Project management for Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) projects, as part of Safety, Technical and Engineering.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed it to a great extent. I feel that I have really gained a lot from the internship during my time at Network Rail and have seen a real boost to my personal and professional development.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I have really felt valued and part of the team. I was taken under the wing of some of my colleagues and felt very included and that everyone wanted me to get the most out of the experience.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given very good support by management and my supervisors. If I ever needed help at any time over the duration of my internship, I would always be able to find support.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There were times where I felt I didn't have quite enough to do and would need to ask for more things that I could work on but in general, there has been a good balance and different things that I could be working on, without it getting too much.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I feel as though I was given a good amount of responsibility for the level that I joined the business at. I think that it is often the case that colleagues won't want to give interns too much responsibility but as my internship went on, I was able to be involved in more and given greater responsibility as myself and my colleagues began to feel more comfortable with my position in the business and my team.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I am sure that the skills I developed and training I received will assist me in my degree studies, in future employment and also in life in general. I have gained a good understanding of project management in my role and have also really improved my organisation and communication skills in addition to others. I was also given the opportunity to receive Samaritans suicide prevention training which is a skill that I will be able to take with me in both my career and in life.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Generally, the atmosphere in the office is brilliant. There is always a good buzz about and everyone is very friendly. There is a lot of open space, and some of the outside it brought in with trees in the 'street' downstairs, a café, deli and restaurant, and a library and gym. All of this contributes to a happier atmosphere which makes working in the office a good experience.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It felt as though there wasn't a huge amount of organisation that had gone into the internship prior to it commencing, which meant that it took a little while for me to get really into the swing of things. As time went on, however, it definitely began to feel more organised as I was able to identify the areas of work in which I was most interested in and I was able to organise with my team more work that was well-suited to my interests, studies, and future career possibilities.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I feel that Network Rail really invested in me well in terms of personal training and development. During the first couple of weeks, I was given access to a wide variety of e-learning modules with some being mandatory, including some health and safety modules, and others being optional, such as some environmental training. I was also given the opportunity to take part in other training such as the Samaritans Managing Suicidal Contacts course. Network Rail is really interested in investing in you and that really does show.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future employment prospects are very appealing. There are a number of graduate schemes that I have been looking into as possibilities for once I have completed my undergraduate Bachelors degree. Having had such a great experience of working with one of the teams within the organisation, I would love to work for Network Rail in the future.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
It was really good being able to meet some of my fellow Summer placement students and we all got along really well and had opportunities to socialise outside of work as well as during lunchtimes. I was also able to meet some Year in Industry students and apprentices and have really enjoyed the social aspect of the internship.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
My internship took place in the town that I already live in with my family so for me there weren't any additional costs other than the cost of petrol for getting into work. As the office is in the City Centre, you do either have to pay for parking or a work parking permit if you are commuting by car. For socialising, I would say the cost was about average. There are certain things you can do for free and others that could be a bit more pricey.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are a good number of bars and pubs but only a very small handful of clubs. I tend not to be so fussed about nightlife so for me this is more than enough but it might be a bit of a shock to the system if you're coming from somewhere with an abundance of nightlife like London!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
At Network Rail, employees get five days for volunteer leave a year. I was able to use one during my time at the business to get involved in the maintenance of a canal in Milton Keynes. There are also things like a Fantasy Football league and Seven-Aside Football which people can get involved in but that's not quite for me!