RSK’s Environmental impact assessment, Planning and Design division (EPD), has continued to grow its Junior Business Development Forum (JBDF) in recent months to strengthen this platform for team members in the early stages of their careers.
Established in 2018 by three junior members of staff, the forum’s objectives were to provide an opportunity to share knowledge, to integrate new members of the department and to provide a platform to encourage business development. Since its first meeting in 2018, the forum has grown from just a handful of participants to 18 members from across the EPD team. Now membership has increased, the JBDF is providing its members with a platform and a voice in the business. Fostering a friendly, flexible and inclusive culture, the space created by the forum provides an opportunity for junior members to feel integrated into the team, offers a platform for members to voice their ideas and encourages knowledge sharing. “The JBDF presents an opportunity to discuss ideas with colleagues,” said Will Bentley, Graduate Environmental Consultant. “Despite being similar ages, [my colleagues] have a wide range of years’ experience with RSK. The chance to get to know people who share similar ideas and goals in an informal and social setting is a real credit to the company.”
The continued development of the JBDF has been driven by the recognition that a dedicated space was needed to support the professional and personal well-being of junior staff members. This environment has encouraged more junior members of staff to join the network and has successfully created a space where members can rely upon each other for support and guidance as it has grown. “The JBDF has been one of the factors that has really helped me to settle into my new role within RSK,” said Kelly McAdam, Graduate Environmental Consultant. “Starting off your professional career can be daunting, but the JBDF is a great way of meeting those who are in a similar position to you,” she added.
The networking and training sessions hosted by the forum since it began have helped to integrate new junior members of staff into the wider team, thereby giving them the confidence to voice their opinions and engage with the wider RSK business. “As a year-in-industry student,” said Stella Ferguson, Assistant Transport Planner, “I felt empowered by the discussion, as we touched on opportunities to create and contribute to the sustainability of RSK, something as a physical geography student I feel extremely passionate about.”
The challenges presented by the past year have made the forum even more valuable to its members. The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented new members of the team meeting colleagues across the business, but online meetings of the JBDF have provided an opportunity to connect with colleagues and to develop the platform further. “I have grown in confidence since joining the JBDF,” said Sydney Hougrand, Environmental Consultant. “I now regularly attend client meetings and advocate for my professional growth, both of which I had been anxious about in the past.”
RSK hopes to expand the JBDF into different divisions and businesses to grow the platform for junior team members in the near future.