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"I get to work with the Engineers, and help them to feel comfortable talking to me about any common faults that are arising with the fleet."
While studying my degree in Maths and Chemistry, I chose to take a placement year. My placement happened to be for Virgin Trains as a Student Analyst. During this year, I was producing periodic reports for the company, and conducting various analysis for other departments. From then I decided that I really enjoyed working for a Train Operating Company.
When back at university for my final year, I started looking for Graduate Programmes within the Rail Industry, and I landed myself a position of a General Management Graduate for Chiltern Railways. I have been working with Chiltern Railways for just over a year now, and the experiences have been fantastic. It is the only chance I will get to work with all the different departments, and make invaluable connections throughout the company. The training courses through the Arriva Graduate Programme have helped me develop key skills and have given me great opportunities to meet the CEO and some of Arriva's senior managers.
"Review performance of the fleet, and look to improve reliability"
I monitor the performance of Chiltern Railways' 165 and 168 fleet, and produce periodic reports to highlight the biggest incidents. The report is reviewed by the Senior Engineering Managers, and action plans are developed to help prevent similar incidents from occurring again.
I also look for trends in defects across the different fleets and to see if there are any arising issues.
I also monitor the progress of performance improvement projects for the Engineering team, and provide feedback of any development. I help develop the new projects for the next rail year using data accumulated throughout the year of particular issues that may be a little more difficult to resolve.
"Finding out about particular defects"
What I love about my current placement is that I am able to go on the depot with the Engineers, and understand how the defects affect the normal running of the service. I also see how the issues are resolved and when the issue isn't noticeable, to see the fault finding procedures carried out.
I get to work with the Engineers, and help them to feel comfortable talking to me about any common faults that are arising with the fleet.
"Have new experiences!"
When first starting the Arriva Graduate Programme, I only really knew about the general workings of the revenue management team within the Commercial department, due to my previous experience with another Train Operating Company. So far, the programme has allowed me to experience a variety of different departments throughout the whole of Chiltern Railways. This has helped me understand and appreciate the importance of each of the teams, and the challenges that each face on a daily basis.
"Working as a Train Crew Controller."
During my time on the scheme, I had a rotation through the control centre. I accepted a longer placement on the Train Crew Controllers desk, where the main priority was to ensure that all the trains had drivers during times of disruption, to maintain a good level of service.
The Arriva Graduate Programme prepared me for taking on this great responsibility and any challenges that arose throughout my shift. I felt able to call upon different people for assistance when required as I had seen most employees throughout my rotation through the departments.
The experience gained was invaluable and something that none of the other Chiltern Graduates will do throughout their programme, as every graduate will take a different path throughout the company.