Learning at the cutting edge

By 1 July 2022 Comment

Young business graduate Jack Walker-Appleton started working at the Nuclear AMRC in October 2021, with the centre sponsoring him through the nucleargraduates programme. After an initial nine months working at the centre as a project manager, he is now starting his first placement to gain experience in different organisations across the nuclear sector. We asked him what he’s learnt so far.

I applied for the nucleargraduates scheme whilst studying in my final year of university. I studied Business Management at the University of Brighton for three years, with a placement year at Baker Hughes in the flexible pipes commercial department. The importance and growing need for energy has always interested me, and I applied for the graduate scheme because of the opportunity it offered to work in a centre that is on the cutting edge for manufacturing.

It also offered the opportunity of working across multiple organisations across the world, in different positions, which will allow me to learn and grow as a professional. Each graduate gets a continuous personal development budget as part of the scheme, so I can choose what to invest in to complement the mandatory training courses.

So far, I have attended multiple training courses, with the most valuable to me being the Triple Bar in Nuclear Manufacturing, the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification, and Level 3 Mental Health First Aid.

I have worked at the Nuclear AMRC in project management, working on multiple different projects, and learning about the project lifecycle and the processes used for managing projects. I have gained valuable experience in working with a project team, on a large project facing multiple different challenges which I had not worked with before. I have been able to greatly improve my problem-solving skills, facing several different complex tasks which I have worked towards overcoming and applying solutions.

Everyone I have worked with at the Nuclear AMRC has been very friendly and goes out of their way to help answer the questions I have about all different varieties of topics, whether about the company, project management or career advice.

During my time here, I have learnt a lot about working in a team, how to develop my communication skills, and also the important skill of how to chair a meeting successfully. I have been fortunate enough to work across multiple departments, with multiple teams which has given me a broader understanding of how the Nuclear AMRC operates, as well as the nuclear industry more broadly.

I am now moving on to my next secondment, at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in Westminster where I will work as an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) advisor. I will be supporting international conferences, working with diplomats to prepare briefings and statements on nuclear security and non-proliferation. I am planning on further developing my written communication and presentation skills here, as well as understanding how a government department operates.

Overall, I have really enjoyed my time at the Nuclear AMRC, and would like to give a big thank you to everyone here for supporting me, taking time to answer my questions and being so friendly. I have learnt a lot.