A graduate from Manchester is now getting to grips with the running of a bus depot as she takes on the role of Assistant Operations Manager with local bus operator, Stagecoach North East.
Melanie Keylock, now living in Darlington, has been welcomed on board at the Stockton depot and joins the team as part of the company’s Graduate Training Programme, where she has just started her second year in training.
As Assistant Operations Manager, Melanie will oversee the daily running of the depot as she progresses with her training and development, whilst receiving support from a dedicated mentor. Duties include assessing the operations on a daily basis, dealing with incidents and queries, recruitment and staff management, as well as liaison with engineering.
The Programme aims to recognise, nurture and encourage the best in the transport industry. The graduate benefits from hands-on experience combined with comprehensive classroom theory tuition.
Melanie spent the first year of her training based in Stagecoach West in Gloucester, where she worked within different departments at various depots, experiencing marketing, commercial, engineering and operations roles. This included learning to drive a bus and obtaining her PCV licence, as well as getting under the bus chassis and getting greasy!
After studying law with a view to becoming a lawyer and spending some time in the industry, Melanie decided that it wasn’t really the career for her. She said: “I really liked the look of the Stagecoach graduate scheme and have enjoyed my first year, which included driving buses to and from the Cheltenham Races and the Royal International Air Tattoo. Of all the areas covered by the two-year course, I find the commercial side the most interesting, which is surprising as I am not really a numbers person. However, seeing a new bus route develop from inception, design and construction to a fully serviced route, is really satisfying.”
As part of her new job Melanie has been heading up a campaign to recruit new drivers across the region, dealing with commendations for members of staff following positive customer feedback and meeting with local authorities to review the public transport networks in the area.
She continued: “Although I am quite new to the role and it has been extremely busy, I am enjoying the challenges of assisting with the running of the depot, as there is no typical day. I am looking forward to seeing some of the new recruits who I interviewed personally, join the team. With the introduction of our new app for smartphones and mobile ticketing, I am now working to put a training plan in place for the new drivers to assist with the new technology.”
Melanie recently enjoyed getting back on board the bus when she took part in a shift as a driver during National Customer Service Week but is very happy to be taking up the managerial role.
She added: “I am quite ambitious and I certainly hope to be able to progress within the organisation and to become an Operations Manager in the near future with a view to progressing up the career ladder.”
Colin Newbury, Operations Director at Stagecoach North East, said: “Although Melanie has only recently joined us, she has already become an invaluable member of the team and has taken to the role of assisting with the operations management very well.
“Our Graduate Training Programme helps to develop the next generation of managers and directors for Stagecoach and we embrace the fresh thinking, creative ideas and energy that they bring. Melanie will be an asset to the Stockton depot and will help maintain the crucial public transport network across the Tees Valley. We wish her all the best in the next stage of her career.”
Prior to undertaking the Graduate Training Programme, Melanie worked as a PA at an international law firm in Manchester. She graduated with a degree in Law from Manchester Metropolitan University and spent 12 years working within the legal sector before joining Stagecoach.