- Course: Sustainability in Transport MSc
- Year of graduation: 2019
- Nationality: Irish
- Job title: Transport Planner
- Company: West Yorkshire Combined Authority
What have you been doing since finishing your studies?
After graduating ITS, I started a graduate scheme at AECOM as a Graduate Transport Planner. I worked there for two and a half years, which was a great initial exposure to the working environment and the transport sector.
However, I realised that the private sector was not the right fit for me, and I have since then moved to the public sector. I now work as a Transport Planner with West Yorkshire Combined Authority, working on place-making schemes and projects in my local area. I love that my work can directly improve where I live, and I can now see schemes I have worked on take shape – rather than the much more national/international approach that the private sector provided.
What company are you working for, what is your role and what does it involve?
I currently work at WYCA as a transport planner, which entails providing support to the districts (Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield) with regards transport schemes. I ensure that they meet government and local regulations (e.g. LTN 1/20), help shape designs to meet the mayoral pledges, assist with business cases, and provide internal support with GIS.
What experiences at Leeds have particularly helped with your career?
The ability to choose the modules in both semesters really gave me the opportunity to find out what my passions were. That and the openness of staff – and of course discussions with my coursemates – were all invaluable in determining what I wanted my focus to be in the working world. Additionally, the extent and range of the resources available were invaluable, and I definitely miss the free scholarly journal access!
Looking back, why did you choose to study at the University of Leeds?
I chose to study at Leeds based on their reputation as a globally ranked institution for this subject – and I was not disappointed! The knowledge and passion of the staff and students at ITS is second to none. Leeds is also a great city, evidenced by the fact I have not left since finishing my course!
Would you recommend your course to others?
Absolutely, although I would be jealous that they get to do it all! I had such a great year at ITS. I met such a wide range of like-minded people who I am still in touch with today, sharing links and advice and encouraging each other in each endeavour. I would definitely love for everyone to experience a similar scenario.
The range of modules and the academic sources is immense, and even in two semesters you barely scratch the surface. The tools that you learn by using the journal libraries for example are priceless, and will constantly be beneficial throughout your work.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with new students?
Say yes to as much as you can. The social and academic opportunities are infinite and should definitely be grasped at with both hands!