Ready, Set, Intern!

When I started my application for the Saltire internship programme, I was determined to get an internship where I could apply skills that I have learned in university and gain some practical experience. I was not expecting to learn so much about networking, writing job applications and career paths.

I got my job offer and was very enthusiastic about the opportunity but also a little bit nervous. After two semesters of studying online, I wondered whether I would still be able to network and talk with people I have never met before. However, this feeling did not hold up for long. After the Leadership Day, I felt empowered and ready for the challenges ahead.

This was partly due to me learning about the importance of my values in shaping my career. Although I have always known my ideals, I have never formulated my values. In preparation for my internship, I decided that it was time for me to finally sit down and think about what I want to stand for. It seemed like my values could be a guide throughout my professional career and connect it to my personality, making my career feel more real.

I am passionate about reversing the impact of climate change, and I knew that working in sustainability would satisfy my need to take action. There are many fancy words out there to describe yourself. However, I found that it is very important to trust your gut to stay authentic. To me, it is vital to be accountable and hold others accountable, stay curious, and enjoy what I do. I am passionate about standing up for equality and sustainability, which will always be represented in my professional and personal life.

My first days at NetworkRail have been very challenging in terms of getting to know the business, my role and all the acronyms. Nonetheless, my team was very welcoming and made it easy for me to settle in. After my first week, I can say that any apprehension about working from home and getting to know people online has lifted. I now find myself in a position where I can challenge myself and feel like I can contribute to the team and the wider business.

I Knowing my values has helped me overcome my initial nervousness. Not because they are always at the forefront of my mind but because I can be confident in them and have something to fall back on when decisions need to be made. I am very excited to see where this internship will take me.

Written by: Mascha Graupe, University of Dundee, Sustainability Support Intern, Network Rail, UK (Virtual)