I assisted the project managers in the team. This would include taking minutes at meetings, filling out forms to be submitted to various other disciplines and keeping track of progree of the projects. I'd also go on site visits with the project managers or construction managers to see how the works were ongoing and take photos to report back afterwards.
I've learnt skills in minute writing (essentially extracting important information from conversations) and in time management. I gained a larger understanding of mapping and using GIS to display information and convey this to other people. I also gained a wider appreciation for the rail industry and how it is run from day to day.
Overall I wasn't given a huge amount of reponsibility since I was assisting a project manager who held said responsibility, but for certain smaller tasks within the larger project I was given total control of them.
My team were extremely supportive throughout the year, especially because it was online for most of the time.
My team were extremely collaborative and friendly. The wider company is very big and has a lot of processes that can make it difficult to promote more cross collaboration between disciplines and teams. But there's a general feeling of being part of the "railway family" that is felt across the board.
It was a tricky year since most of it was online and done from my bedroom, so I felt there were a lot of missed opportunities for me because of this. However, what work I was doing and the times I did get to venture out on site were fairly enjoyable and I feel it was worth completing the year.
Show your passions and stick to them. It's a big industry but one that once your in, they want to keep you. So even if where you start isn't what you want to be doing, keep at it and there will almost certainly be opportunities to move around and try other things.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Civil Engineering, Transportation