My first year with JBA – Kerry Shannon

Kerry joined our Hydroecology team back in October 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking a bold step into a completely different industry, Kerry went from designing and creating commercial kitchens to designing fish passages. In this blog, Kerry shares with us what life has been like since joining JBA.

A brand new direction

“Stepping into a completely different industry, in the middle of a global pandemic, has been very challenging. The two roles couldn’t be much further apart too, going from designing and creating commercial kitchens to working in JBA’s Hydroecology team designing predominantly fish passages amongst other things. I have to say in the first few months, I did have a couple of wobbles.

What is a fish pass?

There were a few moments where I thought, I can’t do this – what is a fish pass? But I like a challenge, and this was a big one for me, and I’m proud to say, with the support of my team, I stuck with it. I was working in the office for roughly a month before going into lockdown (again), and then I was back to working from home. However, I had plenty of phone calls with my team leader and colleagues during this time to help me understand exactly what they wanted and I spent lots of time doing my own research.

I have been on two courses so far (Revit & Civil3D) which have and will continue to help me enormously going forward. I’m fortunate that JBA really champions continuous learning and development and is supportive of people who want to expand their knowledge and progress in their careers. Especially for people like myself, who’ve changed careers or moved into new sectors.

There’s still so much to learn

I have worked on a variety of projects mostly creating outline designs. I am currently working on my first detailed design project on the River Medway which I’m both very nervous and excited about. I’ve been involved in the outline design process for this project, so it will be a great experience to see it through from start to finish. I hope to be able to go to the site at some point to see how things are progressing.

I have learned so much in the year I have been at JBA, but this is an ongoing process as I still haven’t even scratched the surface. The scope of what JBA does is huge; I still have so much more to learn. I am excited to see what the future holds.”

Want to know more?

Find out where a career with JBA could take you. Check out our careers page here.



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