Busman's Holiday For Gareth - Even At Graduation

2 February 2011

Gareth Wells

Derby's Mechanical Engineering graduate and part time bus driver Gareth Wells drove himself and his fellow students to their graduation ceremony.

A Derby student who put himself through University by working as a bus driver is looking to make his mark in the world of automotive engineering.

Gareth Wells, 23, even got behind the wheel on the day he graduated with a 2:1 for his Bachelor of Engineering BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree; driving the bus that took him and his fellow students from the University's Kedleston Road site to the Awards Ceremony at Derby Assembly Rooms.

Now Gareth is hoping his unusual practical experience of vehicle engines and academic know-how will land him a prime engineering role.

Originally from Windlesham in Surrey, but now living in Mackenzie Street in Derby, Gareth said: "When I was 18 years old a friend who ran a family coach company encouraged me to qualify as a bus driver, saying I'd 'never be out of work'. I qualified and started doing some school runs and summer tour trips after I'd finished my A-levels.

"When I came to study at Derby I signed up with Notts + Derby Buses to do occasional shifts. The company has been great, allowing me to fit in driving shifts around my studies on a week-by-week basis."

Working out of the bus company's Derby city centre depot, Gareth has driven all over Derbyshire and beyond, and even driven vehicles on the University of Derby's own Unibus network of services.

"All the other students on my course knew that I worked part-time as a bus driver so they weren't surprised to see me sometimes taking their fares when they got onboard one of the Unibuses," added Gareth.

Having completed a two year Foundation Degree in Motorsport at Derby, Gareth did a 'top up' third year to graduate with his BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree.

Gareth, who is still working for Notts + Derby, said: "I would like to go on to work in the motorsports or engineering sector."

Stuart Frost, Manager at Notts + Derby Buses, said: "We were only too pleased to employ Gareth when he came to Derby to study at the University as, subject to lecture times, he would be available at a time when our services were operating at full capacity.

"Gareth is a pleasant, hard working young man and has always been willing to work on any route at most times of the day. He has been a credit to Notts + Derby and to the University. We will be sorry to eventually lose him but wish him well in his career."

The company's experience with Gareth had meant they would welcome bus driver applications from other University students in future, he added.

For further information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email s.kirby@derby.ac.uk.

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