Working as part of a project team, assisting to deliver projects on time, cost and quality through various phases in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I was encouraged to prioritise the development of my skills throughout my placement and was given a lot of responsibility as soon as I joined to develop me further. There were many opportunities presented to me to develop myself and I was encouraged to regularly review my future plans with my line manager.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
From the first day I felt like I was part of the team, I was given a position title and told not to refer to myself as 'the placement student'. Over my placement, I became much closer to my team and was able to ask for help and provide help to them.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was always encouraged to ask anyone questions, whether in the office or during a meeting. Additionally, I had regular 1 to 1's with my line manager to review work, skills I needed to improve and further opportunities. I was also assigned a mentor who I was able to discuss career goals and decisions I needed to make after my final year at University. I believe there was a lot of support available to me over the placement period.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This fluctuated, there were times where I was extremely busy and felt the need to come to work early or stay late. There were never periods I felt bored or I had nothing to do, however sometimes I felt like I was able to take on more which would in turn improve my skills. However, I was able to discuss this with my line manager who quickly resolved the issue of wanting to take on more.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility, especially when managing my own project. However, I always felt like I could go to my line manager to ensure I was following the correct processes.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Even though some of my new knowledge is only relevant to the railway, the majority of the skills I have gained will be of use in my future career and during my final year at university. I have attended some training sessions to improve skills such as leadership and management.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There were many teams in the office, my team were very friendly and got on well. I also spent some time with the other teams who enjoyed after work events and socialising.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I always felt like I had something to do, was constantly improving my skills and knew who I could speak to if there was an issue so I believe it was well organised. The tasks I was originally set did change, however I understand this is to be expected in this fast paced working environment.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was provided many opportunities through placement events, Network Rail did however offer me training to become a mentor, gain a Project Management qualification and take online courses to improve my knowledge on company processes.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
Healthcare from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have been advised to apply for the graduate scheme, however there is no guarantee I will get this.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I was the only placement student in the team, however I regularly went to social events. I hosted a couple of charity events in the office where I got to know people and the Team Organisers also hosted many events, such as Charity pub quizzes.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As I was in the same location as where I studied the previous years, I knew where to live and stayed in student accommodation. It was not too expensive.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The night life is not great, however there are some lovely places to go.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were some charity events to get involved in and a running club every week.