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Insights What job is right for me? How I chose my graduate Rail career

Hi, I am Rony. I am a Graduate Engineer within the Rail Consulting Practice of AtkinsRéalis. I am based in the Derby office.

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Rony, what do you do in the Rolling Stock Technical Services team in AtkinsRéalis Rail Consulting Practice? 

My day-to-day work involves identifying technical, commercial, and safety risks associated with projects and ensuring these are managed as well as mitigated throughout the project phases. Furthermore, it involves standards compliance assessments for electrical systems within the Railways, peer checking of technical proposals and project deliverables, and undertaking project management roles for projects within the Rail Consulting Practice.

What attracted you to a career in the rail industry?

Although I come from a family of railway engineers, I was not always keen on the rail industry when I was growing up. I developed my interest in the rail industry when I used to frequently travel on trains during university. During my train journeys, I was fascinated by the rail network and the way trains interact within this network. I started reading about the rail industry and about building a career in the industry. I did my degree in electrical engineering, so I was keen to get into the electrical domain within rail engineering.

From my experience, I used my engineering skills and people skills to find as well as develop my career in the rail industry. I would say a genuine passion for learning and values that define you as a professional is key if you are planning to join the industry.

Are you part of any wider company initiatives outside of your day-to-day role?

Outside of my day-to-day role, I have recently been involved with the AtkinsRéalis Business Improvement team working on developing our Carbon Management Plans (CMP), as part of Net Zero agenda. As part of this work, I am involved in planning the CMP rollout within our projects to reduce or influence the reduction of carbon in the project life cycle. It's an iterative learning process so we use the experience from projects who have already implemented CMPs to better improve our processes and guidance for our future CMP rollout. I am pleased with my involvement as sustainability is one of my personal ethos.

How is AtkinsRéalis supporting you in achieving your career goal/path?

At AtkinsRéalis, I have been supported to pursue my career goal of developing as an engineering consultant. I have been given opportunities to work with various teams and experienced professionals, who are willing to share their knowledge and support me in my development. I have also been supported to attend professionals' dinners, networking events and engage with other businesses within the rail industry.

Our core values are Safety, Collaboration, Innovation and Integrity—how do these influence your day-to-day?

Every task I do, I keep our core values in mind. Safety is paramount so I undertake risk assessments in tasks that involve safety risks and plan risk mitigation to reduce the impact or occurrence. I uphold Integrity in my personal and professional life, this helps in building trust which helps in better teamwork. I collaborate with my colleagues as well as with different stakeholders in the rail industry to understand new and innovative ways of working.

What do you enjoy outside work?

At AtkinsRéalis, the business supports employees with 2 paid volunteering days in a calendar year to volunteer with charities they are passionate about supporting. I use these volunteering days to support Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways through Young Rail Professionals. It is so much fun and exciting to be part of a Heritage Railway that has been operational in various capacities for over 150 years. I also spend time trekking in Derbyshire dales and in the Peak District with friends. Furthermore, I do knitting and crafting which help me relax after a day's job. I also volunteer as the East Midlands Vice Chair and National Social Media Manager for Young Rail Professionals. I enjoy doing all these tasks outside work.

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