Adrià Ramirez Papell
- Course: MSc (Eng) Transport Planning and Engineering
- Year of graduation: 2015
- Nationality: Spanish
- Job title: Mobility Data & Public Policy Manager
- Company: Shotl
I am developing intelligent mobility solutions for on-demand public transport at Shotl. As I am working in a startup company, my role is difficult to define in one word, but includes defining the details of our service in each city the details of our service in each city (i.e. best areas to implement the service, predicted demand, vehicles needed to offer a certain level of quality, integration/combination with the current transport system) and understanding the potential impacts on the city mobility patterns; Representing Shotl at external workshops, conferences and discussion groups, as well as with governments and public authorities. We are currently building a new transport service that can be part of our landscape in the future, isn’t that exciting? I love speaking with top-level mobility stakeholders and see that I have something interesting to tell them.
As I came from an IT background, doing my MSc at ITS shaped my mind in a way that I can now understand the needs and concerns of the very different people I speak with in my job: passengers, transport operators, public authorities, etc. I am a link between our CEO & business staff, mobility experts we interact with and our internal IT development team. I have found that transport complexity usually lies on always considering the potential side-effects of your decisions, and ITS gave me the tools to ask myself the correct questions and know where to find the answers. Also, ITS allowed me to make a wonderful list of friends who are mobility experts, so when I have any doubt I can always send a text message to the other side of the world.
I wanted to do a course focused on passenger mobility. I asked some of the people I previously knew in the transport studies area to recommend me two or three universities and ITS appeared in all of their answers! With some more research, I clearly saw that it had top-level researchers and the subjects were a good complement to my previous studies, as well as, it’s all concentrated in only 12 months. I travelled to Leeds to go to the open day and I remember how one of the previous year students convinced me by explaining what he was doing!
My advice to students interested in this course and a career in transport is to choose the right Masters for you among the ones offered at ITS. Don’t be afraid to ask for a change if you feel it will be better, but do it quickly on the first or second week.
I took part in the employer visits, and I absolutely recommend them. Being an international student, it helped me knowing a lot about the companies, projects, topics and professional profiles that were trending in this country. I had several interviews and got a job offer from one of them. So, my international experience was initially planned to be only academic, and turned into a professional experience too with a second year working in UK.
When it came to finding and applying for jobs Professors and the staff gave me some guidance when I asked for it.
My advice to international students who are seeking work in the transport sector is firstly, go to Leeds and enjoy the experience both professionally and personally. You will become part of a wonderful network of classmates, PhDs and professors. You will enjoy the classes and talk about transport in the bar. You will work until late (unless you are really really fast). You will learn there are people studying even the most specific aspect of transport that you never even imagined. By the middle of your course you will apply for interviews, either through ITS Employer visits or on your own. If you have never worked on the transport sector before, like me, you will discover that even transport has a lot of sub-branches and wonder which is yours. You will be offered your first transport job, the first step in a career that you will continue building by yourself. If you are already in the transport sector, like many of my colleagues at ITS, you will take a huge step further towards new horizons.