Now in his sixth year working in the rail industry, Simon Hulse talks us through his journey in the industry and the benefits CILT membership has given him.
I graduated in 2008 at Sheffield Hallam University with a BA Hons in Geography with Transport. I was lucky enough to gain some experience in the light rail industry through working for Transport for Greater Manchester in 2007 and this influenced the sort of jobs I wanted to go for after graduating from university.
In hindsight, I should have joined CILT earlier in my career; I really do believe that this may have helped me gain employment after I graduated in 2008. In the rail industry it is evident that it is about who you know and not entirely down to what you know (but that does help). Gaining contacts and making connections earlier in my journey may have helped me gain employment quicker than I did.
I have always had a passion for the railways, the transportation of people or goods and making a difference to people’s lives this was one of the reasons why I wanted to work in the rail industry.
In my first role at Serco Docklands I was given the freedom to gain new skills and meet new people. I became an event planner for the railway and was involved in planning events on the railway from the London Marathon to the 2012 Olympic Games.
Moving onto Network Rail I became an Operational Planner, using specialist train planning software as well as carrying out Delay Attribution. I grasped a good knowledge of the rail freight market and began to understand the extensive geography of the national UK Rail network.
Currently I work as a Rail Operations Consultant for an engineering consultancy in Central London.
It is all very well having CILT membership on your CV, however, attending the events they put on is incredibly important in gaining further knowledge and meeting industry leaders involved in the day to day operations of our industry.
I have attended several CILT events including a very informative talk on the logistical issues surrounding Transport for London prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games. I also attended a CV workshop where I got to meet people in the transport industry and looked at what skills I had and where I could go with my career.
Networking events, of which CILT host many up and down the country, have played an important role in my career development. I would recommend anyone looking at starting a career in the industry to attend such events and gain an understanding of the sector you aspire to work in. Take on board the advice you are given and appreciate the contacts you make.
Whilst I am still relatively new to the industry I have met many fascinating people and worked on some extremely interesting projects. One of the greatest satisfactions I get from working in the railway industry is seeing a project through from start to finish, especially something you have had a personal input on and helping to make a difference in a challenging industry.
Whilst the rail industry can be a frustrating industry to work in it is extremely challenging and is constantly changing and evolving. Working in our industry you are making a difference and improving the national transport and supply chain network in the United Kingdom.