- Course: BA Geography with Transport Planning
- Year of graduation: 2017
- Nationality: British
- Job title: Rail Graduate
- Company: Go-Ahead Group
What have you been doing since finishing your studies? What are you doing in terms of your career?
I signed up for a graduate programme with The Go-Ahead Group PLC, based within the companies’ rail businesses. I spent 6 months at London Midland assisting as Station Manager of Nuneaton, 6 Months with Southeastern focusing on Train Planning and Operations Management. Currently, I’m with Govia Thameslink Railway (Southern) where I have been out as an On-Board Supervisor and am now a part of the On-Board Management team at Victoria until Christmas.
What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career/will help with your future career?
The second year trip to Helsinki, and understanding the way modern international centres, urban environments and transport links are planned was really useful in bringing new perspectives to my career. I also wrote my dissertation on the use of retail at railway stations. This was incredibly useful, as it has set me up well to understanding the different flows and environments at work in the railway environment. Station Manager is where I am aiming with my next career step.
Looking back, why did you choose to study your particular course and why did you choose the University of Leeds?
I was interested in working in the transport sector for a long time, and the University of Leeds was the only place where this kind, of course, was available at a Bachelors level. The course itself looked very interesting and gave a broad scope across the different transport topics. I also thoroughly enjoyed geography, so this course was the perfect way for me to keep that up.
What was the best aspect of the course/the University and why? Any highlights?
The topics I studied in the second year, in particular, transport economics, I found particularly interesting, as it gave a new perspective on the knowledge I had grounded the previous year. Besides that, I really enjoyed living in Leeds. It’s a very vibrant city and has a lot going on. There are lots to explore, I enjoyed getting on the bus or train and heading out to the different parts of the city that students don't normally venture.
What other activities outside of your studies were you involved in?
At the University of Leeds, I got involved with societies outside of my curricular activities, such as the Student Radio, where I won the award for “Best Music Show” in 2014. I also got to interview big names in the DJ business such as Danny Howard from Radio 1. I also worked part time in Leeds University Union and got involved with open days, directing new entrants and eventually supervising the desk.
These experiences both really helped as they showed I had a wide range of experience and skills, which were broadened by my studies.
What would you say to students thinking about studying the same course at Leeds/thinking about the same career?
I'd say that the course itself is really worth throwing yourself into - take the time to understand things and make sure to ask questions where you don't understand - transport can be a niche, even though it’s something we all use every day. Take the time to get to know the people on you'll be with as they'll be your support network.