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Insights How my Atkins Summer Placement set me up for my future career.

I first heard of Atkins when I attended career fairs back in 2007. Off the back of these, I was invited to interview with the Atkins Highways team, and I was successful. I went on to do 3 summer and Easter placements while at University. It was a great experience where I got a taste of life at one of the world's leading consultancies. I was also given real responsibility across a variety of projects, from consulting to designing road infrastructure. I felt like part of the team and part of a bigger exciting picture.

Photo of Rebecca smiling towards the camera

Starting in civil engineering

I graduated from The University of the West of England with a First Class Degree in Civil Engineering. At this point, the markets had changed due to the financial crisis, so I decided to do a Master's in Civil Engineering at Cardiff University, which I earned with Distinction.

After graduation, I joined a Civil Engineering consultancy and worked mainly in the Energy Markets for over nine years. As a Civil Engineer, I worked on several secondments, including National Grid, Qatar Rail and Horizon Nuclear Power. In 2017 I gained my Chartership with the Institute of Civil Engineers while working as a Project Engineer at Horizon. At this point, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in Project Management and started running small Projects for Front End Schemes on National Grid.

Exploring project management

I took my first major formal assignment as a Project Manager at EDF. I ran two major programmes preparing new infrastructure and spent-fuel nuclear flasks ready for the current decommissioning of the UK's power stations. I organized a multidisciplinary team to complete the front-end design and technical documentation and also led the formal tender and award. I also completed training in project management with the Association of Project Management (APM) and later became a formal member. Over four years, I took on other programmes, including a stint in the DE&S (Ministry Of Defence), to build my experience across multiple sectors.

Re-joining Atkins as a senior project manager

In 2021 I took on a senior project management role to look after an amazing account in Atkins' Infrastructure Practice—Hinkley Point C. This exciting project is engineering a better future for people and the planet—from providing zero-carbon electricity for about six million homes to investing £24 million into new skills and employment.

I run a key work package that integrates civil design with the ongoing site construction at Hinkley. I manage over 80 staff, including more than 50 colleagues from our Global Technology Centre in India. I'm also responsible for the programme, finance/forecasting, client relationship, resourcing and risk profile. I enjoy my job because I'm doing my bit to solve the complex problems that face humanity while helping to create an inclusive work environment where everyone can succeed.

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