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Insights Career plateauing? Get ready to advance at AtkinsRéalis.

I'm Dean, Regional Director at AtkinsRéalis since July 2023. I'm a Chartered Quantity Surveyor in the Projects & Programme Services team with director-level experience across various sectors, including previous roles at Edinburgh and Gatwick Airports. I was first attracted to AtkinsRéalis after speaking to one of the Quantity Surveyors who advocated for the organization's approach. He was right.

My background includes serving in the Army and map-making which instilled calmness, confidence, and a collaborative spirit. I thrive on mental challenges and have just finished my Doctorate in the Built Environment because learning is crucial in our field. Being from Yorkshire and living in Scotland, if you cut me in half, you'd find the words "Value For Money" written right through me—not a bad trait for a Quantity Surveyor!

Photo of Dean smiling towards the camera

In great company at AtkinsRéalis

It sounds a bit schmaltzy, but the team really makes a difference. I've worked in good and bad teams, but the ones I work with at AtkinsRéalis are energizing, supportive, professional, and fun. And that matters for your day-to-day. Knowing you have a group of people functioning as a unit and working for each other is really important.

Leading with care and integrity

I moved because of some of the people I knew in leadership roles at AtkinsRéalis, and I haven't been disappointed here. Our leaders are dynamic, hard-working, and experts in their fields. I've never had a line manager who sets the tone so well for a team in how he grafts for the team, supports unequivocally, feeds back expertly, coaches, and directs. And that cascades down to all of the people in the team. It works!

The culture at AtkinsRéalis is second to none

Culture shouldn't be dictated. It should be organic for the people in the organization and led from the top. We have got the right balance between putting in the work and understanding what professionals need to do this effectively. Externally, the focus on social value is exemplary, and again, it is led well from the front.

Photo of Rebecca smiling towards the camera

My colleagues and I are leaders in ensuring a better future

I joined construction to point at a building and say, "That was one of mine." And I still do this. Working largely on education projects is about creating future leaders, doctors, engineers, scientists, professionals, and everything else. That we do this with education at its center is a benefit for the future. As a certified Passivhaus Consultant, I also see what our projects are doing regarding reducing energy consumption and decarbonization.

Inspiring future STEM leaders

I've worked on many school projects, but it still gives me a massive buzz when I go back into one of these schools as a STEM Ambassador and speak with the pupils and staff. I give presentations to pupils on "the use of Maths in the real world."

Proud of making a difference in local communities

I also ask the staff what they think of the school building and the learning environment they're working in. When you hear, "It's excellent," it makes a real difference to me. Knowing that an outcome from something I ran a calculator over four years ago benefits pupils and teachers alike. And, of course, that makes me proud of what I do.

What I'm working to achieve next

I'm 50-odd years old, and having spent over seven years finally finishing my Doctorate, I'm looking forward to not studying for a while. However, I remain with the learning mindset because "every day is a school day," and you learn by teaching others. I'm focusing my professional lens on AtkinsRéalis' RICS Charter candidates and getting involved across the UK. I want AtkinsRéalis to be a market leader in getting quantity surveyors, project managers, and building surveyors chartered through the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). And I want to be central to that.

Photo of Dean in a graduation dress

Continuous career progression at AtkinsRéalis

Having only joined last year, I developed my career largely elsewhere. But no one is the finished article. The development plans AtkinsRéalis has in place mean that I can continue to grow, learn, and evolve to the next level.

Embracing our culture of flexible working

Flexible working is ideal. While I love being with my colleagues in an energetic office environment, it's helpful to be at home when the dog needs company or I expect a delivery. Being able to give lectures at local universities, give presentations to schools, and carry out assessments for the RICS alongside my workload and balance accordingly is a real benefit to my employment. It works both ways, though, and I accept that sometimes you need to put in the extra hours to meet those deadlines.

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