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Emily Green: Linbrooke’s rising star’s journey to confidence, leadership and project management success

Drawn by a passion for a diverse role, and a stint with the British Transport Police, Linbrooke’s Emily Green found her calling in rail. Now, as a successful Project Manager, she champions safety and embraces the challenges of multidisciplinary projects, showcasing her newfound leadership style as one of the company’s rising stars.

Discovering a passion for rail

My career in rail began quite unexpectedly, after completing a Graduate Scheme with Tesco. I enjoyed the mixed working environments that formed part of this scheme, working out of head office, distribution centres and stores across the UK. With this in mind, it was clear to me that I wanted a varied role.

My time volunteering with the British Transport Police was invaluable, being exposed to the different challenges they find themselves tackling and realising how much goes into the day-to-day running of the rail network. Also, an appreciation for being a part of such a huge operation that so many rely upon. This led me to exploring a career in the railway.

I’m a very inquisitive person by nature, and ask a lot of questions. For my role, it’s really important to me to understand how the different elements of the rail network integrate, and be able to get a full picture to support my decision-making. The team at Linbrooke are great for encouraging me to ask questions, always saying ‘there’s no such thing as a silly question!’.

Finding my identity as a Project Manager

Working at Linbrooke, Ben Rhydding was my first project acting as a Project Manager rather than assisting a Senior Project Manager. At Ben Rhydding, we converted axle counters to MVDC track circuits, due to the axle counters being obsolete.

As my first project, challenges included getting to know how the project works, making the decisions for myself and taking on the Project Manager responsibilities.

This project was key for me as this was the first steps to finding my own style as a Project Manager. It was the start of a journey of learning my approach to the role. For example, what do I look like as a Project Manager? What leadership style do I take? How do I get the best out of my team?

Diverse projects

I’m currently working on Claypole, a scheme covering renewal of level crossing control circuity. This has been an opportunity to use some of the lessons learned from Ben Rhydding and other projects and places a larger focus on subcontractors and the requirements and expectations associated with them. This project mainly focuses on design and has allowed me to enhance my learning around this.

Another project I’m managing, Rylstone, is a multidisciplinary scheme, involving telecoms, civils, signalling, test and E&P. At Rylstone, we are fitting no signaller token machines to improve the line’s capacity.

Aligning all the different disciplines on this project has been a learning curve, but seeing everything come together has been great. Being part of a finished product is a real driver for me; when it has been commissioned, it’s a fantastic feeling to know you’ve been part of it.

Building confidence and embracing challenges

Since starting out at Linbrooke I’ve grown an arm and a leg in confidence. My confidence to take on new challenges has improved so much, and I’ve found that really rewarding.

My career development at Linbrooke has been brilliant, hugely influenced by my working under management who provide a safe space for learning, encourage me to give things a go, and not shy from learning from mistakes.

Linbrooke have supported me in studying towards the Project Management Qualification (PMQ) and Level 4 Associate Project Manager Certification. Having recently passed the PMQ, and soon sitting the End Point Assessment, I can’t wait to see how these professional qualifications support my Project Management journey.

I’m also currently a member of Women in Rail, which has been really insightful. We use our networking events to come together and bounce ideas around. For me, it’s not just about getting women into the industry, it’s about creating equal opportunities, so getting the buy-in from all areas of the industry is essential.

Championing safety

I currently chair Linbrooke’s Safety Action Group. I’m eager to make a positive contribution to the business, working with stakeholders from all of our different disciplines, with everyone bringing different ideas to the table.

I’m genuinely passionate about safety, and I am thrilled to be a known face on our various worksites, as well as in the offices, generating conversations around safety and am keen to hear the experiences and ideas of employees across Linbrooke, and ultimately take positive action from lessons learnt. Being a part of this group, and to be an approachable face and a voice for everyone, is something I’m very proud of. Quality and safety underpin everything I do here at Linbrooke, and I am dedicated to this.

Credit: Linbrooke

Aligning with Network Rail’s ACE Principles

In the Eastern Region, Linbrooke delivers numerous rail projects through the Agile Client Eastern (ACE) initiative, aligning with the principles of Network Rail’s project SPEED. The primary goal of this initiative is to streamline the delivery of infrastructure projects, aiming to reduce both time and costs by up to half. The approach to ACE emphasises the need for collaboration, efficiency, and the integration of the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) concept. This involves a continual reassessment of project scope, ultimately ensuring better value for money.

Embracing the ACE framework, Linbrooke encourages its delivery teams to adopt a ‘best for project’ mentality, fostering trust among stakeholders and facilitating faster decision-making. This approach has not only strengthened relationships with clients, operations, maintenance, and other stakeholders but has also seen Linbrooke successfully take on traditional Network Rail roles, such as the Designated Project Engineer (DPE).

Future ambitions

I started my career in rail working on single discipline projects, but have already got various multi-disciplinary projects under my belt. I’m now moving towards more complex projects, gradually building up my exposure to different complexities and challenges.

Looking to the future, I’m excited to find out what new opportunities come through as we progress as a business. I think Linbrooke is an excellent environment for my career development, with new multidisciplinary projects enhancing my skillset and experience.

Embracing the Journey

One of the great things about working at Linbrooke is that it’s quite a fluid workplace here. For example, if there’s a specific area I want to learn or get exposure to, my managers are open to these conversations. Having the exposure to a range of different projects has been so beneficial for me already.

I’m also hoping to develop other aspects of my skillset, such as my leadership and networking. I’ve already begun this process by becoming a registered mental health first aider, and I want to keep driving home the message of the importance of mental health in the workplace.

Ultimately, there are lots of different directions my career in rail could take in the future, and I’m enjoying the journey and my continued development at Linbrooke.

Discussing Emily’s progress at Linbrooke, Nikki Grice-Sims, Project Director – Rail said: “From day one at Linbrooke, Emily’s thirst for learning and success has consistently shone through, and we’ve proudly supported her growth every step of the way. In just two years in her new career, Emily earned a well-deserved promotion after successfully leading her first project to fruition. Simultaneously, her unwavering support to Senior Project Managers and willingness to tackle more complex projects have set her apart.

Nikki added: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to witness Emily’s project management career unfold, celebrating her remarkable achievements, and I eagerly anticipate the many more yet to come.”

Ben Lynch, Managing Director, Linbrooke Rail added: “Emily is a shining example of why Linbrooke invests in its people, Emily demonstrates behaviours the business expects from all its staff! I’ve witnessed first-hand the diligent way she has progressed to the role of Project Manager by mixing a blend of problem-solving skills, hard, diligent work ethic and a natural tendency to learn and experience new challenges.

“The Senior Leadership Team are proud to see our people progress through the business and Emily has a very bright future ahead and will go on to deliver exciting and rewarding projects.”

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