After lots of academic material, coursework and exams, it’s easy to lose focus of what your academic work is building you towards. So this term, I’ve been taking an internship at WSP, a global consultancy firm with an office not far from King’s in London. I would encourage anyone take on internship opportunities where possible, because it’s been an amazing experience!
My internship was based at WSP’s Future Mobility team, whose work analyses the transport needs of projects from a range of public and private sector clients. They especially look at how these needs are changing, predominantly due to the decarbonisation of transport, with words such as electric cars and eScooters popping up often.
It was great to gain an understanding of a day in the life of a future mobility consultant, and how their work takes them from the bidding stage right through to project delivery. Every week at their team meeting I heard about the variety of projects they were undertaking which really showed the breadth of areas this field applies to.
My work at WSP revolved around Mobility Hubs, which are a new concept for transport interchanges, incorporating public transport options, electric vehicle charging, public services such as post boxes and green space, and more. They’ve been popular in Europe and are being used more in the UK, so I was looking at how we can visualise their benefits. Using skills I picked up through my academic studies, I created an interactive visualisation of how people move around a city, including their transport mode and purpose. By tweaking some parameters, we could see how Mobility Hubs encourage people to take greener forms of transport. It was work which was immediately useful to the team’s projects which really gave a sense of purpose.
Meeting the team and making connections with them was an invaluable part of the internship. I got to hear about what they studied at university, and imagine myself in their shoes. It helped me picture my future career and work towards it.
As diversity is a personal interest of mine, another important part of my time at WSP was meeting the Diversity and Inclusion representatives on the team, and take part in their meetings. It was great to see this in a workplace environment, and really encouraging to find that it’s become such an important priority over the past few years.
No matter what you’re studying, I would highly recommend adding some industry experience to your degree: it’s an inspiring glimpse at life after your studies!