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Insights What's crucial for early career growth, support, or flexibility?

Meet Madeleine, a graduate project manager and a rising star in our Project & Programme Services team at AtkinsRéalis. In just six months, Madeleine has become an invaluable team member on a transformative project for Heathrow Airport. Madeleine’s journey underscores why AtkinsRéalis is the ideal platform for graduates seeking to expand their skills in diverse project environments.

Photo of Rebecca smiling towards the camera

What led you to choose AtkinsRéalis?

My journey with AtkinsRéalis began shortly after I graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in philosophy and psychology. I had a year of experience as a project coordinator at a humanitarian NGO, where I delivered emergency aid and sustainable development initiatives across Europe and Africa. While I had some exposure to project delivery, construction and engineering were entirely new to me. The diverse range of projects and sectors at AtkinsRéalis was a major draw for me. We're involved in all aspects of numerous complex projects across various markets, offering a wealth of experience and learning opportunities.

What do you enjoy most about working at AtkinsRéalis?

At AtkinsRéalis, we promote a strong sense of community and support. I've been fortunate to have great people around me who have taken a genuine interest in my development. The constant opportunities to take on new responsibilities and engage in different tasks have expanded my capabilities. The growth I've experienced in just six months is a credit to the organization's support systems and investment in early careers.

Work-wise, where are you based?

I really enjoy the flexibility of the AtkinsRéalis working environment. I move between my client office at Heathrow Airport and my home office in London Victoria every week, and I can work from home when it suits me. Soon, I will spend a week with the team in the Manchester office while visiting family in the north. The ability to choose and change my environment around my needs is a great benefit.

What can you tell us about your work at Heathrow?

I've been working on IT Infrastructure projects at Heathrow Airport. I'm involved in managing the installation and upgrade of key infrastructure for the ambitious Terminal 2 Baggage program, which will deliver a brand new baggage handling system for Terminal 2 and refresh or decommission of all legacy systems in Terminal 1.

What does the future hold?

In the immediate future, I plan to stay in the aviation industry. However, my role will rotate within the account to gain new experiences and take on bigger responsibilities. My job has already evolved a lot since I first started. Recently, I have progressed into conducting direct communication with the client and managing the intricacies involved with that relationship, which is exciting. Also, as an organization, we're involved in the end-to-end lifecycle of many projects, which will allow me to see some of my projects through to handover, so I would like to stick around long enough to do this.

What are you excited about?

Exploring new sectors! I've really enjoyed aviation so far, but there are so many opportunities across Project & Programme Services that I can engage with when I am ready for a change. I'm interested in the energy and defence sectors. Although challenging, I imagine they will be very interesting to navigate.

How has AtkinsRéalis supported your career development?

Since day one, it has been clear that supporting career development is a top priority for the business. We've been strongly encouraged to seek out and engage with training courses that align with our career path. There's a huge amount of learning resources available to everyone. This year, I plan to obtain the Association for Project Management (APM) qualification, my first major step toward becoming Chartered with the APM.

What opportunities for professional development do you have?

AtkinsRéalis runs cohort learning sessions and study groups to strive towards successful outcomes throughout the journey towards becoming an APM chartered project professional. I am also involved in a mentoring partnership where we meet monthly to discuss core competencies and identify development gaps. These sessions are hugely beneficial, as the one-to-one allows them to be tailored to address my current queries or workload demands. The mentorship program is available to anyone at any level. You can specify the specialties or experience you seek in a mentor. It's also an excellent way to meet people from other business areas and learn from them. I will continue to make the most of this scheme as it has proved invaluable!

Learn more about graduate, placement and apprentice roles in our Project and Programme Services team.