Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)



Natalie Barnes

Country: UK

Name: Natalie Barnes

Company: Straight plc

Position: Research and Contracts Manager

ITS Course: MSc Sustainability in Transport 2009-2010

I work for Straight plc; a Leeds based company, whose business predominantly involves selling waste and recycling containers to UK Authorities. I was originally given the position of Research Executive to help out with some specific projects going on within the company. This initial role was for 6 months and I basically started the day after I handed in my dissertation in to ITS! I have just had my contract made permanent and been given increased responsibility via the role of Research and Contracts Manager. I continue to do any research that needs completing (involves a lot of playing with data in excel and making pretty graphs with sales numbers!) but I also now am in charge of Tenders for the company - to be honest, writing a tender often feels like writing a mini dissertation each time!

I think having a masters from ITS helped me a get an interview in the first place!

My job involves both data collection/data analysis and qualitative writing, both of which are skills I developed during my time at ITS.

I did my undergraduate course (BA Environmental Management) at Leeds and wasn't ready to leave the place! My Masters course was a joint effort between ITS and the School of Earth and Environment. I managed to get funding for my Masters, which I guess helped with the decision of staying to further my education.

My personal advice to students interested in this course would be that combining the sustainability element of a transport masters is surely the only way forward... it was a great course and I would definitely recommend it.