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Hilton Parr

Hilton Parr
Customer Services Manager
Operations Graduate Programme
"If you are the type of person who is self-motivated, and passionate about improving the Translink Business Model, and would like the opportunity to excel, then this is the career path for you."
Where did your Translink journey take you?
I started as a Graduate Manager in January 1995 before becoming Stations Manager in 1998. In 2003 I obtained the post of Conductors Standards Manager before promotion in 2004 to my current post of Customer Services Manager in NIR.
What qualifications do you have?
I obtained a BSc (Hons) Business and Transportation Studies and a Diploma in Industrial Studies. Since joining Translink I have also obtained TDLB (NVQ) Training; Assessor; Internal Verifier; National Certificate of Professional Competence (NCPC); International Certificate of Professional Competence (ICPC).
What did you think about the recruitment process and assessment centres for the Training Programme?
I recall it was a thorough process, but one which affords good candidates the opportunity to shine and demonstrate their experience, (both academic and vocational), enthusiasm and motivation.
Translink has excellent opportunities for those seeking a career in operations, engineering, clerical or management.
Translink offers a Graduate Training Programme for our Operations and Engineering Graduate Training Programmes
What did the Programme involve?
The Programme enabled me to gain valuable management experience in a number of transport related managerial roles, both temporary and permanent. I covered relief District Manager duties, was deployed in the schedules office in Pennyburn, Londonderry for 3 months, worked in Portrush during the busy summer period, and conducted customer service and operational depot audits on behalf of the Inspector General and more recently the Operations Director. All of these experiences afforded me the unique opportunity to gain exposure and experience with firstly Ulsterbus and then NI Railways.
What support/mentoring were you offered whilst undertaking the Programme?
I commenced on the same day as William McGookin – Ticketing Manager, and throughout our induction programme and early years within Ulsterbus/Translink we worked together and provided each other with an element of support. In addition the then District Manager in Lisburn mentored us as he had followed a similar career path. However I would say that in my early days both Supervisors and Managers I worked with did help to mentor me, and steer me in the right direction, for which I am extremely grateful.
What opportunities opened up to you as a result of you undertaking the Programme?
With the wide variety of experience/exposure given to Graduates the opportunities were excellent. The Graduate Programme was diverse, with exposure to bus driving practices, CPC and International CPC accreditation, scheduling opportunities, audit, finance, hands on man management experience, marketing opportunities, customer service skills, including passenger interaction, and liaising with educational institutions/government officials/police and event organisers.
Welcome Aboard Video
Do you have any specific achievements as a result from undertaking the Programme?
Personally my most significant achievement in undertaking the programme was to obtain a permanent job within a progressive organisation that was striving to become more customer orientated. The vision of the organisation matched what I wanted to achieve – that is provide a 'Customer First' culture.
What are your future career aspirations?
Go for it! Throw yourself into the process and hopefully you'll be as lucky as I was in getting a great job with an excellent company with helpful professional colleagues with whom I enjoy working every day.
What advice do you have for those considering applying the Graduate Training Programme?
If you are the type of person who is self-motivated, and passionate about improving the Translink business model, and would like the opportunity to excel, then this is the career path for you. If you are considering such a career move, speak to a Translink manager and find out exactly what the job entails. Do your research into the Company and find out what makes us unique and among the best public transport providers.
Know what our customers expect and want, and if you enjoy working with people, both internally and externally, and are enthusiastic about top class service provision, then you could be the one to make that step into management.
Career Development
Translink offer excellent career development opportunities which you can apply for on a temporary or permanent basis. Training and development is also available, including developing personal development plans.