Patrick has a BSc Transport Management from Aston University and works as an operations and commercial manager for Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company.
Whilst at university, having had some experience working for a transport consultant, I secured a sandwich placement year with Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company. After graduation, I successfully applied to their parent company’s graduate training scheme, which lasted 18 months. I then successfully applied for a job with my original sandwich year employer and have been there ever since.
I feel that my degree course was important in helping me secure my current position. The course was effectively one half transport and one half management so I could easily have gone into another management field if I had not wanted to progress further in transport. However, I have certainly found that all aspects of my degree have had some bearing on my work.
No two working days are the same. Depending on what I’ve done the day before, I may start work early or late. Activities can include meetings with community groups, with staff or at our head office in London, or going out and about checking on our daily operations. Other activities include writing monthly reports or even driving a bus.
Although originally just having commercial responsibilities (e.g. tendering, revenue, customer services, marketing, stakeholder relations, technology, special projects), I’ve now also taken on the daily operations team, effectively the people who look after the service out on the road. Knowledge of the city and people in the company, together with links with local authorities, definitely help with this.
It is difficult to say at this stage how I would like my career to progress as you never know what opportunities may come up, particularly as my employer is part of Go-Ahead , a large and expanding plc. I would, however, like to become a director at some point in the future to put my continually evolving knowledge and experience to top line use.
What I enjoy most about my job is that every minute of every day is different and there is always the opportunity to get my hands dirty.
Time management has to be the biggest challenge of the job. Sometimes you’ll spend the best part of the day in meetings and then come back to the office and still have a day’s worth of emails and correspondence to go through, some of which may be urgent and have to be dealt with there and then. However, I do have a great amount of flexibility in my job, so I can work at home in the evenings or if I’m out and about travelling by train. A Blackberry, iPhone and laptop are therefore a must.
My advice to other students is that to succeed you need a passion for what you do. Remember that the business doesn’t just stop at 5pm - far from it. You have to be ready and willing to give anything and everything a go. Don’t be scared to throw yourself in at the deep end and get stuck into the roles of the people that you are responsible for - and more.
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