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blog: Sirin's Summer!

Author: Sirin Safdar

I applied to work a 3 week placement with ITP through the University of Nottingham Summer Placement Programme. As a first year Geography student, I felt it was an opportunity to explore a sector that not only lines up with the topics that interest me in Geography but also would allow me to contribute to meaningful work that would make a difference to both communities and the environment.

My interview with ITP was initially nerve wracking, as all interviews usually are, but once I sat down and talked to my interviewers it soon felt more like a conversation about our interests in public transport than an interview! Not soon after I received an email stating that I’d not only been accepted for a 3 week placement at ITP’s Nottingham office but was also given the incredible opportunity to extend the placement for a further 10 weeks in ITP’s Birmingham office!

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Over the course of my placement, I was fully welcomed into ITP’s Public Transport (PT) team, the weekly PT team meetings very quickly became the highlight of my Wednesday mornings! While in the Nottingham office, my work mainly focused on Derbyshire County Council’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), where I was able to see how a project initially begins for consultants and the background research and meetings that go into developing projects for clients.

While in the Birmingham office, I was able to work on a range of projects alongside the PT team as well as across other teams at ITP, from creating bus routes and PDF maps on GIS for the PT team to assisting the International team with planning a technical proposal for Non-Motorised Transport in Tanzania and working with the Policy and Strategy team in editing and formatting Business Case documents.

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During my placement, I was also able to join in on some of the online tutorials, meetings and training sessions for SUNRISE (ITP’s Graduate Scheme). This included a training session introducing the concept and models for transport demand forecasting and modelling along with online tutorials and one to one support and training on using QGIS software. Thanks to this I’ve been able to improve my skills (and confidence!) in using GIS for real-world projects.

Being at ITP, I’ve been given the opportunity to learn and broaden my understanding of the transport industry. I have been able to work on a wide range of projects relating to demand responsive transport (DRT), park & rides, concessionary ticketing, ’15 minute cities’, mobility hubs, bus franchising and so much more. My placement hasn’t been just work though! I’ve been able to attend some great social events including ITP’s lunch clubs (in both offices!) at different restaurants along with ‘Meet Your Neighbours’ community and networking events over organic herbal teas, macaroons and even breakfast naans!

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After being at ITP for just over 3 months I can confidently say ITP’s work culture is incredibly supportive and positive. I’m sad to have to go but incredibly glad I had the opportunity to work on real-world projects alongside some amazing colleagues - definitely going to miss our 3pm ‘hot choc o’clock’s! I’d 100% recommend a placement at ITP, it is in an invaluable experience to gain an insight and an understanding into the world of transport and consultancy.

If you'd like to learn more about working ITP and any opportunities we can offer those in the start of their careers please get in touch!


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