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blog: Reflecting on my first four months at ITP

Author: Jasper Smith

What do I think of my first four months at ITP?

Welcoming, trusting, and full of opportunities. It has been a great start to life at ITP. When I graduated from the University of Nottingham earlier this summer with a degree in Geography with Business, I moved straight from my academic studies into the world of work. I am soon approaching my first four-months as a transport planner and my first four months on ITP's graduate training programme 'SUNRISE' and a blog post seemed fitting to summarise this new experience.

In the first two years of SUNRISE, I will have the opportunity to do three 8-month work placements across ITP’s transport planning teams.

My first placement has been with the Development Planning team. So far, working alongside colleagues to prepare technical notes and Transport Assessments for various office and build-to-rent residential developments to help deliver more sustainable places. Coming straight out of University, I've relished the opportunity to work on real-world projects and getting to grips with the responsibilities of delivering projects for clients, it's been a contrast to university studies that I've really welcomed.

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I've also been heavily involved in several projects for Park Holidays UK which form part of ITP's long-standing work with the holiday home specialists. As part of this work, I've been responsible for planning and conducting site visits and client meetings at parks all across the UK - and I've got to visit some beautiful locations in the process! So far, I have visited the Yorkshire Dales, the Malvern Hills and Snowdonia and I most recently visited Cornwall for four further site visits!

I have always wanted to climb Snowdon so, being in the area, I used this opportunity to do so with a 5am wake-up to catch a different kind of sunrise before work.

To be given such responsibility at such an early stage of my career is enormously beneficial for my professional development and exactly what I was seeking in a graduate scheme.

I've found that these types of development planning projects require a high level of technical proficiency in GIS and whilst this was briefly covered for a semester at university, there is nothing that teaches you faster than learning on the job.

Alongside this hands-on learning, through SUNRISE I've also received technical training in Microsoft Excel, Adobe Creative Suite, TRICS, QGIS, as well as consultancy training in managing client relationships. In the new year, I'm looking forward to project management training, economic appraisal and highway design, among others.

As part of SUNRISE, we also have monthly meetings chaired by a member of the SUNRISE group (which is now up to around 20 colleagues). With the chair changing every month, these meetings are great for presentation skills and a good way for the group to stay in contact and ask questions in a friendly environment. With quarterly review meetings too, there is always the opportunity to discuss specific skills that you wish to develop further whilst on the scheme.

Having studied business modules as part of my degree, I was keen to maintain this as an interest and incorporate it into my position at ITP. Having mostly studied marketing modules, I spoke with the marketing team to see if there was scope to get involved and they were super receptive and allowed me to join alongside my project work.

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Since joining, the Nottingham office has held a number of social events. First was our litter pick for World Clean-Up Day 2022 which was a great way to get to know some of my colleagues outside of a work setting after just a week of working at ITP.

As well as our monthly ‘Lunch Club’ where we try different Nottingham restaurants, we recently had yoga and arts and crafts sessions for Stress Awareness Week and our Christmas party too.

Having only been at ITP for just under four months, I already feel part of the ITP and RHDHV family. From being given the freedom to pursue my marketing interests, to getting involved with real-world project work within my first week, to the extensive support from senior members of staff (to name a few!) it is clear just how supportive of an environment ITP and the SUNRISE scheme really is for kickstarting a career as a transport planning consultant.

We're always looking for bright and ambitious people to join our team. If you like the sound of being part of the ITP team, please check out our current vacancies, or get in touch with Jim Bradley for an informal discussion.


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