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Transportation System / Systems Engineer

Since I started my internship with Thales, I’ve been involved with the London Underground’s Jubilee and Northern lines Update Project (JNUP) – the largest re-signalling project in the world. I feel immensely proud of being part of something so unique.

Not only have I published my first document, which is paramount to the testing of the Northern Line, but I’ve gained a very broad understanding of Transmission Based Train Control (TBTC) and Thales’ Transportation area. Being told that my hard work has been recognised and acknowledged, and that I’ll have a placement in the Thales Graduate Programme when I finish my degree, was incredibly rewarding.

Despite being such a massive organisation and covering multiple sectors, Thales has a special ability to make you feel appreciated if you do a job well. It’s truly remarkable that top management take an interest in the projects and actually congratulate the teams in person when a job is completed successfully.

The support I’ve received while on my placement has been truly remarkable. I never feel I have to struggle with any aspect of my job and feel confident that I won’t be embarrassed if I ask the smallest, simplest question. Being surrounded by a team that’s dedicated to making the project as good as it can be has given me confidence that I can handle my own career too.

One of the most important things I’ve learnt during my placement is that teamwork is absolutely essential – especially within large projects like JNUP. On this project, Thales worked directly with the customer using the ‘one team’ approach. It wasn’t Thales, Tubelines and London Underground – it was the JNUP team. This also made the experience so much more enjoyable. To come to the workplace and have full transparency of the project was fantastic, there’s no chasing around to check the progress, there’s no ‘middle man’ and everyone is approachable. So how effective was it? We delivered the Northern Line six months early and £40 million under budget!

I’ve had a great time at Thales and appreciate the time that has been invested in me – in formal training and personalised, on-the-job training too. I have been given the flexibility to control my own career, if I wanted to venture into different projects or explore other areas, my managers have always been fully supportive of this.

My biggest achievement to date was being part of the Northern Line final commissioning. It’s something I’ll be telling people about for years to come and something I’ll always look at with a great sense of accomplishment.