Role: Assistant Project Manager
Career Area: Project and Commercial Management
My role at SYSTRA
As a Project Management team member, I am responsible for ensuring each of our projects meet their goals with regards to timescale, finances and quality.
Controlling these parameters involves close liaison with our clients, and facilitating our design teams to achieve their best work.
My career journey
During Sixth Form I undertook some exciting work experience with Network Rail, which led me to a pursue a career within the rail industry. Having decided that I preferred hands-on learning, I began investigating apprenticeships within the industry.
SYSTRA offered me the opportunity to complete a CMI apprenticeship alongside the National College for High Speed Rail in Birmingham, which I completed in 2021. Further project experience and subsequent APM qualifications have since afforded me the skills and confidence which enable me to fulfil my current role at SYSTRA.
We asked Jason…
When did you realise this was the career path for you?
As a child I wanted to be a train driver, so I imagine that played a part in pushing me towards the rail industry! This was further encouraged when I became aware of the opportunities linked to key projects such as Crossrail and HS2. I decided Project Management suited me as it also allowed me to support the overall delivery of a project, whilst being able to appreciate the ‘big picture’ view and work with teams from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Have you got any words of wisdom for someone starting out in a similar role?
Don’t expect to know everything straight away! I still learn something new every single week, and the same is true even for those who have been in the industry for decades. If you are ever unsure, there will always be someone available to answer your questions.
How does SYSTRA stand out from the rest as a Great Place to Work?
SYSTRA is currently in a period of rapid growth. During my 5 years here, the company has expanded massively. We are entering into a wide range of fields both within the UK and abroad, with close links to our partner group companies located across the globe. It’s exciting times!
With such power in diversity, what unique perspective do you bring to the table?
As I’m still relatively new to the industry, I sometimes find that I’m able to challenge established norms, and I’m always open to trying things in a different way to what is usually expected. Whilst not successful 100% of the time, it’s useful to keep an open mind and think outside of the box, as it helps us all continue to develop!
Where is the place that has inspired you the most?
Possibly somewhere like London, but really I’m inspired by most capital cities. I’m a real history nerd, so I love to see the stories that these places hold. I also find that these cities seem to buzz with activity and have something to offer everybody, regardless of individual interests. Also, seeing how well some of these areas are able to manage their huge populations is very impressive – there’s something very cool about seeing the railways weaving into city centres, keeping thousands of people on the move!
What does true sustainability really mean to you?
True sustainability to me would mean being genuinely considerate of the environment within every decision we make. This would have to include the forms of transport we use, avoiding single use plastics, and making lifestyle choices to minimise our carbon footprint. The key is expanding this to all aspects of our lives.
What would a green future look like?
To me, a green future would probably be similar to the EPCOT centre in Disneyworld! I’d love to see us living in a world where clever transport solutions are built seamlessly into urban hubs, and architecture is designed to integrate nature into our communities, with minimal use of non-renewable materials.
How do you look after your wellbeing outside of work?
I spend a lot of time at a desk, so I always try to use my free time to step outside, get some fresh air and exercise. Either alone or with friends, I find taking time for a walk or run in the evenings can be great for my wellbeing.
If you could spend your lunchbreak with someone you really admire, who would you choose?
Possibly someone like Lewis Hamilton. It would be really interesting to hear some of his stories first-hand – learning how he is able to consistently perform at the highest level for such a long time would be really motivational and inspiring.
If you had to pick, which mode of transport would you use for the rest of your life?
I seem to get in plenty of rail miles through work, so I’d say the train. With the projects SYSTRA is supporting, I’d expect that the railways will only continue to improve over the coming years too!