My role was to support the Senior Internal Communications Manager and the Communications Executive in their roles. This included managing the communications channel, planning events and other business as usual activities.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my time at Network Rail as it is a really fast paced environment with lots of different things going on. Every day presented something new and the activities and projects I worked on were really interesting and varied.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I worked within a small team of three and couldn't have asked for a better group of people to work with. We formed a really close relationship that allowed us to work effectively and efficiently and I will definitely be staying in touch with them.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My assignment manager was awesome! She was really focused on my development and pushed me to acheive things I didn't think I was capable of. I now look up to her as a mentor and will stay in touch with her.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The role I was in whilst on placement had waves of activity. So for 3 months you would be rushed off your feet planning an event and then for a few weeks you would have a moderately paced schedule. I was never short of work and I tried to get involved in as many activities as I could.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a huge amount of responsibility whilst on placement. I project managed the logistics side of an annual event that took place over three different locations on nine different days.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I have learnt out on placement have been invaluable and will really help me on my return to university. Completing a placement has really changed my attitude to work and I am far more proactive that I previously was. Overall, completing a placement at Network Rail has been one of the best things I have ever done and I am sad to be leaving.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere of the office was great. It is such a beautiful building and is a great environment to work. The people in the office are all very friendly and you can always hear someone laughing.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement scheme at Network Rail is really well organised. The only problem I had with it was the recruitment process as I didn't hear back from them for a long time and then all of my interviews and assessment centres seemed to happen at very short notice.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
In terms of training, I have attended any external training but there are plenty of workshops and 'lunch and learns' happening around the business that you can attend.
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 would seriously consider coming back to Network Rail as there are lots of opportunities within the business. They also run a fantastic graduate scheme.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a really good relationship between the placements and the graduates in my department and we would socialise as much as possible, either as a whole group or with whoever was around.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cost of living wasn't cheap but it was affordable. The social scene in Milton Keynes isn't great but there are a few bars and restaurants. The benefit of living in Milton Keynes is that it is fairly quick and cheap to get into London.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife was pretty bad in Milton Keynes.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The sports and social club had lots of activities that you could get involved in. I personally attended the snowboarding lessons.