Managing the track assets using engineering skills to prolong life where you can and use foresight to treat track before it gets bad
My placement with Network Rail was genuinely a great experience. From the jobs I was given to the support I had from my mentor, I valued my time with the company. My team also made me feel welcome from the very beginning and were happy to answer quires I had, whether they were work related or about the new city I had moved into!
I felt I was a valued part of the team. Not only as a colleague, but as a friend. I was given full support by my mentor especially. The only complaint I may have is that I did not get to spend an awful lot of time with my Line Manager due to him being busy for the vast majority of time, The one thing I can advise is to make sure you have someone who knows what you are doing and is there for you to get advice off as line managers are generally managing more than a handful of people and you can feel neglected.
I was not given much support by my Line manager however he did delegate his responsibilities to my mentor who was there for me whenever I needed help. I could not ask for someone to have done more for me as he assisted me in my personal development as well as work. He gave me career advice and nurtured me from my first day. I was given advice on what extra commitments to make outside of work, like becoming a STEM ambassador that will help me develop my personal profile. Along with all of this he assisted me through all the projects I was given making sure I had the right understanding and was on the right track throughout.
I had a really good balance as I was not stumped with more work than I could handle yet there were always projects for me to do. Despite this there was the odd occasion I was left with some tedious work which I felt bored with however this did not last as I always took it up with my mentor who organised other work and projects for me to do beside the tedious work hence keeping me awake at those bleak times!
I felt I was given more responsibility than the other placement students. I was given the opportunity to create an entire log of work to be carried out on a route for example which meant if I got it wrong the company wont waste an awful lot of money. My work was of course checked by two engineers at the start however after they thought I was on the right track they left me to do it alone. Other projects however mainly included collecting relevant data and information for the senior engineer for meetings he has with other seniors.
I feel this placement was crucial for my personal development. I am so much more confident in communicating to others and well as picking up various other office skills (organisation/excel skills etc) that I will take with me back to university and indeed to any future jobs I have. Most of these skills you don't tend to learn at university. Further more this placement has motivated me to do well in my studies as it has allowed me to see where I want to be and what I need to do to get there.
There was a general mix of gossiping and talking about our personal interests and things outside of work, However like all work environments when you needed to zone out and have some personal time or crack on with work then you could always do that. The talkative atmosphere however helped with keeping motivated throughout the day and not burning yourself out with pure work
There were both good and bad aspects. The facilities provided were excellent and there were plenty of network rail events that were advertised really well. However I felt I had no one to go to for pure advice on my route into network rail graduate scheme and there were no links between my management and the graduate team to help me get information. Also I had to find and introduce myself to the other placement students as we were not given an introduction to each other. Also there were no events for placement students unlike the graduates. I had to fish around for information on the graduate scheme and I helped get us included on the graduate programme
I was put on various training courses that were essential for my job. I was also given free travel to any graduate events or any personal development events I wanted to go to. Further more a lot was invested into the protective clothing I needed when going out on track as I requested to have some experience there.
Very! I would love to come back here as the environment is very much stress free and the job security is like no other due to this being a public company. Also the progression is great if you are motivated to work hard and gain more skills and experience, especially if you are a graduate
In short, no. I did not know most of the placement students as the company is huge and we were not given an introduction to each other. Also there were no events for placement students so anything we wanted to do we would have to fish out the other students and organise things between ourselves.
This is a city so nothing was on the cheap side. Further more unlike London there is not as much to do here so choice is limited and it is hard to choose something every one is happy with. this again was not helped my the fact that I did not know more of the students and those that I did, I did not get to spend much time with unlike the graduates who had events together every so often.
I am not one for nightlife however gathering from other's comments, the area I work in has not got a great night life. There are however many university students around here so if that is your thing then you may be still be able to enjoy yourself with the other students
Yes! Network Rail supports you to do as much as you want. They even give you 5 extra days off a year purely for helping charities and organisations like STEM. Further more you can organise more time off if your line manger agrees and you make up the hours. There are also loads of graduate and career events which they encourage you to attend.