"I feel like this is valuable work and that I am making a meaningful contribution to the business."
Degree: MSc Physics and Technology of Nuclear Reactors /BSc Nuclear Science and Materials, University of Birmingham.
Profession: Safety Support
Job Title: Nuclear Safety Graduate / Special Assistant to ES&S Director.
I’m on the safety support graduate programme, which involves gaining an insight into areas such as: conventional safety, radiological protection and nuclear safety, so the work is really varied. It is also a chance to gain a broad knowledge of the whole site as we get to visit lots of different facilities.
I’m currently seconded to provide support to a Director on a range of special projects. This includes working on important aspects, such as Sellafield’s environmental remediation strategy and mental health – I feel like this is valuable work and that I am making a meaningful contribution to the business.
I’ve also had the opportunity to visit the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) in Vienna; and Austria to participate in discussions on the integration of safety and security culture.
Since starting at Sellafield Ltd I have been involved with various societies such as: The Young Generation Network (YGN), Women in Nuclear (WIN), Society for Radiological Protection (SRP), Institute of Physics (IoP) Energy Group and the Nuclear Institute Cumbria Branch, where I hold a committee position. I’m also pretty active with various charities which focus on improving education and welfare and I have received the Freedom of the City of London.
I’ve been involved in the organising of the YGN Cumbria Branch speaking competition, which was a great platform for young people to develop their speaking skills in a constructive environment. I also helped to organise a STEM event for 400 local children and I’m organising the ‘YGN Intro to Waste Management & Decommissioning’ Seminar, along with two other graduates, which feature industry leaders.
This involvement is not only great for personal and professional development – it’s a great way to meet new people and make a meaningful contribution to the nuclear industry.
I was initially a little apprehensive to relocate to Cumbria as I was unfamiliar with the area, but Sellafield made the transition as smooth as possible – I was given a graduate buddy in the year above me who I could always ask questions to which was really reassuring. I also attended the welcome event in the summer which helped me to get to know fellow graduates before I started the graduate scheme.
Cumbria is a beautiful part of the country and it’s great that the Lakes are on our door step. We’re fortunate to do Outward Bound early into the graduate scheme and this is held in Eskdale, Cumbria – this is a brilliant way to see the outdoor activities the area has to offer and take advantage of the natural beauty and unique location of Cumbria.
There are over 100 graduates in the local area who are all starting their career at Sellafield and there is an active social calendar so there is always something to get involved with.
It’s a cliché – but you’ll get out of the graduate scheme what you put in. There are so many opportunities at Sellafield and within the nuclear industry to help you transition from a student to a nuclear professional. It’s important to embrace them and be open to new experiences.
The scheme is highly regarded within the nuclear industry and I was fortunate to have visited the site as part of my University studies, so applying for the graduate scheme felt like an obvious choice.
I found the idea of being immersed in the most complex nuclear challenges whilst being fully supported to develop into a nuclear professional rather appealing.
Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, go out and grab them.