Using Electronic and Electrical Engineering to solve problems associated with the railway
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have enjoyed my placement to a great extent. They has been a lot on offer for me, ranging from making visits up and down the country to attending industry events. Everyone I have emailed met my requests and were very helpful as they would usually attach relevant documents with their emails.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt valued by colleagues, I was invited to the sandwich shop whenever they went. They also took interest in hobbies and activities. We often spoke about these and found common ground most of the time. I really appreciated this gesture as it made me feel as I was part of the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a lot of help by my line managers; they would often take time out of their busy schedules to explain things to me. Another thing I found helpful is that they would tell me the reason why they performed tasks in a certain way. This helped my logical reasoning for dealing with engineering projects.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My work load varied from day to day, as I was working on project. I’d find that some days I’d be waiting on replies from colleagues from different offices. Whereas some day they would all reply at once. But overall I would say I had a balanced schedule during my summer placement
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Baring in mind this was my first summer placement. I would say I was given a lot of responsibility. This was a good thing as I would really have to think about what I was doing and how it could affect others. It was also a good thing because it improved some of my organisation skills.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills and training I have received will greatly aid me during my degree. I have learnt how to format Microsoft excel spread sheets as well as learning other technical aspects relating to the signalling distributions. Along side learning technical skills I also learnt skills such as professional writing and how to continuously improve this writing skill to effectively convey my ideas to others.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere in the office was overall very good. Everyone was really helpful and welcoming, quite often people would take interest in what I was doing and ask me about it. Due to our office having meeting rooms, we would often have a lot of visitors, so no two days were the same.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Unfortunately during my set up they was some confusion. As a consequence I had to change line managers and departments before I’d started. But once a problem had spotted I was assisted by human resources to amend the situation and to insure I had all the information I needed to have a smooth start on my first day.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Network Rail invested a lot into my development and training. They covered expenses for me to attend an industry events and conferences. They also covered expenses relating to travel, this allowed me to visit different departments in different cities. It also gave me a chance to meet people I had previously contacted over email.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future prospects with Network Rail are very appealing as they are a lot of opportunities within the company. As the demand on the railway network is always increasing it poses a lot of challenges, which is ideal for an engineering job in the future. The company is National so they is some flexibility on location.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I was the only student on placement in my department.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I did not socialise or live in the area I worked in. I had stay in my student accommodation and commuted to work every day as the office I was based in was near the motorway. This worked out to be significantly cheaper as I was already paying for my student house during the summer holidays.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I used to go back home every weekend to visit family friends. As a consequence I had not explored the nightlife.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
They were plenty of opportunities through the Young Rail Professionals. Network Rail a supporter of the group and has allowed them to take tours of their facilities.