, again outside your comfort zone, and then you commence a Master’s program. It’s uncomfortable, it’s scary and it’s challenging but also very rewarding. Abraham Maslow once said “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” As a leader, fear can be your enemy or your ally and through this program I am learning how to embrace the fear in pursuit of my growth as a leader and contributor to community wellbeing. The HMIP program is the doorway to this future, if you are willing to step through and commit to what it takes to become an emerging Health Manager. Views are those of the individual authors and not those of ACHSM or management interns’ host organisations or employers.