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"I truly feel like I’m surrounded by people who are both technically excellent but also always willing to lend a hand..."
Name: Jack Johnson
Business area: Water Management Consultancy
Years into GDP: 1
University and degree: Masters in Environmental Science (MEnvSci) – University of Sheffield
What projects have you worked on during the graduate development programme?
The main projects I’ve worked on at Atkins have been a Hydrology Assessment for Southern Water Services, an Operational Readiness Scheme for Severn Trent Water Limited, an Environmental Scoping Report for Biwater in Kurdistan and the Climate Resilience Improvement Project (CRIP) in Sri Lanka. I’ve mainly worked in a technical assistant/modeller role, analysing data and conducting model runs.
However, I have had key inputs in the hydrology assessment for Southern Water Services developing a piece of python code to help bring an older approach to the digital age and in the CRIP in Sri Lanka where I have the main responsibility for creating and delivering basin scale water resource models. The experience I’m gaining building and delivering models from the ground up in Sri Lanka is an experience that is invaluable. I’m learning new skills, software and techniques whilst gaining a much greater understanding of a water resource system. The added responsibility of having an area of the project that is mine to deliver is also very exciting and rewarding and gives a real buzz to the work I’m doing.
What’s been your highlight on the graduate development programme so far?
My highlight of working at Atkins so far has been the chance to work internationally. I am currently involved in the Climate Resilience Improvement Project in Sri Lanka and have spent two of the last three months in country. This has been a fantastic learning opportunity for me to see a different approach to water resource management compared to the UK, face new and diverse challenges, and to vastly broaden my network of contacts. As a keen traveller, it has also been a brilliant personal experience for me; seeing a new culture and part of the world that I hadn’t previous been to whilst being paid to do it!
What do you do outside of the graduate development programme?
Outside of the graduate programme I’m involved in STEM, Technical Excellence Plans (TEPs), and a lot of general networking. Earlier this year I became a registered STEM ambassador and am keen to make use of the volunteering days Atkins allows to take this further. The TEPs are one of the ways Atkins prepares for future market changes. To be involved with them is an opportunity for me to hear and learn from the more experienced minds in Atkins about how we’re preparing for the future.
What’s the culture of Atkins like?
In a word, brilliant. I truly feel like I’m surrounded by people who are both technically excellent but also always willing to lend a hand, discuss new ideas and push each other forward to be the best that we can. The internal sites we have for discussion and networking are always active and encouraging with a strong sense of networks as opposed to hierarchies meaning people aren’t afraid to ask the questions they want the answer to. Although Atkins works across a range of disciplines and practices there is always the underlying current that we are One Atkins.