Vanina Varnier, Graduate Transport Planner at WSP Australia
A day in the life of…

Graduate Transport Planner at WSP Australia

Vanina Varnier studied a Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Queensland University of Technology in 2016, and is now a Graduate Transport Planner at WSP Australia.

6.00 AM

My alarm goes off, which I set 10 minutes before I need to get up. Queue my 10-minute sleep in. Time to take my dog for a walk and get ready for the day.

7.00 AM

I’ve managed to get a seat on the train, I take this time to catch up on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), and read my book. At the moment, I’m re-living my childhood and re-reading the Harry Potter series. The Goblet of Fire is proving challenging to carry around.

7.45 AM

I sit down at my desk and go through emails. At this point it’s just the daily transport news I’m subscribed to. It’s always interesting to see what transport-related news are being reported on in other Australian cities!

8.00 AM

The other grads, Mo and Roland come in, and we go out for coffee. We have a coffee machine upstairs, but I’m a self-proclaimed coffee snob, so we go to the coffee shop over the road. They put chocolate flakes on their cappuccinos!

8.15 AM

The main project I’m working on is investigating the extension of a busway, and potential impacts it would have to the existing network, as well as staging options for a park ‘n’ ride. The project manager comes in to tell me he’d like me to attend the client meeting this morning. As I’m doing most of the analysis for the project, he says it’s better that I’m there to talk to the client face-to-face. Luckily, we learnt about client-centricity in the graduate workshop, so this isn’t as daunting as it seems.

9.00 AM

I start to prepare for the meeting by noting the progress so far and approach for the next stage of the project. This includes analysing a range of data sources such as patronage data from a ticketing system and Bluetooth data to determine bus reliability. The next stage of the project is to determine how to service new residential areas. I compile a list of approaches that the project team has come up with to bring to the meeting.

11.30 AM

The project manager and I come back to our office and go over actions from the meeting. The client was happy with our progress so far, and we collaborated on the best approach for staging new bus networks for the residential area. Actions for me are to form a task list as well as update the structure of the report.

12.00 PM

It’s lunch time so anyone who’s keen heads upstairs to have lunch. It’s a good time to chill out and catch up socially with my colleagues.

1.00 PM

I get started on my task list and work through the actions. One of these is mapping out bus routes to determine the impacts of extending the busway. Having an open work environment also allows me to just walk over to the project manager’s desk if I have any questions or want to clarify anything.

5.30 PM

After a productive day, I head over to the catch the train home.

6.30 PM

Time to get dinner ready, I usually do some meal prep. on the weekends, so I just have to reheat it tonight. Today’s menu – burrito bowls! After dinner, I chill out, play with my dog, do some online shopping, watch some TV, or catch up on housework.

8.00 PM

Today wasn’t too exhausting, so I have enough energy to go to the gym. It’s a good time to have to myself and unwind and not think about work.

9.00 PM

Back from the gym, time to get ready for bed.

10.30 PM

Finally, in bed, and resting up for another big day!

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