• The Role
  • The Company
  • The Culture

    The Role

  • 1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
  • I very much enjoyed my time at Network Rail, it was rewarding not only from a professional point of view but also developed me personally and has given me a lot of skills that I think will benefit me in my final year at university and in future career ambitions.


  • 2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
  • I felt valued by my colleagues although I feel this was definitely earned on my part. Throughout the year my team was in a state of transition and there were a lot of gaps that needed to be filled - for this reason I often found myself doing work beyond what was expected of me which in turn made me a valued member of the team.


  • 3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
  • Support and guidance was always there for me if I needed it but, as with many aspects of this placement, you had to be self-starting and would only receive this guidance if you were asking the right questions and trying to get as much business exposure as you possibly could.


  • 4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
  • As with any job, this placement was no different. It ebbed and flowed throughout the year, occasionally I find myself with spare time to work on some self-starting projects and other times these would have to be put on hold as I worked hard for the greater good of the team.


  • 5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
  • As before mentioned, due to my team being in transition throughout my year with the company I often found myself carrying out roles that were far greater than what would normally be expected of a YII student. Sometimes, the level of responsibility I was given was daunting but I'm better for it as I depart now.


  • 6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
  • I think I have definitely developed a greater clarity of thought and an ability to structure information and arguments in a more concise manner which will certainly help me in my final year of study. On top of this, I gained a certificate of accreditation at my time with Network Rail which will further my career prospects.


    The Company

  • 7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
  • My office base was split between Swindon and Bristol. Unfortunately I was based in Swindon and the rest of my team in Bristol which meant I spent a lot of this year on my own at my desk. This wasn't much fun at all but the days I did have in Bristol were great and I've made some great friends.


  • 8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
  • I think this varies massively from team to team. I was fortunate to have a very supportive line-manager who made sure I got everything I wanted out of the year. This being said, my biggest piece of advice would be that you have to be pro-active in making the placement work for you as the company won't bring it to your doorstep!


  • 9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
  • Network Rail were great for this. My manager regularly encouraged me to put myself forward for things and would always support me in anything I wanted to do. Network Rail paid to put me through an IEMA course which means I'm know an associated member of this chartered body - something I can take away from this year and apply to further careers.


  • 10. What were the perks on your work placement?
  • Flexi Time

    Above 25 days holiday

    Working from home

    Travel loan


  • 11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
  • There's definitely an option to return after you've completed your study. This is something I'll seriously consider as I can see a career path at Network Rail that will be beneficial to me as a graduate. As with anything though, this depends on your degree of study and what you're hoping to achieve in the long-term


    The Culture

  • 12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
  • The YII cohort as a whole are fairly left up to their own devices in terms of making friends and organising socials. I wouldn't say my group were particularly sociable but I made a lot of friends in the organisation outside of my cohort which I think is a really beneficial thing to do.


  • 13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
  • I actually commuted to Swindon everyday from Reading in order to stay living with some of my friends from university. On reflection, I think this was a great decision as the social scene in Swindon is fairly non-existent and I know a few of my colleagues struggled. Once again though, it is what you make it.


  • 14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
  • As mentioned before, nightlife in Swindon is fairly non-existent and I know some of my cohort struggled with this. I'm very glad I made the decision to commute from Reading and stay living with my university friends.


  • 15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
  • I wouldn't say there was anything set up in particular. A few colleagues had taken it upon themselves to play football on a Tuesday night which I joined but this was more of an invite as opposed to something the company set up that anyone could join in with.


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Placement Year (10 Months+)

East of England

August 2019

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