Manging workloads and a busy social life was key to being successful
More about Tim
Tim is currently working as a Transport Planner after graduating with Ma(Hons) in International Relations. Tim spoke to us about his time studying at NTU, his love for the course and why he decided to pursue other avenues leading him to where he is now.
Tell us why you chose to study at NTU ?
I originally did a bachelor’s degree (International Relations with History) and enjoyed the course so much I decided to further my study with a Masters degree. I really liked the campus at Clifton when I was a first year, and saw most of my studies being undertaken there, however the Masters course was mostly done in City.
What did you learn whilst at NTU, do you have any favourite memories?
I learned a lot about “who I was” when I was at university, as cliché as that sounds! It was good having a blank canvas in terms of not knowing anyone and being in the deep end when making friends and socialising. I discovered new hobbies and past times during my 4 years of university, and met some amazing people, many of who I’m still friends with today!
My lecturers taught me to be more confident in expressing my opinion, and being open to take criticism – be it positive or negative. Manging workloads and a busy social life was key to being successful, although I did let that slip a bit in third year!
I was a founding member of the Nottingham Trent Archery Club in my first year and it makes me smile to look back when the club was just starting out and compare it to what it is today! I’m glad to see it’s gone from strength to strength, competing in National and International Events.
What did you do that enhanced your employment prospects, did you have a career goal in mind?
If I’m honest, I was more interested in the course itself and learning than thinking about the employment prospects. I knew there were many jobs suitable for such a degree, but none of them seemed to appeal to me. The only jobs that caught my interest were working alongside the UN, however the majority of them had two big hurdles I wasn’t able to overcome. The first was most of them required re-location to London or abroad and the second was they were initially un-paid. A shame, but sometimes you have to admit defeat and pursue other interests.
Can you take us through a typical working day at Nationwide Platforms as a Transport Planner?
Nationwide Platforms provide scissor lifts and boom lifts to construction sites, commercial and industrial customers. We have depots all across the UK covering every square inch of the country so it’s my job to ensure what the customer orders is what gets delivered – on time and in the right place. I’m currently dealing with around 80 machine deliveries a day across 2 depots. It can be quite a challenge at times, but it means every day is different and keeps things interesting!
What attracted you to this field of work?
I’ve been a planner for nearly 9 years, working for several companies from brown box retail to bulk agricultural feed. I liked the idea of problem solving in a logical manner, as planning boils down to: Get ‘X’ from ‘A’ to ‘B’.
The job also comes with a certain level of unpredictability. You can have a perfect plan in place for all deliveries, but come the day there could be a breakdown, a closure on the motorway or something worse. You have to be flexible in your approach and never let things out of your control get you down.
What have been some of your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
Challenges so far include; taking a complete career break into something completely different with no prior experience, getting made redundant when a company collapsed and having to work through COVID to ensure deliveries got made as normal.
I took a career break in 2021 after planning for over 7 years. I was in a strong financial position so decided to take the plunge. The scariest part was leaving a job with nothing immediately lined up, but I knew that if I didn’t do it now, I’d live to regret it further down the line!
Initially the career change went well and I found a position that offered everything I wanted for my career progression. It seemed a perfect fit and everything went well for 6 months right up until the company collapsed and I was let go. There was no prior warning so it came as a complete shock! But things worked out in the end and a few months later I had gotten a job as a Transport Planner for my current employer. I should probably say that whilst I was interviewing I took on casual work as a delivery driver as I knew how long it can take to secure a position in the current climate!
When Covid reared it’s ugly head I was managing 3 depots producing animal feed and providing deliveries to farms all across the country. Covid stopped a lot of things but the farms and the animals still needed feeding – especially as most of them were providing meat, eggs and diary to the nations supermarkets and chains such as McDonalds, Costa Coffee and Starbucks. We did see some changes in tonnage, but it quickly sorted itself out. This did mean that I wasn’t able to enjoy working from home as much as some people, but it was rewarding to know that my work was keeping the nation fed!
What are your plans for the future
Currently I’m busy preparing for my wedding in May next year after proposing last year. There’s not much going on outside of that currently!
If you had a time machine, what would you go back and tell yourself at Uni?
I’d go back to my third year and tell myself to focus more on studying instead of enjoying myself, as my dissertation really let me down in terms of my final mark. I’d also tell myself not to worry so much about the future, as everything worked itself out – even if it was a bit slower than I originally planned!
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with our alumni community?
It’s okay that your life doesn’t go as you originally planned, be that moving back in with your parents whilst your friends all get their own places, or not finding your dream job straight off the bat. It’s easy to constantly compare yourself to everyone else when social media makes it increasingly easy to portray “perfect lifestyles”, but you should focus on what makes you happy and content first.
Tim’s Linked in - https://www.linkedin.com/in/timwestyweston/
Still need help?
Audrey-Jacqueline TetteyMA International Development
Charles AbeInternational Development