1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my time on placement at Network rail, the company offered me numerous opportunities to see the company as a whole and not just through work in the team I was based in. I went on many site visits all over the UK which helped me gain an understanding of the industry as well as providing plenty of opportunities to take responsibility on projects.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The team I was based in were brilliant, from day one I was made to feel like part of the team. The whole team were brilliant at wanting to help and offer guidance, many have different backgrounds within the industry so it was great to be able to get an insight from different points of view. When working with people from different teams it was hard at times to make them look past the title of 'industrial placement' but when they did, they too were equally as friendly.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was provided a line manager that helped me throughout the year and always took time out to help me understand the work we were set. As well as being set a line manager there is a great network of people that students are able to use through recent graduates that have been through the process and can help to more placement specific issues.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Day to day the level of worked varied a lot. It was often a case of being as busy as you wanted to be, there was always the opportunity to take on more work by getting involved in more projects but at the same time if you were struggling to keep up with the work load there was no pressure to do anything extra.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The level of responsibility varied a lot depending on the size of the project and the time of the placement. At the start I was given little responsibility but this was to help me gain an understanding for the work that I would be completing later in the year but once my manager felt like I was able to complete tasks they were happy to give me the same responsibility as the other members of the team.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was brilliant, it has a really relaxed feel about it, even though there was a lot of work to do people were always happy to stop and have a chat and see how I was getting on. The only downside to the office was that there is very much a team split with people not really interacting with other teams unless they need to for work purposes.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was well organised, it started with a one day induction on the placement scheme where we were able to meet our line managers outside of the office enviroment at the companies conferance/ training centre. Here we were given a 12month placement plan for what we would be doing. This was kept too for the first few months but after that my manager for happy for me to make decisions about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go in the company.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There is a high possibility of me returning to the company once I have completed my degree. The placement scheme is set up to feed directly into the graduate scheme and if you are successful in your placement year you are offered a place on the graduate scheme without having to go back through the application process again. It would be based on a reference from your line manager and final degree grade.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scheme is okay, but it took a lot of work to get it going. The placement students are split between manchester and birmingham this year (changes year on year) which hasn't helped, but also a lot of the students don't want to get involved. Out of 15people on placement we have ended up with a group of 5 of us that try and organise a few events amongst ourselves, which when they happen are good fun.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cost of living is similar to the cost of living at university, if not cheaper, however part of that could be due to the fact I share a house with more people this year. The local area is okay for socialising but birmingham city centre is only a couple of miles away which has plenty of places to go and socialise in.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Only been out a few times in Birminham but the times I have been out the clubs are decent. Birminghams main area for pubs and clubs is Broad street and here there is something for just about everyone, some places can be fairly expensive but after a while you work out wheres best of different nights. Saturday is probably the best night for going out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were a few addition activities to get involved in outside of work, this included charity away days where we were able to go to an activities centre over night if we rasied a certain amount of money as well as corporate football tourements etc. The company are good a promoting added events that are going on even when they are just for fun.