Introducing the whirlwind that is nucleargraduates, Cohort 5….

By KateAdamson | editorial, footprints | April 22, 2012

Introducing the whirlwind that is nucleargraduates, Cohort 5….

So my boss keeps telling me a picture paints a thousand words…. Well I don’t think he’s suffered from a kate-style-email yet! So seeing as this is me I shall probably accompany each with at least 1000 words…

Welcome Weekends Summer 2011:

So it begins… the first time we met – barely even had time to say hello and do introductions and they send us scrambling through rivers all day! But hey we still came out smiling! As you can see some of us were more ‘naturals’ than others!

The beginning of something beautiful…

Training Zone 1: Cumbria

So what are these training zones anyway? The longest, most hectic, testing and exhausting 2 weeks of each secondment…. But also the best 2 weeks you’ll ever have whilst actually at work! From ice-breakers to magic moments, from introducing yourself over 30 times to performing a skit summarising the life of people you met 10 minutes ago, from lectures to team challenges, from early mornings to late nights and from outdoor team building to living in the same hotel for 2 straight weeks. Life as a nucleargraduate is definitely something you quickly come to realise is special – and I don’t know any nucleargraduate who doesn’t feel both proud and privileged to be a part of this scheme!

And so the teams were born….

Team Isotopes, Team Zenith and Same but Different! (well some of them!). A bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone right?! (‘topes! ‘topes! ‘topes!)

And so we were let out to play….

After the nucleargraduates team spent 14 days working with us all day, all night, providing us with a well equipped tool belts for the world of work they let us fly the nest to various places across the nuclear industry; some landing at Sellafield Ltd., some Rolls Royce, others experiencing slightly different things in far away land of North Wales!

Secondment one has been something of a whirlwind, one day you’re getting settled in West Cumbria (re-settled for some of us!) endlessly trying to understand what radioactive sludge is and how on earth you could possibility contribute to such a complex decommissioning job in just 8 months (don’t worry if I can do it you will be just fine!!). The next day you’re travelling down to London town meeting the greats at DECC and MPs in the Houses of Parliament, or if you’re really lucky you’re being flown out to Paris for an energy summit and to meet no other than the PM!

One of my personal favourite aspects to the scheme is how integrated we all are, whether we live in Cumbria, Derby, North Wales or Sheffield we all get the chance to meet up on a regular basis. Whether this is organised by nucleargraduates or between ourselves, it’s always nice to know there isn’t a nucleargraduate far away when you could do with a bit or support or, I don’t know if you fancy a bit of fancy dress… spice girls? Mad scientists? Spandex?!

As you may have picked up from other blogs, a big part of our scheme is dedicated to footprints – simply leaving our footprint behind within the community. Up until now this has meant STEM. While there are far too many activities to comment on for one blog (yes all I am away this is an essay-style blog!), my favourite is where at last minute, in true nucelargraduate style a few of us pulled together to get an engineering challenge arranged for my former school – landing my name in bright lights in my local newspaper! A group of us went into my old high school and worked with an enthusiastic group of year 8s for the afternoon, playing with K-Nex and exploring a bit of simple yet fun engineering! Events like this remind us how important it is to engage kids at a young age so they too may go on to become agents for change!

One thing that we all keep being reminded of by graduates on other schemes is how lucky we are – not only do we get the day job, working in the industry in the same way other graduates do, but we get all of the above and more! The best bit is that this is just the beginning! The second training zone is fast approaching and soon the little families we have formed whilst in our own safety nets of being the SL crew or RR lot will be drawn apart. Some will come together in other parts of the country, some will be crossing the pond and others tackling the challenge of the French nuclear industry. What’s next?

Watch this space………

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