We shape Birmingham - Sarah Jane Marsh transcript

Title: Sarah-Jane Marsh
Duration: 3.07 mins


I’m Sarah-Jane Marsh, I’m the Chief Executive of Birmingham Children’s Hospital. I’ve worked at the hospital now for three years and I’ve been the Chief Executive for two of those.

I originally went to Lancaster University for my first degree and when I was thinking about what I wanted to do next I knew really that I wanted to come home to the Birmingham area. I’m a Black Country girl and I wanted to get back amongst my family and friends.

At the University of Birmingham I studied for two different degrees; one at the Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies and one at the Health Services Management Centre and I think both of them really helped me to develop specialist expertise in those areas and certainly latterly working in the NHS it’s helped me both in terms of having those technical expertise in management, but also the way I approach things, how I use evidence to sort of learn the lessons from the past to make sure that we can introduce those into the health service environment.

I think working in the NHS, one of our callings is to make a difference to people’s lives and to be able to provide services for local people, for children, young people and their families is really very, very important. It’s a very diverse city with a lot of health needs so a great area to make a difference and I think being local to where my family and friends are, there's never really a prouder moment for me than when people that I know use the services that I’m responsible for delivering and feel that that’s a fantastic service.

If I was offering advice to students that were looking to study at the University of Birmingham there’s a couple of things for me really. Firstly, really do think about the course that you’re going to pursue, both in terms of what you will enjoy. You’ve got to study for three or four years, it’s got to be something that you feel passionate about. But also to think about how you can use some of the skills and knowledge that you learn from that in whatever career that you might choose to go into. But secondly, really do make sure that you take the opportunities outside of study. There’s so much more to university life than just those areas and really do take the opportunity to learn those new skills, to have those experiences because they’ll be the things that are probably being more valuable when you move into the workplace.


If I was offering advice to graduates that were looking to develop their careers in Birmingham, a couple of things for me really, there's fantastic opportunities in terms of the industries that are available within Birmingham. I know the university has got research links with many of them and there really is an opportunity as an undergraduate to be able to develop some of those links, but also there’s a whole wealth of public sector organisations in Birmingham and again I would encourage people to think about work placements and how they can get that experience so that when they do go out into the job market, they can call on those links.