BAUP 2015, MINOR IN BUSINESS
What is your current job and how did your planning degree prepare you for it?
I am currently an Administrative Analyst / Project Manager for the Village of Homer Glen, a Chicago southwest suburb of about 24,000 residents. Much of my work involves assisting the Village Manager's Office and other departments in planning, organizing, directing, and evaluating village programs and services. Furthermore, I serve as a staff liaison to the Parks & Recreation Committee. I am in the midst of obtaining my Master's Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Local Government Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Why did you choose to study urban planning?
My planning degree helped prepare me for my current job through the variety of curriculum offered by the department, including courses in data analysis, policy, GIS, state and local finance, and more. Furthermore, the resources available to DURP students, such as the Planners’ Writing Exchange and state-of-the art computer labs and software prepared me for my career.
I chose to study planning because it provided me with a foundation for a career in the public sector. I have always been fascinated by urban planning and the general complexity of local government. My undergraduate degree gave me a varied background in public sector disciplines and ultimately led me to pursue a career in public administration.
What advice would you share with someone who is considering a career in urban planning?
I would encourage those considering a career in urban planning to keep an open mind about all of the specializations within the field. The department offers a variety of courses; from urban design to economic development, planning is a widespread field so don't limit yourself, as you never know where you will end up. Talk to professors, advisors, current students, and alumni to learn about the courses and don't be afraid to step outside of your current academic and professional interests.