John Baron promoted to Geo-Environmental Associate

25 November 2021


John Baron joined Patrick Parsons in 2016 as an Engineer and has successfully worked his way up to Geo-Environmental Associate. In this interview John takes a look at his career to date and discusses what this promotion means to him.

Can you describe your career at Patrick Parsons to date?

I joined Patrick Parsons from a background of predominantly the contracting side of geotechnical engineering (with a bit of gold exploration thrown in for good measure) with a view to move into, and learn about, the consulting and design side of the industry. I started in an engineering position, undertaking some of the site work myself while developing my technical skills and learning more about the role and the place geotechnical engineering has within the bigger picture of the ‘Built Environment’ consultancy.

I soon moved up to Senior Engineer, site work took a step back with project management and reporting becoming my primary day to day. I have worked in the department through the various phases of change that have turned Patrick Parsons into the consultancy it is today, as well as increasing my geotechnical knowledge and my understanding of the planning processes that govern developments, learning how we can work to satisfy both our clients and regulators alike. With experience comes responsibility and the geo team has grown with three senior engineers, who have all been promoted from within the team, two junior engineers and two graduate engineers for whom I am responsible for. My role has evolved accordingly with this transition moving more into a management position with added responsibilities.

Can you tell us about your role?

My day to day as a Geo-Environmental Associate involves the overall project management of the team, as we undertaken anywhere between 20 – 40 individual project per month. I am responsible for assuring that siteworks are booked, reports are checked and issued on time and most importantly that health and safety processes are adhered to. My role also includes bidding and winning work, keeping in close contact with existing clients and developing relationships outside of this network. With seniority comes responsibility, so the admin and financial responsibilities have grown accordingly!  

What does this promotion mean to you?

This promotion to Geo-Environmental Associate is the first time in my career that I have really felt like I have achieved something and I recognise the faith that the company is putting in me by promoting me to this role. The previous promotions from Engineer to Senior Engineer and then to Principal, whilst appreciated, felt somewhat expected in terms of the point I was at in my career. However, this step up and the expectations that come with the role feel more like a personal achievement and a recognition of ability, rather than ‘time served’.

What are your career goals?

Having never been particularly career focussed in the early part of my career, my progression to Principal and now Associate has focussed my career aspiration significantly. That said, to a certain extent, I want to continue what I have been doing for the previous 16 years in the industry by gaining knowledge and experience and putting it into practice. The last few years in more of a managerial role has led me to want to continue growing the team, passing on my experience and knowledge to the younger engineers. It is satisfying to see them progress, particular Hugh, Nick and Tom into senior roles. I’m looking forward to continuing my progression within Patrick Parsons, hopefully growing the team further and expanding our skill set within the department, with an ultimate goal of having multiple geo-environmental teams across all of our offices.

What are the best things about working at Patrick Parsons?

The single best thing about Patrick Parsons, other than the people, is the integrated multi-disciplinary nature of the consultancy. Having come from a contracting background the introduction to consultancy was a relatively steep learning curve. However, the exposure to in house Civil and Structural Engineering teams, especially when working across projects together, really helped me to understand the importance of geotechnical engineering and its place in the industry especially when applied in a practical sense.

How do you feel about your future at Patrick Parsons?

Very positive! I know, shocking for such a cynic! But the direction the company has been moving in, the restructuring and brand refresh all feels like it is part of a process of becoming an even better more integrated, modern consultancy and that can only mean a better future for all of the staff as well as enhanced services for our clients.

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