Name: Elena Giorgiu
Degree and university: BSc Government & Economics, London School of Economics. MSc International Politics, SOAS.
Job title: Graduate Transport Planner.
What do you actually do?
I’m on a scheme that consists of four, six-month placements in different business areas. I am currently based in Policy and Strategy where we formulate policies and proposals for the future of transport in London. My day-to-day job involves tasks such as conducting research, assessing available options, and preparing briefing papers.
Were you always interested in Transport as a career?
No, in fact I had not considered the possibility of becoming a transport planner until I saw the ad for the graduate scheme. I hadn’t realised it was something someone of my academic background could do.
What do you like most about what you do and are there any downsides?
It has to be the fact that I feel I can really make a difference to the everyday lives of millions of people. Everyone is an amateur transport planner in their own way; everyone has an opinion as to how to improve transport in London. To be able to understand the issues thoroughly and devise policies to make things better is the most satisfying aspect of my job. The only downside is all my friends assume I can reroute buses to stop in front of their homes!
What skills do you need to succeed at what you do?
Collaboration is probably the most important skill in being a successful transport planner, as you must be able to communicate effectively with people who are specialists in different parts of the business who inform your understanding of transport issues helping
formulate successful policies.
What advice would you give graduates coming into the area?
Do not assume that your academic background might prevent you from pursuing a role in transport – it is such a vast sector there is the right role for everyone. The most important qualification is a genuine interest in the subject!