Elena Chiari

Elena Chiari

I am currently a Principal Consultant at Steer (https://steergroup.com). I joined the company in 2013 as a Senior Consultant in their Bogota Office upon finishing my time at Leeds, and in 2017, upon the opening the Panama branch, I moved back to my hometown.

At Steer I help develop projects regarding transport infrastructure, planning and sustainable mobility, mainly in Latin America. Some of the recent projects I’ve worked on include: the Sustainable Urban Transport Plan of the city of David in Panama, the restructuring of the MiBus bus service bus for the integration with line 2 of the metro system of Panama City, and a demand and revenue forecast study for a highway.

My responsibilities change depending on with the magnitude of the project at hand. It generally includes client management, project administration, task delegation, staff supervision, data collection and assessment, report writing and revising, among others.

I chose to study at ITS because I really liked the fact you could choose the courses you wanted to attend, depending on your own personal interests. I chose my course focused on returning to Panama, a small country with just a handful of professionals in this area of expertise. I thought a degree in both planning and engineering would be better fit considering my background and potential opportunities. Additionally, I wanted to be in a smaller city than London, thinking it would have a more student-friendly environment and would be a better place to get to know authentic English culture and people. Later, I found out many of the renowned experts in this field studied at Leeds University, or were there teaching and researching; this made me reaffirm my choice.

As I said before, I think the fact that you can choose your courses is a great advantage because you can learn about what you are more interested in and what is more applicable to your own circumstances.

ITS takes the task of giving students many tools and opportunities to grow very seriously. For instance, it organises field trips to see first-hand how schemes and organisations work and provide training in the use of several useful software programmes. The external seminars in diverse subjects are aimed at broadening the spectrum of knowledge about schemes and techniques which have been applied in England and the rest of the world. They also hold an annual employers’ visit where many potential employers explain what they do, their focus and offer opportunities for the students.

If you are interested in receiving a quality education from renowned professionals while also learning about their application in real life scenarios through case studies, projects, techniques and schemes first-hand, then I truly recommend you attend ITS.