Describe a typical day as a Nuclear Graduate:
One of the best aspects of the programme is the range of organisations you can gain experience with. For this reason, describing a ‘typical’ day whilst out on secondment is tricky! However a Nuclear Graduate training zone will always be around the corner. On training zones, a typical day is to wake up and have breakfast with your fellow graduates in the hotel; a great time to catch up with friends and prepare for the day ahead. The training itself could be any one of a range of topics, from business skills to project management to team building. They were a personal highlight for me, and always informative. The evenings of training zones are great fun. You can spend time socialising with other graduates over dinner and organise evening activities; badminton and football were favourites of mine. The programme truly offers a rounded learning experience, both in terms of your technical competence, as well as your social confidence.
How has the training provided by Nuclear Graduates helped with your professional development?
Whilst on the Programme I completed the three key courses which, when combined with relevant experience, are required to become a Radioactive Waste Adviser (RWA). This is an internationally recognised qualification and one I aspire to gain very shortly! I also completed the Certificate in Environmental Management, a pre-requisite for gaining Practitioner status with my institution (IEMA). I recently achieved this status with IEMA, and this is a key step towards becoming a Chartered Environmentalist. In terms of ‘non-technical’ training, the training on the programme helped me to realise my strengths, and areas for improvement. This has helped me greatly since completing the programme. Being self-aware is incredibly useful in a work environment, but also in day to day life.
What is your magic moment in your time on the Nuclear Graduates programme?
My ‘magic moment’ actually came in the very last training zone (Repatriation). I had been the CEO for our team’s SME throughout the programme, and on this last day we went for a walk up a cliff path at St Bees. The team took it upon themselves to pick me up at the top of the cliff path… After the initial fear and confusion, I breathed a sigh of relief realising it was just for a good photo opportunity. We had worked hard for two years, culminating in a sizeable donation to our chosen charity, and this was our final day as a company. In that moment, I couldn’t have felt prouder.
What advice would you give a future Nuclear Graduate?
Be yourself, and say yes to things. It can be daunting at first to volunteer, but it is 100% worth it. The opportunities you get on the programme are immense, so try to take as many of them as you can. Also, enjoy it!! The programme flies by, and it will be over before you know it.