My summer placement at Volterra

Having completed my year abroad studying I wanted to gain some experience in London based on my interests. I decided to accept the offer to join Volterra for July and August this year. Volterra’s specialisation within transport infrastructure, including micro-mobility and high-speed rail, strongly resonate with the skills I developed during my work with the carbon literacy project. I saw this internship as an opportunity to further develop these skills and gain valuable understandings. The alignment of Volterra’s work with my academic interests and desire to enhance expertise within socio-economic analysis made them the ideal choice for my internship.

Volterra offered several workshops during my placement, which was a great way to learn new skills from economic consultants. I attended workshops on software such as R and QGIS, which are used for data analysis and visualization. I also attended a workshop on report writing, which gave me valuable insights into how to communicate complex economic concepts concisely to inform decision making.    

I had the opportunity to utilise my newly gained skills working on a variety of projects. This included a research piece investigating a bottom-up approach to estimate the tax generated at a proposed development and assisting on a health impact assessment and economic statement for a residential scheme in Portsmouth. This involved collecting baseline data which gave me valuable insights into the different resources used such as fingertips indicators and Nomis. I was also given the opportunity to draft a literature review. This involved research into academic and grey literature within UK micro mobility, as well as reviewing data from the ONS, Department for Transport and Transport for London.               

Key insights I learnt from my time at Volterra was the need for transparency within economic consulting. Understanding that there is responsibility as economists to go beyond raw numbers and understand their limitations, especially those that obscure or attempt to offer a spurious objectivity.

I am grateful for the opportunity at Volterra. It was a challenging and rewarding experience that has helped me to learn more about economic consultancy and has also developed my skills as a researcher and a report writer. I am excited to continue my studies in economics and pursue a future career within economic consulting. 

The team at Volterra are knowledgeable, supportive, encouraging and made the experience engaging. I would highly recommend a year in placement/internship at Volterra. I will definitely be staying in touch with the team.

Neil Thakrar – summer placement student

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