Thu 12 Oct 2017
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm (iCal)

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Each year, young people from a diverse range of backgrounds join the rail industry, often through graduate and apprentice schemes. Rail is a great sector in which to work, and it presents many opportunities to progress and achieve great things, both individually and as part of highly successful teams. “Welcome to Rail” is an annual event to welcome recent additions to the “railway family” and show them a variety of engaging career paths.

YRP have hand-picked a number of guest speakers to present their achievements and answer questions. Although our speakers are from different parts of the industry and have varied experiences, they all have something in common, a great story to tell to inspire our new graduates, apprentices and young professionals.

Sheila Gomes De Sousa, YRP London and South East Networking and Development Manager, will introduce YRP to our guests and discuss how the organisation can support them in achieving their career aspirations in rail. Sheila will then pass on to our guest speakers, who will present their inspiring career journeys and also answer Q&A.

The presentations will be followed by networking drinks and canapes, with the opportunity for attendees to meet their fellow new rail employees, and also gain some more insight and advice from our speakers.

17.30: Registration and networking
18.00-19.30: Presentations and questions
19.30-20.30: Networking drinks reception


Guest Speakers:

Fiona Barry – Project Manager, Transport for London

Fiona joined the Transport for London Project Management Graduate Scheme in September 2013 because she was keen to experience the challenges and opportunities of implementing the organisation’s largest capital investment programme in over 80 years. Having studied project management during her undergraduate degree, she had gained a passion for this subject and was keen to undertake the vital role of project manager to ensure the delivery of quality improvements across the network to meet ever-increasing demand.

Working as a Graduate Project Manager, her role involved working on a variety of different construction projects to gain experience of management from design through to handover. During the scheme, she was able to develop her competency by supporting the delivery of some of the organisation’s largest and most high profile projects.

Since rolling off the scheme in 2015, She has worked on the £89m construction of a new Underground Station at Nine Elms. She is now acting Project Manager accountable for the delivery of several key work packages as well as managing the delivery of key work packages to corporate standards and programme requirements.

Aoife Considine – Project Engineer, Transport for London

After graduating with a Masters in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, Aoife moved across the pond to join the Transport for London Mechanical Engineering graduate scheme. Since finishing this scheme, Aoife has been working as a Project Engineer in the Rolling Stock Renewals Team in London Underground. This team works on long term life extension and upgrade projects for existing London Underground trains and at present she is in charge of delivering new LED lighting and CCTV on Bakerloo and Central Lines.

Outside of her day job, Aoife is a STEMNET Ambassador and an advocate for women in engineering and rail. She sat on the YRP committee last year as National Ambassadors Manager and is currently organising a Young Engineers Railway Seminar in conjunction with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. When not campaigning to increase the profile of engineers, Aoife can be found on stage or in the studio pursuing her other passion of dance and performing arts.

Fiona Foulkes – Executive Assistant to the Chair, Network Rail 

Fiona joined Network Rail in 2013 as a General Management Graduate, based on the Kent (what is now South East) Route. During her year on the scheme, Fiona undertook placements in as many different Route departments and stakeholders as she could fit in!

She came to appreciate the safety critical nature of the rail industry, so when the year-long scheme came to an end, she decided to join the HQ national Health and Safety team. Here she worked as an Operations Safety Advisor focusing mainly on stations and community safety, before moving into the role of SHE Compliance Auditor for operations and maintenance, leading H&S management systems audits.

Having realised that living on hotel food was less glamorous that it first seemed, Fiona left auditing to become an SHE Advisor within Supply Chain Operations, Network Rail’s logistics organisation, in order to focus on workforce occupational H&S.

Part way through her time in SCO, Fiona became a community governor for a local special educational needs school and began to wonder how that compared to being on the Board of a much larger organisation. A few months later an opportunity arrived to find out – following an “it’ll never happen to me” application, it was with great shock and delight that Fiona was successful in applying to be the Executive Assistant to the Chair, Network Rail – a role which she loves as it gives her the chance to understand why the railway is
so important in local and national economic growth, connecting both people and goods, and the impact it has on the communities it serves.

In her spare time, as well as being a School Governor, Fiona volunteers with St John Ambulance as an Advanced First Aider.

Mohammad Sekanderzada – Signalling Engineering Manager

Mohammad graduated with an MEng in Telecommunication engineering from Kings College London and then joined the Network Rail  graduate scheme, working on Traffic Management Systems and European Train Control System (ETCS) signalling systems for the Thameslink project. He then joined Hitachi as an ETCS Engineer, managing development of Baseline 3 ETCS. He is currently Head of Signalling, looking after all onboard signalling projects.




This evening is hosted, and also sponsored in part, by our long-time supporters at Dentons.




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