I worked in the Sponsor Team in the London North West route.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement. It was a perfect insight into the world of work and I could not have wished for a more balanced, responsible and proactive role in a fast-growing company and industry.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I worked alongside a wide variety of colleagues during my placement. Ranging from trackside engineers who are responsible for physically building the projects I worked on, to Area Directors and Programme Managers.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Whenever I was unsure how to do something or unsure on a topic, I felt comfortable enough to ask. These questions were welcomed as my team or whoever I was working with understood that it is better to fully understand a project before you embark on it as oppose to not having full understanding and not delivering your best work.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was very busy on a daily basis. My job involved a lot of travelling so most weeks I would be out of the office for at least 1 or 2 days in meetings for projects that branched out along the whole of the London North West route.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility during my work placement. I was not treated as a 'student' or an 'intern'. I was treated like a full time employ and that was highlighted through the workload I was given and the importance of the projects I was working on.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have learnt many skills whilst being on placement. E.g. time management, punctuality, discipline, just to name a few. I feel as if this placement year has set me up well for last year so that I can hone in all of my efforts and be efficient to achieve the best result I am capable of.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Office environment is very fun! I have heard things about other offices that are not so great - however, my office was full of laughter. There was an excellent balance of work and social.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I was given a work plan at the start of my placement to get me started and give me an initial workbank. However, later on in the placement, I found my own work and individuals within the company came and found me to help out on some projects.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I completed a few training courses whilst on placement. However, this is not very necessary for a placement student. When a graduate, there are a lot more opportunities for courses to be taken.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The graduate scheme here at Network Rail is very appealing and the progression is very fast if you want it to be! It is a fast-growing company with the rail industry increasing at a higher rate than it ever has.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene was a good as you wanted it to be. There was no input from the company to enhance the social aspect with students.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived in Central Birmingham, five minutes away from the main high street and I found a two-bedroom apartment that I shared with another placement student for the same price I live in Loughborough for. So, very cheap!!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Birmingham City Centre is a great night out!!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were not many sporting/social activities to get involved in but there were always voluntary activities to get involved in which were very fulfilling.