Work experience put me on track to fantastic careerBy Sean Murray
September 26, 2011
Reading Futures Fair, a school careers event organised by Reading West MP Alok Sharma and Central Berkshire Education Business Partnership, is being held at Madejski Stadium’s Royal Berkshire Conference Centre on Thursday.
In advance of the event, Sean Murray, who is originally from Whitley and attended Ashmead School (now the John Madejski Academy) talks about his career at Network Rail.
He is a senior project engineer working on the project to redevelop Reading station and track
I work for Network Rail as part of the engineering team that’s delivering the upgrade of Reading’s railway.
It’s a very big job – we’re rebuilding the station with extra platforms and new entrances; completely remodelling the track layout so more trains can get through; and rebuilding the bridges over Cow Lane to make more space for road users, as well as a host of other ‘behind the scenes’ jobs that people don’t see, such as upgrading signalling technology.
As part of the engineering team, it’s my responsibility to make sure that everything we design in theory will work in practice. We’re building a 2km long viaduct in Reading to take fast mainline trains up and over slower lines, reducing delays.
The engineering team makes sure the slopes aren’t too steep, the curves aren’t too tight, the signals can be easily seen by the drivers, the structure is robust and everything works as planned when we start running trains over it.
At school my interest was in technical drawing and I was lucky to get two weeks’ work experience with Alexander Gibb & Partners (now Jacobs), a Reading-based engineering consultancy, which led to a job when I left school.
Alexander Gibb was a great company to work for and they were very flexible, allowing me to take time out off work to study for a degree in civil engineering.
This led to a career with a number of engineering consultancies, working on high-profile transport projects such as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
I travelled all over the country with work, but was really excited when Network Rail gave me the opportunity to come back to Berkshire. Reading is home now, and it’s great to be back here working on one of the biggest rail improvement projects anywhere in the country.
The railway is going through a massive period of growth at the moment, and projects such as Crossrail and High Speed 2 will require a lot of engineering support over the coming years, so there’s no chance of me getting bored!
I think the Futures Fair is a great opportunity for young people to find out about the world of work direct from the businesses that will be employing them in the future.
I was very fortunate at school to get work experience at an interesting company doing work I enjoyed.
The Futures Fair represents a great opportunity for young people to learn about the career opportunities available to them and meet with employers to discuss their options.
Download the Reading Futures Fair brochure at www.aloksharma.co.uk