Lucia Southworth

Lucia Southworth

I currently work for Jacobs in the Transport Planning Team. During the first year of my career, I have had the opportunity to work on a range of projects with different clients and Jacob’s team members from different offices. This has given me exposure to the diversity of work that Transport Planners do and the various people and disciplines involved in elements of transport planning work. I am responsible for conducting research, analysing data, forming presentations and writing deliverables, alongside assisting Project Managers. 

ITS thoroughly prepared me for my job and career. I utilise the subject knowledge and teamwork experience I gained at ITS every day. Learning about so many aspects of transport during my time at ITS has allowed me to work on a diverse range of projects in my early career with confidence. The teamwork, networking events and overall sense of community at ITS gave me confidence which I have taken into the workplace to network across the transport planning sector and wider business. The strong enthusiasm I gained for all things transport at ITS shines through and is appreciated by colleagues and clients during project work. 

I decided I wanted to study Sustainability in Transport MSc during my second undergraduate year at Leeds when I studied Sustainability and Environmental Management BSc at the School of Earth and Environment. During my undergraduate degree I took several modules delivered by ITS and I really enjoyed the content and formed a good rapport with the lecturers. I felt as though going into transport planning would allow me to work on projects that would create tangible improvements to the environment and contribute to cutting carbon emissions. Luckily, this has been the case so far in my career as I’ve been able to work on various sustainability focussed projects. 

My advice to anyone wanting to study Sustainability in Transport MSc or any Transport Planning Masters at ITS is to take up all of the opportunities on offer during your time at Leeds and ITS. From the field trips, networking events, social nights, optional lectures, support sessions and overall variety of modules. I developed a lot of the skills I have taken forward into work during the extra-curricular activities I did at ITS. The friends you make and the network you establish at ITS will also help you navigate a career in Transport Planning from getting a job to settling into work and understanding how to progress. The lecturers and everyone who works at ITS are lovely people who ensure all activities are engaging but, more importantly, fun! 

I took part in the ITS Employer Visits and would highly recommend them! I participated in several interviews and was fortunate to be offered my job as a result. Getting to listen to potential employers and ask them questions prior to the interviews was hugely informative and valuable. It helped me to understand the differences between companies and identify the culture and values I most aligned with. Being interviewed in the familiar and comfortable setting at ITS is a brilliant opportunity. I was far more relaxed, and I think this allowed me to perform a lot better in my interviews than I would have in the traditional settings. 

I received a huge amount of advice from ITS when it came to finding and applying for jobs, which I found to be invaluable. I was nervous of the application process and found their advice and encouragement essential to making the step to applying for jobs and being successful. 

The highlight of my career so far? Being given the position of EU Events Coordinator for one of the employee networks at my company. This network focuses on improving accessibility, and empowering disabled employees and employees who are carers within the company. This role will allow me to host and participate in a range of events, expand my network and campaign for greater accessibility both within the company and in the project work we do.