The Things I Know

Steve Amann, Transportation and highways team leader, Bidwells.

- What skills did you have when you graduated?

I graduated from the Essex Institute of Higher Education with a BSc in environmental planning and went on to take an MSc in transport at Imperial College London.

- What attracted you to planning?

The excellent advice of my geography teacher that there would always be a job for a qualified town planner.

- What did you learn in your first job?

Never to underestimate the strength of local opinion over logical argument.

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

Two of the key skills in this business are understanding your clients' needs and managing their expectations.

- Who or what have been the biggest influences on your career?

My experience at a small London consultancy with David Bird and Mike Axon among others completely changed my perception of transport planning and put me firmly on the road to where I am now.

- What is your career highlight?

I would have to say this exciting opportunity I have been given at Bidwells. It is a rare chance to provide a service as an integral part of the development team.

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

Everybody has an opinion about transport and how best its problems can be solved, so taking the time to listen to people is vitally important and very often helps in seeing the wood from the trees.

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

Aside from learning to play golf - it seems most of my professional contacts are experts - I would like to develop my presentation skills and improve my understanding of the various disciplines with which I work.

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

An understanding of ongoing developments in related professions is key to providing the best possible advice. It ensures that any guidance given is appropriate and improves client confidence.

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