Travelling through London and riding the bus on a regular basis made me think about how daily life for so many people is shaped by public transport. I realised I had a real interest in transport and wanted to understand how the systems worked and who the teams were that made it happen. Go-Ahead’s graduate scheme outlined a programme of progression in bus company management that I could explore as a young person embarking on my career.
My core department is operations and I have been surprised by how quickly you can learn and progress within it. It is important to get involved right from the beginning as the opportunity is there to make the programme what you want it to be and shape the particular career path you would like to follow. By the second year, I will be in a position dealing with people management, route management and being accountable for those functions.
My first year of training has involved working in every area of the business and understanding each departments’ contribution to the bus service we offer. Alongside this, I have had the chance to assist in the introduction of a Demand Responsive Transport Service. This has been a unique opportunity whereby I have learned various skills in Project Management, as well as understanding what it takes to launch a new service. Go-Ahead has put so much time into the training programme, ensuring that each graduate can benefit from a flexible framework.
The role of a graduate is a challenging one. It is important to acknowledge the vast history within the transport industry, and just how passionate people are about what they do. Some of my colleagues have been in their jobs for decades and it has enhanced my respect for their achievements. Whilst respecting these, it is also important that we build on them, through developing our service to meet the changing demands of the customer. The graduate programme has provided me with an opportunity to tackle this exciting challenge whilst meeting a really diverse group of people involved in the bus industry.
I would definitely recommend this as a career for women. Go-Ahead is an organisation which values inclusion and diversity in the workplace, through offering a culture where women can achieve and join what has previously been a primarily male dominated industry. I have been a part of the Diversity Focus Group since I joined the company, looking at what diversity means to everyone, the concerns people have, and how to achieve diversity in all forms. I was pleasantly surprised to find how many females there were in the industry.