General Management at Network Rail

Placement Year (10 Months+)
Birmingham West Midlands
Review Date
£16,000 - £17,999
Business Analytics Business Management Financial Management Transportation

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The Role



The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

Was a bit slow to start with no real plan of what I was there to do but once my manager had changed I was straight into some meaningful work. Network Rail is very varied, always something different to do and opportunities to go out onto the infrastructure and visit different areas of the business.


2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

Treated like anyone else in the office, everyone is really friendly and always happy to help. Never really treated as just a placement student, lead meeetings/ projects and also repersented the company with external TOC's/ FOC's so not allowed to go and show of what I can do.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

Everyone is always looking to help and make sure you understand what is being said and ensure you can progress well. Regular 1-2-1's to ensure you are happy and dont have any problems. Line Manager also very good at making sure i have wait i needed to go back to uni and also to develope my CV for the future.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

As said placement strted slow with not alot to do as my Line Manager was Exec level so didnt see him alot. but onve changed to new manager it depended on the time in the period, busier towards period end as things need to be completed and also in the summer during leave period as there is plenty to cover. Never had to stay really late however Ive travel around a lot for meetings so plenty of early starts.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

As you’d expect this increased the longer I was with the company, but represented my senior manager on a regular basis at meetings/ workshops etc. Allowed to run my own projects a represent the team with TOC’s/ FOC’s. The responsibility was there if you wanted it but managers always ready to help if needed.


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

Developed a varied about of skills at Network Rail because of the nature of the different opportunities available to you. Working in such a large organisation you quickly develop the soft skills that will be essential when leaving university. Also my manager was very keen on ensuring I developed as much as possible and also had what I need to go back to university.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Can be quiet some days depending on who's in and if people were in meetings or on site etc. But everyone is really friendly and up for a laugh and a joke to help the day pass. Office has a quite a relaxed environement, easy to work and to get on with everyone around you.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

Placement was poorly organised at first no-one was really sure what I was supposed to be doing especially when my manager was exec level so I rarely saw him. Furthermore I came into the team in the middle of a reorganisation so many people were acting in roles and wasn’t sure what they were supposed to be doing or the best place for me. This improved when I moved manager who took a lead on organising the placement.


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

Sent on plenty of different courses such as LEAN training and also asset management appreciation, but also given the relevant training and equipment to allow me to go onto the infrastructure and make the most out of the year there. Paid to go to a variety of different places around the country to experience everything NR have to offer.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Sports and Social Club
  • Company Car
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • National Travel
  • International Travel
  • Financial Bonus
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
  • Above 25 days holiday
  • Working from home
  • Healthcare from home
  • Healthcare/Dental
  • Travel loan

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

Very appealing, I intend to come back to Network Rail on the graduate scheme, there are massive opportunities to develop and get a full time role within the organisation. But also progression seems to be quick and there always seems to be job opportunities arising to try and move into.



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

Quite difficult with the placement students as we didn’t all live in the same area and also many were based in the different offices and also teams within Network Rail. However went out with other colleagues from the office on a regular basis. This included on training days and also during overnight visits.


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

Birmingham area is relatively cheap, especially in the student areas of south Birmingham, however I was lucky enough to live at home so didn’t have to worry about stuff like that!! Everything is within walking distance in the city centre and travel is cheap as well, bars and restaurants vary in price depending where you go.


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

Birmingham has a good nightlife being a big city, plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants to go to, something for everyone. Broad Street is the main area for bars/clubs and is the busiest place to go on a Friday / Saturday night. But there is plenty of pubs and places to go all over the city centre.


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Not really, there is a couple of football teams going around but have to find search them out, is a couple of groups set up such as young professionals in rail which do events. But most things are what you organise within your team – which usually involves the pub!! But no team building events etc.