1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Undertaking a Placement Year at CrossCountry Trains was very valuable, varied and gave great exposure to the railway industry. From the start the company immediately allowed you to settle in well by arranging welcome sessions with other placement students to allow you to get to know them. There are also various sessions scheduled throughout the year to enable the placement students to work together on developing skills within different workshops. Each week was gradually integrated with new tasks to ensure you settled in well with the role.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
One of the great things about CrossCountry is the fact they genuinely are people focused and always make sure you feel valued. Many people across the business are very approachable and make you feel at ease when first starting the role.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Support and guidance was given on a daily basis by other colleagues and also the management. regular one-to-one sessions were held to see how you are progressing in the role and to also see what areas of development you require and wish to work one.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Initially at the start of placement there were a variety of tasks to do and many were training based to ensure you settled in well and had enough resources to do your role. As you became more competent in your role, more tasks and projects were given up until the stage where not only have you got daily task to complete, but you also have a project to run too - so each day there is always something to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
During the year I was gradually given more and more responsibility and was given my own project to implement as part of a committed obligation that the company had to meet. This project required a great deal of responsiiblty and had to be delivered in order to meet the requirements of the Department for Transport (DfT).
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills developed throughout the year have been significantly helpful and it has allowed me to apply real life examples to discussion at university. The placement year has also provided me with various opportunities such as project management which is not something that often given to a placement student. After completing the placement, I feel like I am in a more confident position and I believe I have been able to develop and progress further with the opportunities that were given to me
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office atmosphere consisted of different departments and was often full of energy. The environment never felt too corporate which made the placement year much more enjoyable and less daunting,
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was well organised. To ensure that everyone settled in well the company had scheduled everyone's welcome day on the same date so we got to meet other students. There was a clear breakdown given of workshops and placement sessions that were going to be run throughout the year and if there were any concerns or clarity needed all you had to do was drop an email to your manager or HR.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company was able to offer me with the options to attend various training sessions based on areas I felt needed more development with. In addition to this, the placement students had many workshop sessions scheduled which focused on various development of skills such a analytical skills, presentation skills and time management.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There have been many previous placement students who have returned to the business on permanent basis or on a graduate basis and have often progressed into management positions rather rapidly due to the company size.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The company has over 13 offices across the UK with the Head Office being based near Snow-hill station making it very cost effective to commute to. The offices themselves aren't based too far from the stations and because you often get work done on a train when going to other offices there are great opportunities to socialise with the front line staff that work for the company.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?