- Course: MSc Transport Economics
- Year of graduation: 2017
- Nationality: Spanish
- Job title: Transport Planner Graduate
- Company: Atkins
I am currently part of the Atkins graduate’s programme, in the Rail Planning & Operation team. My job is to support and help the rest of the members of the team while I learn about the different areas that we work on. I am here to basically say yes to any project that I can be part of if I manage to have the time, every learning experience is enriching my knowledge of an industry that I always wanted to be a part of.
ITS gave me a career opportunity where I have failed before. The prestige and the involvement of ITS in the transport industry gave me the chance to start a career that I tried to start for 10 years.
I have studied two masters courses before, not completely related to transport and I was focused in having a career within this industry. I did my research on institutions in Transport to see if they offered any courses that could help me. I found CILT and I checked how ITS was so important in the industry. I decided to make a visit to the University and get first-hand information from ITS about the different courses and which one could fit with my profile. The experience could not have been any better as I was able to speak with two different professors who gave me the right information and advice. This was in July 2016, and by August I was already enrolled.
My advice to students interested in this course and a career in transport is to choose the most practical units related to planning and modelling in the optional modules, as Transport Economics is not as focused in those specific areas. More importantly, choose a practical and realistic topic that you would like, to use in the future for your dissertation. This is a very important part of research and it gives you the extra leverage in a job interview competing with the best, your own classmates.
I took part in the ITS Employer Visits and I couldn’t recommend them enough. From eight companies, I was lucky to have six interviews, and my job offer came from them (once I got the first one that was my favourite I stopped any other process). It is a very stressful period with assignments around the corner, but it gives you peace for the rest of the course or make you realise what you need in order to get a job offer.
When considering the highlight of my career so far, I have worked in Northern Powerhouse Rail, in the modelling of new High-Speed stations and in the franchise process for the new tender invitation. I am able to understand the whole process of how the rail industry works in the UK. The level of complexity makes me realise how much I still have to learn but ITS has given me the best first step possible.
The ITS Employer Visits was a great experience, I was in constant contact with the staff related to these events, I was informed all the time and the responses to my questions were always efficient and really quick. It is clear to me that ITS values the opportunities to start in the industry for their students.
I’m from Spain, where this career choice and industry is not developed like this, I couldn’t imagine that I would work on projects like I am in my country. My advice to other international students is to believe that your profile is valuable and to persist in the idea, because ITS gives you the tools to achieve what you are looking for.