Starting and running a regionally based business comes with its own set of challenges. Jillian Kilby found being a Chartered engineer gave her a boost.
Jillian Kilby CPEng was in her mid 20s when she started her own business, but after more than a decade of consulting for projects in California and regional Australia, she’s decided it’s time to embark on something new.
The Stable, a new infrastructure advisory company she co-founded, expands the focus of previous effort The Infrastructure Collaborative.
“For us it’s about leaving a lasting legacy in regional Australia,” she told create. “Not all the big infrastructure projects are in the cities.”
Kilby said that this allows her to deliver the broad set of skills required for successful projects.
“I had been running my infrastructure business since 2009, and every project required collaborating with various consultants — whether I was fitting in under their banner, or they were working under my banner,” she explained.
“What I’ve found is the trust you build with these consultants along the way grows over time, and we decided to create a unified brand.”
Among the projects being undertaken by The Stable is a section of a new inland rail line running through regional New South Wales.
“Inland rail is a good example of a once in a generation infrastructure project that will change regional Australia forever,” Kilby said.
“Our team has been supporting Laing O’Rourke in their bid to win a portion of inland rail. A significant actor in the success of that bid was the stakeholder engagement that The Stable undertook.”
Kilby is particularly proud of the importance her business places on local engagement.
“We had people on the ground in most inland rail towns, real people on the ground doing the engagement face-to-face,” she said.
“It’s very hard to get a letter of support from someone you’ve never met before, but because our team distributed across regional Australia, it’s as simple as picking up the phone for us.”
Kilby has found that her accreditation as a Chartered engineer has helped her regionally based business compete with big-city firms.
“People want to know who you are,” she said. “If someone is looking for indicators of your qualification and your capability, this is one of those markers that they will check.”
It also boosted her confidence.
“I think there was part of me that didn’t know I was ready,” she said. “My message to people thinking about Chartered status is, reach out to someone who’s already got it. And to those who already have it, look around you — in your team, in your social settings — and encourage anyone who hasn’t taken that step to do it.”
Jillian Kilby’s tips for success
- Experience matters. The experiences you collect in your 20s pay off down the line.
- Choose a thread to follow through your career; you don’t have to stick to one discipline.
- Consider whether an accreditation helps your career or not — if it does, pursue it.
Interested in learning more about the Chartered credential? You may already have what it takes to become Chartered. Find out more here and start your pathway to Chartered today.