Business Technology Placement

Charlie Duncum


Placement (10 Months+)

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

Network Rail is a huge organisation with many more departments than you would first think. This allows for an incredible amount of opportunities for the placement students that come into the business. You are guaranteed to find an area that works for you and the support network behind the scheme is excellent.

How varied have you found your role at Network Rail?

My role at Network Rail has given me the opportunity to develop and display a wide variety of skills due to the diverse nature of the business. Some days I would be working on a task that needed me to be creative and imaginative whilst other days I would be working with statistics and would need to think analytically. This has helped me to showcase the skill areas that I already felt confident in but also to develop in areas that I was less confident.

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

The most exciting project I have worked on whilst on placement was the ‘Could IT Be You?’ competition. The competition was aimed at 16 to 18 year old girls with an aim to encourage them to consider a career in IT. The motivation behind the competition was the shocking statistics that highlighted the lack of females working in the IT industry.

Throughout the competition, we travelled the country, presenting and promoting the competition to different schools. We held a finalists day where the girls with the top 75 competition entries were invited to The Quadrant:MK to participate in fun activities, meet inspirational women from the IT industry and complete their final assessments to determine the winners. Along with helping to plan the finalists day, I was given the opportunity to develop one of the assessment tasks and I was also able to deliver it on the day.

What's been the best thing for you?

The best thing for me whilst working at Network Rail has to be the team that I have worked in. There was a great dynamic and my assignment manager really pushed me to achieve things I hadn’t expected to achieve whilst on placement. I was given a huge number of opportunities and was able to really step out of my comfort zone knowing that I had the full support of my team.

Why Network Rail?

I chose Network Rail because I had heard great things about their Placement and Graduate schemes. When visiting Network Rail at a careers fair, I got the feeling that they really invest in their Placements and Graduates, and value them as employees. I also wanted to challenge myself and felt that going into a business the size and scale of Network Rail would allow that.

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