Theme: Designing the Future of Transport
Challenge: How can we make active travel work in the West Midlands?
External Partner: Transport for West Midlands
How did your group tackle your challenge?
My group has a very focused approach to the challenge. We stated the milestones we needed to achieve very early on, and kept those goals in sight throughout the challenge. At the start of our day, we all planed what needed to get done and we did not leave until it was completed. We all had our strengths and we played to them.
What was the most memorable moment of taking part?
There are a few that come to mind. We had some interesting debates, both on topic and off topic in our spare time but I think the most memorable moment had to be after the awards presentation. We did not win our challenge but whilst we were celebrating our experience together, we were approached by a colleague from Transport for West Midlands (TfWM). She congratulated us on our hard work and told us that if we ever wanted placements that she would be happy to get us involved with the organisation. We were all tired and washed out from the intensive two weeks and her praise made it all seem worth it. Our hard work had actually achieved something.
What has been your focus over the summer, since completing the project?
Following the offer of a placement from TfWM, I was able to work with them on a student-specific project, along with one other person from my Birmingham Project team. We were tasked in surveying the public's views on the refurbishment of the University train station.
We learnt critical skills about data processing, presentation and questionnaire building in a corporate setting. During the two week placement we surveyed around 500 people, analysed qualitative data and were able to give a presentation to a few of the stakeholders involved in the University train station project. So although we did not continue with the work we started during the Birmingham Project, we were able to start on a new project that could continue into summers to come.
Do you have any advice for students who are thinking about enrolling on The Birmingham Project?
DO IT! Enrol! It is so worth all the blood, sweat and tears! I made good friends across so many subjects. I learnt how to project manage, how to work as an equal part in a team, and how to design and brand a product I had no idea how to begin building. It is a project that will stretch your mind, improve so many skills and may even land you an internship.
My only advice would be to put everything you have into it. You can NEVER be over prepared for anything. Do not get disheartened by seeing other groups projects, yours may still win even if you think someone else’s project is better.