Network Rail – A Case Study

Meet Laura Heath- Commercial Scheme Sponsor at Network Rail. Read about her flexible working experience with the organisation.


A bit about me

I joined Network Rail 13 years on the graduate management scheme. This gave me lots of opportunities and I undertook placements in both maintenance and operations. During my time on the graduate scheme I was responsible for developing the commercial relationship between Network Rail and Southeastern (the train operating company in Kent).

Once completing the graduate scheme I was then promoted to the Route Performance Manager for all of Kent, which meant at 25 years old, I was managing a team of 20, focusing on performance analysis and improvement for the whole of the Kent route. This was a fantastic experience and exposure for me early on my career. I then became a station manager at Charing Cross and Cannon Street during the Olympics and played a pivotal role in making the London games the success they were.

I then moved into project management roles and I am now in my current role as Commercial Scheme Sponsor where I am responsible for key client stakeholder management with third party funders and Local Authorities in Kent and Sussex to achieve investment in railway infrastructure and station enhancement projects.

What has been your career highlight?

When I was promoted to the role of Station Manager London Charing Cross and Cannon Street. This was a hugely high profile, fascinating and challenging role. It was an incredibly exciting role where I was at the centre of both the planning and executing the London 2012 Olympic games.

Coupled with this, through Network Rail I was sponsored to do a Business Leaders course at Warwick University the credits of which count towards an MBA.

How do you manage work and home life?

The South-East route have been so accommodating and helped me manage my work and home life with ease. Having 2 children within 2 years is not easy for anyone, but through work I was able to secure a job closer to home and work part time.

With my manager we agreed that I work 3 days a week, which include Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I am planning to increase to 4 days a week in the new year now that my children are a bit older, with 3 days in the office and one day from home.

What has made you stay in Network Rail?

I am passionate about the company and the work we do, which impacts on customers across the UK. Working for the South-East route I have had endless opportunities to grow my career and seek new challenges when I want to.

The flexibility, has enhanced my working life, my manager totally understands the need to manage both work and personal life and has been very flexible. I can work from home when I need to and we have a number of people in the team doing condensed hours. This flexibility has not only helped me succeed in my career but has also meant I can still apply for different opportunities and promotions.

This case study was written and supplied by Network Rail

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