The function of the sponsorship team is to lead the development and implementation of customer and stakeholder promoted and funded enhancement schemes in an affective and timely manner through mutually beneficial relationships.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Very much enjoyed my placement experience. I had a varied portfolio of works which which I took responsibility and accountability for - obviously enhancing the learning experienced on a year in industry. It's a bit of a cliche, but I genuinelly enjoyed coming to work everyday and made some good friends along the way.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
From the start of my placement I received a warm welcome from my direct team and wider colleagues also. After a couple of months, I felt I became an integral member of the team who was appreciated.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had a designated mentor for the year who was very much supportive throughout the process and I would consider him to not only be a colleague but a friend now. We held monthly 1-2-1's whereby my progress was tracked and goals were set to strive for. Guidance, advice and support was offered by the team as a whole also.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
As expected at the start, it took me a while to be allocated a suitable schemes of work, but during this time there was much to learn - especially in an organisation like Network Rail. As the placement progressed, I was given and trusted to deliver more and more works and was kept busy. I had a good deal of responsibility and felt like I was a true contributor to the teams sucess.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A lot of repsonsibility was entrusted in me, I had involvement in a range of schemes from large to small and had my own schemes that were worth substantial amounts of money. There was a strong emphasis on allowing me to be involved in tasks with theory behind them and the responsibility entrusted in me was rather gratifying.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
There are many skills you learn/ enhance when on placement that you simply can't do at university. This experience will enable me to relate my studies to industry in a much more meaningful way. The experience has allowed me to develop into a young professional and grow as a person also.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Good atmosphere with the appropriate balance of professional/work-related conversations with the occasional light hearted moments. This enabled the team to function effectively, share knowledge and get along socially.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Well set up and organised with effective management and mentorship giving the student the platform to demonstrate and utilise their skills and absorb knowledge. Improvements could be made in making the IT set up at the start of placement a bit slicker, enabling student to get on straight away as opposed to waiting 2-3 days for laptop etc to be set up.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Lots of opportunity to train and develop, Network Rail - despite being publically funded weren't afraid of investing in the appropriate training required for the role. People were available to discuss projects and offer advice and this helped enormously.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There is an opportunity to return to the organisation in 12 months after completion of the degree and enrollment in a graduate scheme. Along with this, there is the potential to apply to roles via the external website.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a core group of three who had common interests and socialised after work and at weekends, This was helped by the fact that I lived with a fellow placement student whom I got on well with and obviously saw a lot of.
On a larger scale, attempts were made to socialise with placement students and graduates but this was a rare occurence in truth.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cost of living was as expected for living in Manchester City Centre.
Two bedroom flat was rented 1.3 miles from Manchester Piccadilly for circa. £700pcm.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Great, it's Manchester!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was football organised on pretty much every day of the week as well as an 'official' Network Rail Team to get involved with if desired. I played on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Along with this there was a few social gatherings with the team - most commonly for people's birthdays, leaving do's, promotions and volunteer opportunties are frequent!