Career Q&A: Emma, Customer Experience Apprentice
Where are you from?
Job title and base location
I’m a Customer Experience Apprentice for TransPennine Express and am currently working as a Revenue Protection Assistant.
What made you want to get into this line of work?
After my first year of college, I realised that I preferred a more hands on approach to learning and felt an apprenticeship would suit me best. My family has railway roots and they gave me an invaluable insight into how much variety and opportunity there is within the industry, which inspired me to apply.
How long have you been doing it for?
I’ve now been working for TPE for five months and started on September 5th 2016. Many of my fellow colleagues have worked in the industry for a long time and say: “Once you join the railway you won’t want to ever leave” and I can already see where they are coming from, it’s a great place to work and there’s never a dull moment.
What does your job involve?
As a Revenue Protection Assistant, my main role is making sure all customers are travelling with a valid ticket. Importantly, I also provide customer service to those on board, for example, assisting people with boarding or alighting our trains and ensuring they do so safely by holding the handrail. I also provide customers with information helping them get from a to b.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done at work this week?
The apprenticeship scheme gives me the flexibility to move around and experience other departments, giving me an insight lots of different areas. This week, I’ve been lucky enough to be based at our Rail Operating Centre which monitors the running of the railway, 24 hours a day. I was into centre during Storm Doris and got to witness first-hand how we keep customers moving during significant disruption.
What do you love most about your job?
I love interacting with others and meeting different people and being in a customer focused, role gives me the chance to do this, whether providing help or assistance or just having a nice chat about someone’s day. Because of this, I genuinely feel that I’m developing more as a person and have learned lots.
Any advice for women wishing to join the rail industry?
My advice would be to just go for it and give it your best shot. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or of meeting new people, even though at first, this can seem quite daunting. Don’t worry about making mistakes either, as that’s ultimately the best way to learn.