Josh Barber

Business & Project Management Placement

  • Business and Management
  • Other
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • Network Rail

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

Many see Network Rail as just trains and track, but it is so much more extensive than that. Network rail covers so many disciplines, such as engineering, project delivery and maintenance as well as the less well known areas such as retail, property and commercial, things which many people wouldn’t instantly relate to the company. This makes it perfect for a placement. Working for the company has allowed me to get a much better understanding of the industry and what it has to offer for furthering my career.

How varied have you found your role at Network Rail?

During my time with Network Rail I have worked on a portfolio of around 10 projects, each with their own challenges. Having worked on such a wide range of projects I have been able to get out and about around the country to visit sites and attend various meetings. This has meant that each week has been different; whether it’s been going on training courses, site visits, going to investment panels or on volunteer days, there is always something to get involved in.

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

In my final four months on placement I was given the opportunity work in the Entry into Service team on the Birmingham Gateway project, a £750million redevelopment of Birmingham New street station which gave me the opportunity to work with various different contactors and stakeholders. Being part of the team that opened such a large, complex project was the most demanding development I was part of on my placement, with tough timescales and a multitude of challenges, but it was the most rewarding project I worked on.

What's been the best thing for you?

The best thing about working for Network Rail is how much fun I have had with the team I’ve worked in and with the other placement students, whether it has been at team building days or just in the office there is always a good atmosphere amongst everyone.

Why Network Rail?

The opportunities with Network Rail are endless due to the size and growth of the industry. The company is extremely supportive with whichever direction you want your time at Network Rail to take.

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