Under the Spotlight with Harry Cross

Harry Cross is a Transport Planner based in our Oxford office. Harry originally joined the graduate training programme in the Southampton office in 2014. Two years later Harry moved back home to Oxford to assist with the opening of our Oxford office. Today we are talking to Harry to learn a little bit more about him and his role at Paul Basham Associates.

How long have you been working at Paul Basham Associates?

I've been working at Paul Basham Associates for 4 years now. I joined the Transport Planning team in June 2014 and have loved every minute since then!

Did you always want to have a career in Transport Planning?

If I’m honest, I didn’t really know what Transport Planning was until I left university! I studied Geography and have always had an interest in how we as humans interact with both the natural and built environment, but I wasn’t quite sure how to translate that to a possible career. When I saw the graduate role advertised at Paul Basham Associates I thought that it sounded like a rewarding profession that matched my interests, and that has certainly still proved to be the case 4 years later.

Following my own personal experience, and to help guide and inform other graduates with their career choices, I have been working with the University of Portsmouth’s Professional Advisory Committee. The committee meets on an annual basis to discuss the best way of informing students of future career choices during their time at university. As a member of this committee I provide a presentation on Transport Planning every year at the University, which allows students to ask questions and find out more about what Transport Planning entails. Having been a student at Portsmouth myself, I am proud to be involved with this and hope that it gives students more of an insight into how fulfilling a role in the planning industry can be.

What do you like most about working at Paul Basham Associates?

I feel that, even from the outset, I was given the opportunity to be fully immersed with projects. This allowed me to take on a lot of responsibility and ownership of projects, which is not only rewarding but has helped me to develop my project management skills. Being involved at all stages of a scheme really gives you a better understanding of the site and what is required. That trust was also placed in us when I helped to open the Oxford office in 2016, which was a real vote of confidence!

Tell us a bit about your day to day role...

As a Transport Planner, I am involved in a wide variety of tasks and so my day to day can be quite varied. I would normally start with checking my emails, and then I could be doing anything from report writing/checking, designing an access on CAD or going on a site visit right through to training new graduates, attending a project team meeting or writing a fee proposal. Project management forms a critical part of my role, so delegating work and checking in on our internal teams is a large part of my day to day. Sometimes on an average day can see me doing most, if not all of the above.

What do you see for the future at Paul Basham Associates?

As a company, we have grown and expanded quite a bit in the last few months with a number of new recruits coming in. The coming months and years are also set to be exciting and filled with growth as our new Oxford office location is coming forward imminently, as well as another regional office opening in the not too distant future. In other words, watch this space! 

What do you like doing in your spare time?

I’ve got a bit of a reputation at work for going on quite a few holidays, which I think is probably fair as I try to go whenever I have the time and money! I like going on ski holidays and city breaks and have been trying to go on more adventure and diving holidays recently too. I try to visit anywhere that is new and seems exciting, and recent trips have included Italy, Bali and Amsterdam. When I am not abroad I like to play football, golf and meet up with friends for drinks, which has been great with the recent heatwave.