Paloma Zafra Tunon,
What is your job?
I am a Principal Consultant for Systra where I look after Signalling and Rolling Stock with a particular focus ETCS (European Train Control System) technology. The way my role is structured, I work at the System level so I get to see and work on the technical side of projects as well as the human part of it too.
Why do you do what you do?
I started working for the RoboticLab at my University in Spain – Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. I initially wanted to do a PhD in Robotics but instead found my way into the Private Sector. My first role there was with Bombardier Transportation where I started in the Signaling space and did several projects all around the world.
Since then, I have lived in the USA and now Australia. I suppose you could say that I have a curious and risky personality which has afforded me many opportunities around the world and with it new challenges. I have really loved the exposure to modern technologies such as ETCS or CBTC.
At some point I decided to become a consultant because of the varied and diversified opportunities it provides. It means that I can keep growing as an Engineer and as a leader.
What are the 3 most important qualities or skills in your role?
I am a super technical Consultant with a strong extroverted side. I think the combination of the two, make me enjoy my daily work a lot and provide the project with something different.
About the third quality… I am a very organised person. As a consultant you need to be able to schedule your time and prioritise it accordingly as clients are reliant on you delivering results to ensure the success of the project.
Why do you like working for SYSTRA?
It is a people first business. One of our guiding principles is Connected Teams and to me that holds true. I love the fact that I can talk to any of the managers and explain my concerns or needs and they will listen. They are always willing to help guide and nurture people so that they can achieve their potential. I feel supported to build the future I want!