Joseph Quashie, trustee
My day job is … a project engineer at Network Rail and I’m currently working on the introduction of an in-cab signalling system to help increase the frequency of services in central London. Typical activities include specifying the requirements for enhancements to the railway, reviewing designs for compliance with standards, dealing with technical queries, managing the interfaces with other projects and the integration of the different technical disciplines (e.g. signalling, track, power etc.).
In ROK, I am … one of the trustees and as such, responsible for making sure that the charity’s activities meet its objectives. I have also helped ROK to establish links with industry including companies such as the Ford Motor Company and The Garden Productions. I have trained facilitators, devised and delivered workshops, given careers talks and led field trips for groups of students from some of ROK’s schools.
I became involved in ROK … in late 2011. I was invited to a ROK meeting by one of my friends who had referred me to the charity after I had asked her to help me find someone to speak to my niece about careers in law. Having had the opportunity to find out about ROK’s objectives, it sounded like the organisation was trying to positively affect the lives of young people so I offered my knowledge of the field of engineering to help ROK further its objectives.
I think the work ROK does is … important because a lot of young people (and many adults!) don’t have a true appreciation of what it entails to work in fields such as engineering and science. Often, that’s because they aren’t exposed to role models who can give them first hand knowledge of their experience and how theoretical science can be used to solve real life problems. ROK is planting seeds of inspiration in the minds of young people so that they can make informed decisions about their futures.
My favourite ROK memory … isn’t easy to choose, but one that stands out is when I received feedback from a student after my first ever careers talk and learned that I had inspired her to pursue a career in engineering. Receiving feedback like that lets you know you’ve made an impact and that the time you’ve invested in preparing and delivering an event is a worthwhile investment.
If I could sum up ROK in three words, they would be … inspirational, selfless and educational.