I’m Raagini Manaktala, graduate consultant at SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit. I started out on SNC-Lavalin’s Graduate Programme in October 2018. It’s made up of men and women engineers who all enjoy equal opportunities on the programme. It’s a rotation programme that has us gaining experience on everything from technical advisory, to rail control systems, project management, vehicle services, and safety & assurance.
What has been your biggest highlight so far?
In November 2018 we attended the AUSRAIL conference. Being there gave me an invaluable insight to the industry and an overview of the challenges it faces. I also really enjoyed being able to facilitate workshops to discuss the fault codes seen by train drivers and guards. That opportunity provided an appreciation into many sides of the industry that I had never even thought about.
What is the Rail & Transit team like at SNC-Lavalin?
I’ve had support from everyone in the office, whether it was taking me out for coffee to discuss my goals, or giving me a hand on project tasks I hadn’t done before. No matter how many questions I’ve asked, everyone has been so helpful. They’ve always provided an answer, or guided me in the right direction to come up with my own solution.
What encouragement would you give to your female peers thinking about a career in STEM?
Just do what you love. I know I got into engineering because I thoroughly enjoyed math. There are so many engineering opportunities in the working world that you might not hear about at university and school. So, keep an open mind. I remember when I first started thinking about doing engineering, I never thought the rail sector would provide me with such amazing opportunities. Now I’ve discovered it, I find it so interesting, dynamic and challenging. Don’t be afraid of taking a small step in this direction – you have no idea how many opportunities are out there.
What’s the best thing about your placement at SNC-Lavalin?
I love having the opportunity to learn from experienced people, and working on many different projects that require travelling interstate. Being able to work on projects across Australia has allowed me to broaden my knowledge, so not just in the Queensland rail sector, but across Sydney and Melbourne too.
Want to join SNC-Lavalin’s Graduate Programme? Find out how we can support your career, here.