Richard Molloy's CV reads as a blueprint for young engineers wishing to make the most of their opportunities. Without appearing overtly ambitious, this Imperial College graduate has worked his way through Atkins Rail to become its director of civil engineering. He has a staff of 350 in seven UK offices, and heads one of the top five rail consultancies in the UK.
'I don't see any other managing directors of railway consultancies in that bracket who are in their 30s, ' admits 38-year old Molloy, who has held the position for over a year. 'It's better to have been given the opportunity to learn how to do it with mentoring and support, rather than waiting until I'm 50 and can do it in my sleep.'
Since joining Atkins in 1995 Molloy has worked in a variety of roles, including engineering manager on the £35M Proof House Junction scheme.
His first business management role came in 2000 when he was appointed regional manager responsible for developing the civil engineering design team in Atkins Rail's Birmingham office.
While there he worked in the firm's management development centre, where he learnt a lot about his strengths and weaknesses.
'It gives you a mirror to hold up which shows you what you're like at this time, ' he explains.
Since then he has been on the senior management development programme, a two week course designed to arm potential business managers with an array of business tools. 'It was like a highly compressed MBA, ' explains Molloy. 'It covered everything from strategy to economics and business planning, as well as a lot of soft skills.
It tries to make you think a bit and open the eyes of engineers to turn them into business managers.
'One thing that's constant here is change, and the development programme really helps you manage that.'
Molloy has no fear of change and its impact on his career. 'You need confidence in your skills and to know there'll be opportunities for you, ' he explains. 'I've got a role at the moment that's business management focused, but there's no reason why I won't change - for example being engineering manager on a large project.
'Opportunities will come up.
I'll do what I can within a role and then look at other opportunities.'