Young Rail Professionals: Tom Male

The Young Rail Professionals (YRP) network was established in 2009 to bring together people from all aspects of the rail industry, and to inspire the next generation of rail professionals. We’ve been speaking to the YRP Ambassadors recently to find out why they chose this industry and what they think the impact of institutions like the National College for High Speed Rail will be.

Name: Tom Male
Job Title: Senior business reporting analyst
Location: Milton Keynes
Company: Network Rail (@networkrail)

Tom, tell us what you love most about your job.
The variety of what I do – no two days are the same. In my role I have a national overview of the significant engineering works are that planned for holidays such as Christmas and Easter, and I help make sure our project teams are properly equipped and prepared for delivering these. This involves working with a wide variety of teams, such as railway operations, engineering and project management. I really enjoy working in all these different areas.

What excites you about the future of the rail industry?
There is so much happening across the industry at the moment. We’re seeing the fruition of several large projects such as Thameslink, Crossrail and the Northern Hub. In addition, other big schemes such as HS2 are in their early stages and I’m looking forward to seeing these develop.

What would your advice be to someone entering this industry for the first time?
Seize the opportunity to ‘shadow’ people already working in rail. It’s a complicated industry with many different areas, so building up your industry knowledge through experience is the best way to learn. It will also pay dividends throughout your career.

What inspired you to pursue a career in this industry?
At University the engineering department I was based in had a large team of people dedicated to railway research projects. Having this direct contact sparked my interest, so I applied for a year-long placement with Network Rail. I enjoyed this so much that I returned on their graduate scheme and progressed through to where I am today.

If an institution like the National College for High Speed Rail had existed when you were studying, would you have applied?
If such institutions had existed I may well have taken a different path to my career!