My current role as Graduate Transport Planner at Rodgers Leask Limited involves assisting with writing transport assessments for different developments, and effectively communicating with all of the organisations that are involved with developments such as clients, local authorities and traffic data organisations. As part of my role I also analyse and present data so that it can be understood by a wider audience. Communication and working as part of a team are two of the main skills that I use in my role on a daily basis.
The most enjoyable areas of my role are working in a career sector that is related to my degree. Through studying at university I have gained lots of skills that are useful in my job role such as using GIS, data presentation and report writing.
The most challenging areas of my role are that communication can sometimes be difficult within certain organisations particularly with local authorities. I have also found it challenging to familiarise myself with some of the programs which I haven’t used before. I would like to progress as far as I can within the company, however this is likely to be determined on the success of the organisation.
In my second year at the University of Northampton I completed a one week work shadowing placement at Northampton Borough Council’s Planning and Regeneration department, set up by my alumni mentor, followed by two weeks at the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation. In my third year I completed a work placement at WYG Group in Transport Planning.
The ‘Geographers at work’ module in my third year was a good way to prepare me for the world of work, as we practiced interview techniques, and had to present a conference presentation, which needed me to work effectively as part of a team.
The teamwork skills that I gained from my degree have helped me when working in a small team, as effective communication is essential. The knowledge I gained from my work placement where I learnt about local planning policies has also prepared me well for my current role.
Whilst studying I was also a Social member of Tennis, Squash and Badminton clubs and volunteered at Barnardos, The Conservation Volunteers, Northampton Borough Council and Planet Too. My work placement at WYG helped me secure an interview for my current employer.
My advice to students would be to get as much experience possible as it could make a big difference in you getting the job that you want. Overall, I made the most of all opportunities given to me at the University of Northampton.