Callum Akhtar

GBS Business Technology

  • Information Technology and Services
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • Network Rail

How would you describe the breadth of Network Rail's work, and the breadth of our opportunities for graduates?

Network Rail are responsible for getting millions of people to their chosen destination every day, be that work, to see family or go away on holiday; that's a huge task and it's something we do well. This work covers ranges from Engineering to Finance, IT solutions to Asset Management and more. The opportunities available to graduates are vast; the schemes at Network Rail are designed to challenge, and develop each individual in order to give them the skills to perform.

“The opportunities are endless, and by taking advantage of these opportunities you develop into a well-rounded professional.”

How varied have you found your role at Network Rail?

During my time at Network Rail I have been given the opportunity to work on a diverse range of work from delivering and embedding a new staff Intranet through to working on a nationwide project that encourages more women to consider a career in IT. The opportunities are endless, and by taking advantage of these opportunities you develop into a well-rounded professional.

What's the most exciting work you've done here?

I was lucky enough to be part of an award-winning team that delivered a nationwide initiative to encourage more women to consider a career in IT. This particular work was incredibly exciting, not just because this had never been done before at Network Rail but also to have the opportunity to positively affect the IT industry and help curb a worrying trend. The project team subsequently won an award for this work at The Real IT Awards 2014; all this during a placement year shows how many opportunities come your way.

“Every day is different, there are always new exciting challenges we face and being a part of the biggest investment in Britain's railway since the Victorian era, there are even better times ahead.”

What's been the best thing for you?

The best thing about the Business Technology Placement Scheme is that you are given real responsibility from day one. You will be carrying out important work that has real benefits to the function, organisation and ultimately the customer; this not only gives you a huge sense of achievement but also helps build both key professional and technical skills. You are given responsibility to take on side projects as well as carrying out your day-to-day job in order to further your learning, network and understand what it is that you want to do at Network Rail.

Why Network Rail?

The possibilities are endless, Network Rail is such a huge organisation, the opportunity to progress and further your career, should you have the handwork and determination, is unparalleled. Every day is different, there are always new exciting challenges we face and being a part of the biggest investment in Britain's railway since the Victorian era, there are even better times ahead. Colleagues are friendly and approachable, the agile work environment is fantastic and there is a big emphasis on having the correct work/life balance.

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