What's your job about?
Our employer handles the daily operations of the bus network in contracted areas around Perth.
To help me train up to become a network planner, I am currently helping with coordinating one of the busiest roads in Perth (Canning Highway). One of the main task I have helped with is retiming the timetables so they are better coordinated with other services and the public trains. I have really enjoyed this Canning Highway Project as it was a great introduction to the daily tasks of a network Planner. It allowed me to challenge myself and think critically. Even though in the grand scheme of things my contribution was small, I felt as if I really helped the community by trying to provide them with a better bus service.
I think the people don’t really understand all the work that it takes to try and get the buses to run on time. We have to analyse months of data, ensure that the times we chose minimise bus usage, etc. After riding the buses to uni everyday it has been great seeing the behind the scenes.
What's your background?
I grew up in small town Albany but always looked forward to moving to the city.
All through high school I thought I would be doing something in film and tv. In fact, the first degree I started studying was Screen Arts. After about a year and half of studying screen arts I found that it wasn’t everything I wanted. I needed more logical thinking and problem solving. I decided to try pursue my other passion – numbers. I switched into a math degree immediately. Everybody called me crazy! It was great for a while but of course, after about a semester, my creative side was needing more. And then I found applied maths. It was being creative with numbers and formulas. Looking at known procedures and changing them to apply to real life situations. It was the perfect balance for me.
How did you get to your current job position and for how long have you being doing it already?
I got my job by browsing online for graduate positions in supply chain management and network planning. This position immediately caught my attention as I have always wanted to work in public transport. I have been in this position for ~7 months now.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
One of the main skills I feel like I bought from my math degree was problem solving. I think anyone who enjoys problem solving and is willing to learn would be great at my job. You learn a lot of the specific skills you need as you go, so as long as you are enthusiastic and willing to try new things you can do my job too!
What's the coolest thing about your job?
I have always enjoyed solving complex problems and I have always wanted to help people. Working at Transdev has allowed me to do both. It is great knowing the time I put into trying to optimise a bus timetable will help people go about their daily lives.
What are the limitations of your job?
Working in public transport means that a lot of factors have to be considered. A lot of decisions have to be made by someone other than you. This means that you have to be flexible. Sometimes a minor change means you have to redo all your work. Or you have to wait for someone else’s decisions before finalising anything even though you are on a time crunch. Flexibility and being able to handle pressure is key.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...