I worked on a programme helping with the project management side and overall organisation of work streams within the programme.
I loved my placement thoroughly, Network Rail is an amazing company to work for and I never dread coming to work at all, the only reason I've given it an 8 is my placement was in Milton Keynes which wasn't my favourite place for socialising however Network Rail is a GB wide company so this won't be an issue for all applying.
I thoroughly enjoyed the work I was given, the team I was placed in treated me as a valued member of the programme and as such I was given a lot of responsibility from day one, this has given me many skills and experiences to take away from the year.
I received regular 1-2-1's and mid term and final reviews which fully helped my development as it gave me focus on what skills I needed to work on and improve. My managers pushed me outside my comfort zone a lot but they always offered guidance when needed including training where appropriate, NR invests in you as a person.
As I was treated as a part of the team from day one my work load was always busy, however Network Rail has an amazing work-life balance ethos, my managers always discouraged me from over working myself and they offer flexi time to work around any little things that happen in life, it was refreshing working for a company that realises life stops when you're at work.
I was given a good amount of responsibility for my level, I was entrusted with a few things that I thought were a bit out of capabilities however with full guidance and support I was able to grow myself and believe in myself more. I was also never micro managed and always given my own work to report back on to the team meaning my manager entrusted me to deal with the details while reporting back on a high level to her.
Network Rail encouraged me to learn a lot about the rail industry, the knowledge I gained from being exposed to different parts of the business will be invaluable in my career especially as I plan to stay within the transport sector. The training I received was a lot more than I excepted, I received about 10 days of training over the year in different areas which are very transferable skills such as IT, interpersonal and finance,
I work in MK, the general age group of the office tends to be around 40/50 on average, however, there were around 12 year in industry and 8 graduates in my area which meant I always had people to eat lunch with or take a break with. My team was generally older than me but never treated me like I was below them, they were always so sociable and fun to be around.
Over all the placement was organised well - ish, I had a few worries prior to beginning as I only received information about a week before beginning. However, I was given an excellent 3 days of training surrounding the business and NR has a dedicated call centre that you can ring prior to beginning if you have any problems which always helps.
NR invested a lot of time and money into me over the year, they are very keen to keep their year in industries if they believe you'll do well (which of course they do if you get hired you've gotten through their hiring process). As I said before I got 10 days of training over the year which is unheard of for most YII's, this will be invaluable going forward in my career.
Extremely appealing, there will always be a need for public transport in Britain, as a world leader in rail they have a consulting area of the business which I am very keen to work my way into. With HS2 being built and different schemes being introduced such as the northern powerhouse there will always be jobs at NR.
I was very good friends with a few of the placement students but as we lived in MK no one was that keen to socialise outside work and I spent most weekends visiting friends or going home. Most of the YII's lived at home therefore the social scene at work was almost non existent, however this is just MK and the people that happened to be in my cohort.
For southern England it wasn't bad, my rent was around 450 minus bills for a decent house, it's not northern England cheap but NR subside your travel and the other costs of living are as you'd expect. The pay is enough for you to get by and have some social life.
Non-existent, a few pubs around central MK such as brewdog, spoons, pop world and revs - very sterile and not much fun. There is one actual club pinks but its in the middle of no where and hard to get to, wouldn't recommend MK if you were going for the nightlife.
NR had a lot of different clubs and societies on offer, I joined Archway the LGBT society and got involved in different events for networking and showcasing the business, this really helped my interpersonal skills and networking for my future career.