Jerel Rackley is a Transportation Engineer who, since graduating from Texas A&M University in 2002, has spent his career serving agencies in the design and oversight of roadway projects. He has been at Atkins since August of 2011 and is a recent graduate of the Building People Leaders program. He took some time to share his experiences about the Mentoring Program with #InsideAtkins.
What is your story Jerel? How did you come to choose this career?
My childhood dream of being a fighter pilot didn’t pan out so I settled for being an engineer. :). I am kidding, but that is how I ended up as an engineer. I enjoyed math and am very analytical, so engineering seemed like a good fit.
How long have you been with Atkins and what or who brought you here?
I have been with Atkins 8 years. I was recruited by Rob Bailey. This was the second time, as he also hired me out of college about 10 years prior and I spent my first 5 years working with him. I always told friends Rob was the best boss I ever had and was thrilled to come work for him again.
How do you describe what you do to others outside the industry?
It is my job to get roads built. Sometimes this is roadway design; lately this has mostly been as the owner’s representative on design-build projects.
How long have you been a mentor or mentee?
I have had informal mentors my entire career and have been a mentor (through the Graduate Development Program
) for the past two years. Serving as a mentor in this program has been extremely rewarding and I cherish the relationships made.
Is there a particular mentor that made a big difference in your career?
A senior engineer in my office was my mentor early in my career. She helped me handle various situations, avoid some of the pitfalls of the career, and develop skills including management and communication. She was a friend I could count on when I needed advice and guidance.
How has your experience been with our mentorship program? Any helpful advice to share?
Signing up to be a mentor was super intuitive and quick. I provided information that allowed me to be matched up with mentors and mentees. From there I was able to see available mentors (along with a % match and profile) on the Atkins mentoring program webpage. Picking the mentor was up to me and I chose one who had expertise in areas that were important to me.
My advice to others: Join the mentoring program!!! The mentoring program is an incredible opportunity for us to support each other as we grow and navigate our careers.