Signalling Engineer at Network Rail

Placement Year (10 Months+)
Milton Keynes Nationwide
Review Date
£16,000 - £17,999
Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Connect with this company


The Role



The Role

Role Description

Command Control & Signalling Engineer (Placement) at Network Rail. Worked with managing and maintaining signalling equipment at the company.

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

At the beginning of my placement, I absolutely hated it as I felt it hard to fit into the office lifestyle. What didn't help was the lack of face to face interaction with my host manager. It took 5 months to get my first face to face with him but as soon as he realised I was struggling with learning and finding things to do, he stepped in and handed me a few contacts to meet up with.
From that point on wards, I have enjoyed my placement and I have decided to stick it out on the gradscheme. I love the fact that I get to travel across different parts of the UK and that I get to interact with different people on an everyday basis from suppliers to internal contacts.


2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

At the beginning the interactions were minimal, as I am a shy person. But as things have progressed, I think I have definitely opened up a lot more. I found all people that I have interacted with to be really helpful, and I believe that I have established quite a lot of links within the company.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

At the beginning, it was minimal however due to my shyness I didn't really ask. But at the same time, my host manager should of picked up on it and should have approached me a lot sooner. It took me to approach him 5 months into my placement, but from there he has been extremely supportive and has provided me with a lot interesting work to get involved in.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

Some days were extremely whereas some those were absolutely thrilling. I spent the most of the last half of my placement going out to sites with track visitor permits to do battery testing. Going to training schools and learning how signalling systems work, and on auditing and supply chain visits to get a better understanding of other parts of the company.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

Towards the end I was given a lot of responsibility as I was given a project which required a delivery of a maintenance specification. It involved me meeting up with many different people from all over the country, speaking to suppliers, gathering and arranging meetings and finally delivering a presentation to stakeholders so I was responsible for quite a lot.


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I would say I haven't really used that much from what I have learnt from University, but however I have seen people use a lot. I would say the only theoretical things were battery theory and I would say it has improved quite a lot for myself.
I would say my soft skills, such as interactions and socialising, presentation and report writing skills have improved.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The general atmosphere was bubbly and fun, would say all people were easily able to be approached. What I liked about the company was that you won;t be stuck in an office all day everyday. You can easily be out on track one day and in the office the next.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

I don't think it was well organised to start off with, as it took 4 weeks for me to get a project to work on. Even then I was told to read a book on RCM, which helped for a month or two. It wasn't until I sat with my host manager and spoke about all of this stuff that things started to improve and I started making most out of it.


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

I believe the company invested a lot, from booking LEAN training to arranging STEM activities for us to get involved in. I was given the opportunity to observe three auditing visits, which was amazing as I got to see the supplier side of things and what they do for us.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Company Car
  • National Travel
  • Above 25 days holiday
  • Working from home

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

As I have had a good time this year, I have now secured myself on the gradscheme for the following year. Prospects are looking good as long as you are committed to learning and you are willing to improve. I am amazed at the progress someone can make within 5 years within being in the company.



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

All my fellow placement students were good to socialise with, even the graduates from the year above were good to see. They were really helpful and informative and would try to give you advise on how you should approach things within the company from their own experience, especially when speaking to your host / line manager.


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

I was travelling in so did not spend that much time in the area apart from at work.


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

I was travelling in so did not spend that much time in the area apart from at work.


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

There were many opportunities such as badminton, football, Ice hockey which were arranged by people at the company. I assume if you wanted to arrange something yourself it could have easily been done, and members of the company would have been equally as supportive of it. The company would also try to get you involved with a lot of STEM activities for you to help and inspire young minded individuals.