1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I currently work in project management. The daily tasks vary depending on what is happening at a certain point in time. As of recently though I have had to do a lot of information gathering and analysis. Internally I interact with my team and with other teams who are working with us. I am responsible for managing SharePoint sites which normally doesn't take up too much time, but it requires me to work on it daily.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a lot of skills by undertaking this course. It has given me the opportunity to gain qualifications such as foundation APM. We spend a lot of time reviewing what we have done at work and how it has allowed us to develop our skills. Some of the main skills I have learnt include working under pressure and communication skills. I use these on a daily basis.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I think this is a perfect programme for me. This is because I don't think I would have enjoyed just doing university, so being able to work at the same time allows me to still get a qualification whilst gaining lots of valuable real world experience. Everyone I have worked with has been very friendly, and I thoroughly enjoy what I do.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I am part of the first cohort to do this so at some points it doesn't feel very well structured, but this is expected and we are always able to overcome any issues. The company overall is very organised though so it never feels as though everything is out of control.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The support we receive from our employer is incredible. I didn't expect to feel so secure throughout, but thanks to our line manager and the assignment managers we all have I have never had any doubts. They are all very friendly and they always do their best to help with any problems we may have.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Even though we are mostly doing distant learning, our module tutors and course leaders are all accessible. They all do their best to reply to any emails we send and they are very helpful. We luckily get to meet them all in person when the module starts which I think helps as it is easier to contact someone over email about a query when you already know them.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I have been able to gain many transferable skills from the degree part of the apprenticeship. What we do in our degree directly links to our day job. This means we know that we aren't wasting our time with the university modules and that we are making the most out of the opportunity.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
There are plenty of things to get involved with at my company. A weekly newsletter is sent out which provides information about the various clubs, sports teams and one-off events which people can get involved with. I think this contributes to all employees being able to have a good work-life balance.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend?
I would recommend network rail to a friend because I think it is as good as a working environment can get. Everyone is very friendly and it is not hard to get settled in. There are plenty of opportunites here to progress in your career at a faster rate than it would in other roles which in my opinion makes network rail a very attractive place to work for.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail?
I would tell them to ensure they have a good understanding of the company when going to the interview. It is also important they are prepared to answer questions about examples of when they have worked as a team and individually. It is also a good idea to talk about something they have done previously which links to the job role they are applying for.
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