Katie Thomas

Degree: BSc (Hons) Accounting & Finance
Placement: Network Rail Plc


“Network 75 is hands down the best decision I’ve ever made. To finish university with 5 years’ work experience, a full-time job, a degree and no student debt is incredible, and I would recommend the scheme to everyone!”


Katie is due to graduate in the summer as part of the Network75 Class of 2021, having already secured employment with her host company Network Rail.

"I was first introduced to the Network75 scheme during a presentation in 6th Form and was the only person from my year group to apply.  During the Host Company Interview stage of the application process, I was shortlisted for interview by the Finance Department of Network Rail in Cardiff.  I was offered a placement with them the very next day and gladly accepted!

Accounting and Finance was a completely new subject area for me, having had no experience of it at school. The Network75 scheme has allowed me to learn the subject at University while applying it to real-world scenarios on placement. I have gained experience in a variety of roles within the Network Rail Finance team. This has given me an insight into the different roles that could be available to me once I graduate – something not many people have the chance to do while studying.

Halfway through my placement, the Finance team decided to sponsor a second Network75 student.  I was involved throughout the selection process and being part of the team, giving another student this amazing opportunity, was a very proud moment for me.

I was offered a secondment to the role of Finance Business Partner which was a great opportunity to learn the needs and requirements of the higher level role.  I was then appointed as permanent, full time Finance Business Partner with Network Rail in April 2021 before graduating later on in the year.

Network 75 is hands down the best decision I’ve ever made. To finish university with 5 years’ work experience, a full-time job, a degree and no student debt is incredible, and I would recommend the scheme to everyone!”



Zeshan Ali, Katie's Mentor at Network Rail said: 

"The Network75 scheme has been a great success story within our business. The scheme itself provides an excellent mix of further education combined with practical ‘on the job’ training; allowing students to develop at a much quicker pace than they would ordinarily. As an organisation we have hosted several Network75 students who have gone on to successfully secure full-time roles with a clear pathway to developing further.

Over the last five years, we have seen Katie grow into a valued professional and a core member of our Finance team. Her ability to learn quickly and adapt to a dynamic working environment has benefitted the wider team greatly. Right the way through from her early stages within the business, to her final placement year, Katie excelled at her role and successfully navigated through the often-challenging workload. As a team, we have no doubt that Katie joining us, firstly under Network75, and then as a permanent member of the team; played a key role in the team’s success over the last five years. We look forward to what the future has to offer and supporting Katie through her professional accounting qualification as she progresses through her career".

               Inset: Katie at Network Rail