Reuban Tan, Graduate Transport Consultant, based in Singapore

Open positions

Nurturing colleagues, helpful teams, and opportunities galore

Being a fresh graduate last September, I initially opted for contract work – as compared to full-time work which my peers were gunning for – as I really craved the flexibility of trying out a career and understanding where I fit within that role. This preference was wholeheartedly embraced when I joined Ramboll, and during my time as a contract worker I found that my colleagues were not only nurturing, helpful, but also provided me ample feedback, which I value greatly at any workplace and in any role. These were chiefly the reasons why I decided to convert my contract role into a full-time role with Ramboll.

Another big deciding factor for me was the work that I got to do at Ramboll. Early-career Engineers are often typecast into doing desk work to gain experience before being trusted to move onto more challenging projects. Joining Ramboll was a breath of fresh air, because the Smart Mobility team embraces a flat culture, and the team entrusts you with important projects which will hone your confidence in getting things done. I don’t feel any hesitation approaching my managers, department heads, or colleagues, especially in times where I am challenged or faced with issues. Instead, they see you as an equal and completely capable of delivering on your tasks, which is a trait I do not believe is embodied by all, but I am grateful my team at Ramboll does.

Working across diverse teams, exposure to interesting projects

I get to work with so many different people across Ramboll, and being situated in the Singapore office by no means limits my exposure to working with our international colleagues. For example, I’m currently working on a project which involves designing a training framework for public bus drivers. This requires input from our global teams across Denmark, Sweden, India, and the Philippines. I learn so much from these teams, as each comes with their own different perspective, outlooks, and it complements perfectly to the work that we are doing in Singapore.

Other projects that I enjoy thoroughly would be the pedestrian modelling projects. With Singapore having unveiled a slew of Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) train stations planned for Singapore in the coming years, and being placed on these projects provides a lot of exposure across these projects. There are several large interchanges which are proving quite challenging to model, due to the sheer number of parameters that we need to consider. There are of course, many interesting upcoming projects that are in the pipeline but that’s all I’m saying on the matter! But I can say that it will be quite exciting when it’s launched.

Collaboration an integral cog of the teamwork wheel

I think you do need to be open to collaboration, because projects these days are operating on a major scale. Take my role for example – I need to work with different engineers, and not just transport engineers, but engineers of all walks of life and across all disciplines, because transport is but one of the disciplines which is affected, and affects, the works that surround it such as the environment, or buildings. Collaboration is about working with people well, and this includes client management. There will be demands and pressures in any job, but knowing what to say and how to say it, is important.

I find that speaking up and voicing your uncertainty is also key, be it during your individual catch-ups with your managers, or through casual chit-chat with your colleagues and seniors. For example, at Ramboll we conduct a monthly-catch-up with our department heads to run through goals, achievements, training programmes, schedules, and areas of improvements. This allowed me to better develop my technical expertise, and honed my focus on areas in which I had to focus my efforts on. I mean, if you are tasked to read over 100 pages of a document issued by a local transport authority, you are definitely going to need help from your team to pin-point the areas that are more necessary to fine-tune my focus on. Trust me, I speak from experience!