RAA brings onboard 5 new graduates in 2020 to strengthen team despite COVID-19 lockdown restrictions

As the pandemic continues to impact on our daily working lives, RAA are pleased to report that their graduate recruitment and onboarding activities have gone ahead as usual this year, albeit with a few adaptations.

We are delighted to officially welcome Andy Lam, Hannah Ward and Katy Paddington to the Staplefield, West Sussex team and Oliver Kaye and Lydia Armstrong to the Altrincham based team, however all for the moment are working remotely in various parts of the country.

Oliver and Lydia started in January 2020 and completed 2 months of training prior to lockdown. Lydia has a MSc in Risk from Durham University and Oliver has BSc in Physical Geography and Environmental Science from University of Keele.  They have both cut their modelling teeth working on Optioneering Projects for United Utilities and BRAVA modelling for Severn Trent.

Director of the Altrincham office John Hilson said, “Lydia and Oliver both started with us in January and quickly settled in well to the office environment. They are both fresh Graduates who have quickly picked up some fairly complex concepts and delivered some high-quality work for our clients. Whilst it is unfortunate that we had to move to remote working within 2 months of starting, they have coped admirably under the circumstances. They are both continuing to go from strength to strength and have become key members of the team.

Another unfortunate side effect of the pandemic disruption is that we were unable to properly celebrate the first anniversary of the Altrincham Office on 1 April. However, this is a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things and we will hopefully be able to celebrate future anniversaries in style.”

As we reported in a previous release about our transition to working remotely, we had 2 new graduates start in the Spring. Katy Paddington joined us just prior to full lockdown and Hannah Ward was recruited during lockdown.  Both undertook induction training remotely and have been supported by more senior members of the modelling team at every stage.  A benefit to working remotely has meant that the team are no longer restricted geographically, usual induction training would have taken place in the Staplefield office led by those based there. Moving to remote working has given us the opportunity to share team resources and staff usually based at the Altrincham office have been involved in the support and mentoring of the new would-be Staplefield based graduates.

Katy has a BSc in Geography from the University of Southampton, and brought with her experience of the Water sector having worked previously as a water quality sampler.  Hannah has a BSc in Physical Geography from the University of Keele and has held previous graduate roles in the GIS sector.  In a short time they have both gained the knowledge and experience to work independently on various model builds and verifications for key clients.

Our 5th graduate hire this year is Andy Lam, who started with us at the beginning of October.  Andy has a BSc in Geology and MSc in Hydrology and Climate Change and has been in the environmental consultancy sector for 2 years where he has gained experience in surface water flood modelling, hydrological assessments, site work and flood risk assessments.

Richard Allitt said “We are delighted to have been able continue our graduate recruitment activities this year despite the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. It is testament to our resilient IT infrastructure and the hard work and commitment from our senior modellers that the onboarding process has been pretty much business as usual despite the remote set up.  We welcome all 5 to the team and wish them every success as they develop their careers.”