Maria Lucila Spotorno
- Course: MSc Sustainability in Transport
- Year of graduation: 2015
- Nationality: Argentinian
- Job title: Network Manager for Bus Rapid Transit
- Company: C40
I am currently working as a Network Manager for Bus Rapid Transit at C40. This network supports cities in introducing, improving and transforming their BRTs and bus services systems in their cities. I am responsible for coordinating a group of 20 cities and facilitating a platform for sharing best practices and experiences among cities in order to tackle climate change. I normally conduct webinars, workshops and calls on specific topics to promote knowledge exchange between cities.
My experience at ITS has helped me to understand the connection between climate change and transport and the synergies among these two topics. ITS has left me with a keen desire to be part of delivering transportation solutions that are well thought out and contribute to tackling climate issues in the short but also the long-term. I continue to look forward to scaling up good transportation solutions across these and many other cities through the networks.
I came from a social science background, I am a lawyer and I felt this course at ITS was suitable for me as I was more interested in policies than designing transport solutions from an engineering perspective. ITS is well known worldwide as well as the University of Leeds, and I really wanted to enjoy the full experience of being a student in a city such as Leeds.
My advice to new and potential students is to study hard but also try as much as possible to take advantages of the professors. Don’t be shy (like me at the beginning) just ask everything, they are humans and they know a lot, don’t be afraid to discuss and debate with them. It’s really interesting to see those discussions. Also, enjoy every single minute with your peers, from the experience of being a full-time student with all the advantages that has. Learn from your mates, and build relationships, they will be forever in your network.
I participated in the ITS employer visits. It was super useful to structure my CV. For instance, in Argentina, you should put your picture, age, and personal details in your CV whereas in the UK is not necessary. To be able to know these difference makes it a lot easier to understand the whole process. Also, we had the opportunity to be interviewed by consultants, and everything was organized by ITS. I’ve never seen in my life so much commitment and effort from a University towards students.
As an international student, my advice to new and potential ITS international students who are seeking work in the transport sector is that there is a lot of work in transport. We are really necessary. On one hand, the transport sector is one of the biggest sources of emissions, but on the other hand is crucial to moving people. The sector presents many opportunities for many different disciplines.
The highlight of my career so far has been discovering the world doing something that I am passionate about.