This article is sponsored by Go-Ahead as part of the ‘10 Minutes With…’ series.
How did you get started in the control room?
I had been working in administration and training with Go-Ahead for 18 months already. When I saw the role in the control room had come up, I was reluctant to apply as I had very little experience with interviewing. I was a barber for 20 years before I joined Go-Ahead and had only ever done two interviews in my life!
Even though I knew my stuff, I felt like I struggled in my interview. Luckily, Go-Ahead knew me, they recognised my determination and, in my view decided to take a chance on me. I did a two-week trial in the control room, and I took to it like a duck to water. Within 10 days I was handed a contract.
Why did you choose to work for Go-Ahead Ireland?
When I read about the company’s values and missions, I immediately knew that this was a company that I wanted to work for. Go-Ahead was a new and exciting company in Ireland with great potential.
What are you working on at present?
In my day-to-day, I work with my colleagues to deliver a punctual and reliable bus service to the communities we serve. The drivers are the heartbeat of the operation, and we are the brain that monitors 130 buses every day. We are always reviewing where the travel and traffic patterns are so we can adjust and react accordingly, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic.
What is the best part of your job?
The team in the control room are so talented and fantastic to work with. We have each other’s back and this is essential when working in an environment where we need to make quick decisions.
No two days are the same in the control room. Each day brings a new challenge and I love engaging with our drivers and the other departments in Go-Ahead. Sometimes the issues we deal with can be difficult ones like anti-social behaviour or a major road closure, good or bad we work together to keep the service running.
What is a defining career moment or high point? /Is there a career moment you are proud of?
In a previous role I worked on a contract to transport the Special Olympics teams in Dublin in 2018. We were only given two weeks’ notice to organise the transportation of the competitors to and from the sporting venues and we were under a lot of pressure to make sure everything ran smoothly.
Thanks to our hard work we pulled our role off with great success. I learned a lot from the athletes and their insight on life was amazing. I’ll never forget the night of the opening ceremony.
That experience has really stuck with me, and I apply that experience to my everyday work in the control room.
Where do you see Go-Ahead Ireland five years from now?
I can see Go-Ahead Ireland getting bigger and bigger. We are currently growing our team and playing a part in the BusConnects network redesign. The business is already making excellent progress and it will continue to do so in the coming years.
What is the best piece of professional advise you have received?
“Don’t sweat the small stuff”. It is important to focus on what really matters and get your priorities straight, whether that be in work or in life.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice at the start of your career, what would it be?
“Don’t sell yourself short, believe in who you are and what you are capable of. The world is your oyster and you can’t let anything or anyone hold you back. I am proof of that, I put myself out there and got my role because I knew I could do it.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about interviewing for this position?
Go for it, what is the worst that could happen? Interviewing for a position can be a real challenge and this is something that I have also found intimidating in the past. Focus on your experience, self-confidence is key.
What would you say are the skills and capabilities necessary to be good at what you do?
Patience is essential, as well as forward thinking and being able to trust your instincts and think on your feet. We have all the procedures in place to react to anything that happens, but there will always be disruptions, or even an emergency, so being able to act and think quickly is paramount to this role.
Personally, I think the most important thing is having good manners. Please and thank you goes a long way, I always say “ask, don’t tell”.
What is the best career lesson you have learned so far?
I have learned that I am capable of more than I thought I ever was. Everyone makes mistakes but if you learn and grow from those mistakes, you are better for it in the end.
If you were applying for the control room today, how would you prepare?
I don’t think I would change anything. Even though I felt like I struggled with the interview, I was given the opportunity to prove myself and demonstrate that I had the capabilities to succeed in the role. I am a doer, not a talker, and I am grateful that Go-Ahead recognised the potential that I already knew I had.
Which industry professional should people be following on Twitter/LinkedIn?
For me it would be Go-Ahead Ireland, Transport for Ireland and Dublin Bus.
Since 2018, Go-Ahead Ireland has been delivering millions of journeys for the communities of Ireland on behalf of the National Transport Authority (NTA). With further growth coming in 2022 and 2023, we are looking for more enthusiastic and dynamic people to join our company and progress with us.
Find your new role with Go-Ahead Ireland – goaheadireland.ie/careers, or if you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org