James Featherstone, who has been named Railstaff Graduate of the Year 2018. This award recognises the impact James has made in his first year with Network Rail, and in particular, his Fast Trackers outreach initiative and mentoring of current members of SELA.
Fast Trackers engaged over 200 young people, inspiring them to recognise and realise their own potential, and to see careers in science and engineering as real possibilities for their future. In leading the programme, James demonstrated his continued commitment to the SELA Foundational Attributes, and especially enterprise capability and inspiration.
In September 2018, James returned to SELA as an industry mentor at our Induction Bootcamp for our 2018 student intake. The support of industry mentors is crucial to the success of SELA, with mentors helping students to reflect on and recognise their skills and areas for development, whilst drawing on their own experiences and stories to contextualise students’ learning.
James worked with small groups of our members throughout the weekend’s activities, and also delivered a whole-group presentation where he shared his experiences of transitioning his skills from SELA into graduate life.
Head of SELA, Gary Wood, commented: ‘We are delighted to celebrate James’s success in these awards, which recognise the successful transition he has made into the Rail Industry. We are immensely proud to see him continuing to build vision and inspire others – both qualities that the SELA programme aims to develop in its members.’
Since joining us for the Bootcamp, James has kindly agreed to advise and mentor some of our second year students who hope to enter the rail industry after graduation. His willingness to honestly discuss the benefits and challenges of his own first-hand experience, combined with his network of contacts, and his ability to relate to students about to make the transition he has successfully made over the last year, make him an outstanding ambassador for his industry and his company.