Kristina Dengaeva, MSc Transport Economics student at the University of Leeds.

Kristina Dengaeva

Why did you choose to study this course at the Institute for Transport Studies?

After finishing an undergraduate programme in Management at the Siberian Federal University (Krasnoyarsk, Russia), I decided to divert from my background and get deeper into applied science, economics in particular. I had never heard of Transport Economics as a programme until I came across it on the University of Leeds website. Having compared this programme to similar ones in the UK and in Europe, I realised that the scientific expertise and teaching in ITS were of the highest level and that a wide net of successful alumni worldwide supported this notion. Now I can verify that everything I had discovered about the course was true. 

What has been the best aspect of studying your course so far and why?

Transport Economics is usually a moderately small group of students which gives you more opportunities to engage into the learning process and have conversations with professors. Some modules included guided computer sessions to provide a hands-on approach, which I found very helpful as we did not just study pure theory but acquired practical skills as well. 

What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?

The university provides a strong academic support. For example, ITS collaborates closely with transport consultancies to make sure that the skills delivered by the programmes are in demand from employers. Thus, the students get only practically applicable and useful skills.

Moreover, Leeds itself is great city to study in because of the student-friendly environment. I have met people from all over the world which was a great opportunity to learn how to work in a multicultural setting. Such experience is valuable as you learn how to tackle cultural differences and communicate with people with various backgrounds. 

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed.

One of the most outstanding experiences was working on the Transport Integrated Project, which has been recently introduced by ITS as a module for all master programmes. We worked in multidisciplinary teams which helped us develop cross-sectional skills and get to know about various aspects of transport projects. It was also inspiring to contribute to the city transport strategy as we worked on a real-life challenge Leeds was exposed to.

Have you been on any fieldtrips? If so, what was your experience of these?

In December we went on a field trip to the Peak District. We stayed in a lovely English village called Castleton for a night and then did hiking the next day. It was snowing and the houses were beautifully decorated for Christmas, so the atmosphere was fascinating. We had a great time communicating with each other and celebrating the end of the first semester. I would say it is a ‘must’ activity even if you do not like hiking. Around the village there are phenomenal caves where gemstones are extracted. These caves are truly magical and worth exploring.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I would like to work in a transport consultancy because I assume that it is the best place to apply the skills I have learnt. As an economist, I would like to devote these skills to the appraisal of transport projects because this is what I am interested in the most. In the future I also want to contribute to the transport sector in my home country and share my knowledge with transport economic specialists in Russia.

What would you say to students coming to do the same course?

I would definitely encourage them to do a Transport Economics course, especially, if they have a basic economics background. I would suggest reading extra materials and getting ready for interim assignments in advance rather than rushing at the eleventh hour. There is also phenomenal support from the teaching stuff who are always ready to help, so students should not hesitate to ask for their guidance.