And it was. The London-based engineer joined the transport infrastructure team in the UK earlier this year, attracted by WSP’s global presence. By early September, she was en route to Toronto having been accepted to a four-week global exchange program. With a background in civil/structural water and wastewater infrastructure, Rahma was able to seamlessly integrate to the Canadian Infrastructure team based in Thornhill. Nearing the end of her stay, we caught up with Rahma to hear her experience.
Tell us about your experience so far.
My experience has been positive so far. Much like the diverse and vibrant neighbourhood I currently call home in downtown Toronto, the team has been extremely supportive and provided me with an overview on all the unique projects currently being delivered out of the office. it was really interesting especially with a much different landscape, weather conditions and topography than what I am used to working with in England.
Working with WSP Canada has made me realize how unique our operations are globally. This is a huge strength in my opinion as it indicates flexibility and agility on the part of our teams to cater to our clients’ needs, wherever they might be. For example, in the UK, projects are often being delivered from seven to eight different offices in the country. But in Canada, its vast geography makes it so that projects are much more local and often delivered from one office. Similarly, noticing the differences in delivery models and collaboration methods has been interesting. I am certainly taking notes to take back to London!
What has been the highlight of your exchange program?
The highlight of my work-stay in Canada has been the opportunity to grow my professional network. Members of the senior management team was in Toronto recently, and I went out to dinner with them to meet the team from across the country. Seeing how they work has been fascinating, especially as they work through multiple time zones and language barriers.
What has been the most challenging part of the program?
Speaking for time zones, because I had elected to continue working on some of the projects in the UK, the time difference was challenging. But you do get used to it and find ways to work around it.
Would you recommend this program to your colleagues? If so, what is the one advice you would give them?
Yes, I would definitely recommend this program to my colleagues back home. The advice I would give is to not be afraid to voice out what you want to do and work on. Four weeks isn’t a very long time, so being as articulate and clear as possible when it comes to the work you are involved in is very important.