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Insights How to move your career to the UK and land 4 great promotions in 5 years

Simone Scarsi is a talented civil engineer with over 20 years of experience in hydraulic infrastructure design. He was born and educated in Italy, where he gained his Environmental Engineering degree. Today he's based in our Glasgow office and dedicated to protecting Scottish Water's customers from out-of-sewer flooding and our rivers from raw sewage spills.

image of Simone smiling

Simone, what made you want to work in the UK?

There are more working opportunities here and better salaries than in Italy. I also knew working in the UK would not be as frenetic and stressful as in Italy.

Why did you choose to work at Atkins?

I was working as an IT Specialist for a major technology corporation and looking for work in engineering when Atkins offered me a job in Glasgow. The organization and team made a very good impression during my face-to-face interview, and the job was exactly what I was looking for. So, I accepted straight away.

What keeps you at Atkins?

I LOVE the work I do, and I really like the team. Atkins has offices across the whole UK and covers all sectors of engineering. If you want to change jobs and try a different sector or if you need to relocate to another city, the organization will try to assist you.

I live alone in a small town. It was really hard during the lockdown and the pandemic. Still, I received a lot of support from my colleagues, who helped me stay positive. Workwise, since my first day, I've received constant support from my colleagues to develop my skills, and I am constantly encouraged to pursue my interests. It's great to be part of this team.

In what other ways have your colleagues been there for your development?

When I started at Atkins, I had a lot of help from two colleagues, a Polish and an Italian, who helped me settle into the new job and company. They also helped me understand the working culture, which is different from what you have abroad.

I've never had a real mentor at work, but I certainly had and still have a few colleagues I can go to whenever I need help. I find their input has been crucial for both work and life.

Are you taking part in any training at the moment?

I follow the "lunchtime webinars" set up by the sewer modelling team. Every two weeks, at lunchtime, a colleague delivers a 20-minute presentation on a topic, typically modelling-related, or a case study. It's followed by a Q&A session or a short discussion. They're very useful because you can be updated on the latest modelling tools, learn how to use them, and see what's new in the market.

"You never finish learning, and having someone willing to teach what you need makes everything easier."

What has career progression been like for you at Atkins?

When I started my work at Atkins as an Assistant Engineer, I was 35 years old with almost 10 years of experience in engineering. I have worked hard since the first day. My skill and knowledge were welcomed and recognized quickly, and I was promoted thrice in the first three years!

After five years, I thought I had enough experience and knowledge to be promoted to Senior Engineer. I spoke to my Team Leader, and soon after, I became Senior Engineer.

At Akins, you'll be appreciated if you're good at your work, reliable and meet the expectations. No matter where you start, sooner or later, you get the position you deserve.

"I am constantly inspired to learn, and now, as a Senior Engineer, I aim to inspire others to do the same as me."

What have you been working on?

I'm particularly proud of a £2.5 million project in Lanark where we proposed building a big storage tank to protect the town centre from sewer flooding. The project has lasted several years, and we have had a lot of technical difficulties in delivering the job and finalizing the solution. Seeing our scheme being built has been a triumph!

What advice would you give engineering or construction professionals thinking about moving to the UK?

I have only two pieces of advice: be ready to adapt and ask for help anytime you need it.

The working culture in the UK is different from what you may have experienced in Europe or Italy. Better or worse, it's up to you to decide, but you may have to change how you work, and in this case, the sooner you adapt to it, the better.

From my previous working experiences in the UK, I have learnt that you will always find someone within the company or where you live who can help. You'll never be left alone, and if you feel that you are being left alone, speak up.

Also, keep in mind that moving into a new country is difficult. Everything is new, not just the language. Changing life may be challenging and will certainly affect you at work. But it's not a problem. We know it. Join us in Atkins, and we'll be there for you!

Interested in opportunities in the UK? Learn more about life inside Atkins and search live jobs.