The things I know

Jamie Birtles, Transport planning consultant, Faber Maunsell, Manchester

- Where did you study planning?

The University of Manchester.

- What skills did you have when you graduated?

A basic understanding of the planning system and an insight into planners' role in shaping our shared environment.

- What attracted you to planning?

A desire to understand people and places better. Enabling and easing daily activities is a key role for transport planning.

- What did you learn in your first job?

I recognised that I needed to engage in continuous learning.

- What skills have you had to learn over your career?

Developing my listening skills. The ability to communicate your thoughts is important but you should always ensure that you are taking from discussions and not just giving.

- What or who have been the biggest influences on your career?

My immediate team members have helped shape my career so far and ensure that I always produce the best possible product for the client. Faber Maunsell's structured training programme has helped match my career aspirations.

- What is your career highlight?

The Planning Summer School's travelling scholarship last year allowed me to study transport planning in Singapore and to interact with staff from across the company.

- What have you learnt outside work that has influenced you?

Tenacity, drive and determination have an amazing influence on your ability to succeed. Go hard or go home is one training phrase I try to remember in my daily work.

- What further skills do you aim to obtain or develop?

The ability to lead, influence and inspire people to excel beyond their own expectations.

- How important is it to keep abreast of developments in allied professions?

In transport planning, delivering the best product for the client is always key, so understanding other professions is essential.

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