By Rosa G. Guillen-Sanchez, OCTA Transportation Analyst
USC Master of Public Administration (MPA) graduate, Wai Shong Chan, is completing the Grads on Career Track Program with the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) where she enjoys her work in External Affairs and sees herself continuing to work for a public transportation agency long-term.
Inspired by seeing how infrastructure projects dramatically improved mobility in her community, Chan wanted to be a part of this positive change. “I want my career to be about giving back to the community,” she said.
In addition to her MPA, Chan holds an undergraduate business degree from Cal State Fullerton. After completing her MPA, Chan interned for the City of Anaheim and gained experience related to traffic calming, parking permits, and bus shelter management. Simultaneously, she worked on Safe Routes to School and non-motorist counting programs at her second internship with the City of Santa Ana.
Chan has also worked for the University of Alaska, conducting policy research related to the deployment of telehealth facilities in the State of Alaska. Additionally, she collaborated with the USC Price Director of Online Programs on improving the design and learning experience of the school’s online master programs.
Since joining Metrolink in August of this year, Chan has worked on a variety of exciting projects. She is proud that the agency she works for “takes commuter rail safety to the next step, being the first to implement positive train control (PTC). Also, Metrolink is the first commuter rail organization to operate the new Tier 4 locomotives that are more eco-friendly and fuel-efficient.”
Photo Credit: Thomas Hasani
Chan also evaluates programs and processes to provide recommendations that help distill necessary information into actionable decisions for the agency’s stakeholders.
Her advice for current students is to “be prepared and understand current industry trends in transportation.” Chan also noted the value of volunteering and being involved in professional organizations such as METRANS and WTS. Last, Chan advises students to be persistent when it comes to reaching a goal.
METRANS congratulates Wai Shong Chan on her achievements and wishes her the best in her future endeavors!
About the Author: Rosa Guillen-Sanchez
Rosa Guillen-Sanchez is a Transportation Analyst in Rail Operations at Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). She is interested in transit, active transportation, and the relationship between land use and transportation. Her favorite mode of transport is bicycling, and she enjoys riding her bike to work a few days a week. You can reach her at email@example.com.