Be comfortable with who you are. You will meet loads of people at university and you don’t have to get along with everyone! By being yourself, you will find your own crowd and make some great friends.
After graduating from the University of Hertfordshire, I joined the I.T & Business Services graduate scheme at Network Rail. The scheme allowed me to rotate around different business units, building experience before rolling into my current position as a Project Leader (Change). My new role is people focused and involves early engagement, external attraction and employee capability.
Studying at the University of Hertfordshire was a great choice for me because the degree I chose offered flexibility in module choices and full support for a year in industry. Utilising the option for a year of work experience has proven invaluable and helps to tackle the difficulty most students face - needing experience to get a job, but needing a job to get experience!
I picked the University of Hertfordshire for two key reasons. Firstly, there was ample choice between modules that allowed me to specialise in an area of my own interest. Secondly, it was clear that year in industry placements were not only supported but actively encouraged as part of wider learning and personal development during my studies at University.
The best thing for me was the wider life experience. As a geographer fieldwork is an important aspect of your learning, and I enjoyed trips to Switzerland and the Lake District. The class of 2016 were entertaining company! I was also lucky enough to be awarded a small bursary to part-fund a study abroad opportunity in Brazil.
I’m going to cheat and choose two, and for very different reasons. First up was the view of the alps from Hohsaas, Switzerland where we broke through the cloud line at ~3,000m above sea level. The second was Sean Paul at the Forum, which was an entertaining evening!
I was really lucky to meet some awesome people during my time studying at UH, both through my course and other campus activities. I still meet up with a few friends regularly.
Be comfortable with who you are. You will meet loads of people at university and you don’t have to get along with everyone! By being yourself, you will find your own crowd and make some great friends. Also don’t worry about having everything sorted out, or knowing what you want to do when you finish university. You will face countless opportunities and that is half the fun.
The rail industry is an exciting place to be, and is far more innovative than it’s given credit for. We currently assist 4.5 million passenger journeys a day and this number is expected to double over the next 25 years. Creativity thrives under intelligent constraints and the challenge of meeting this demand has given rise to the Digital Railway programme. If you want to learn more, connect with me on LinkedIn!
I’m never quite sure what the next step is until I’ve taken it, but I have become fascinated by all aspects of change and there are plenty of projects to get my teeth stuck into at Network Rail. Long term I would love to reach a ‘C level’ position in a company or even experiment with running my own venture.