Gabrielle Mattingly

BAUP 2016, Minor in Architecture

Naperville, IL

What is your current job and how did your planning degree prepare you for it?

I currently work as an Assistant Community Planner in the Transportation, Engineering & Development Department for the City of Naperville, Illinois. I have held this position since graduation from UIUC in 2016 and have had the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of planning projects. My department focuses on all the new developments that come into the City. We review the developments using our zoning code and our City wide Building Design Guidelines. I regularly make presentations to the Planning and Zoning Commission and I am the staff liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission. This has allowed me to gain valuable experience with writing up staff reports, compiling agendas, organizing meetings, and running a commission.

Through the BAUP program, I was able to gain skills that I use as an Assistant Planner on an everyday basis. The department offers so many great and relevant courses such as: sustainability, government and law, urban design, and land development. The courses taught me how to make a presentation, write a report, and work with a team. In addition to my post graduate job, my planning education helped me acquire two great internships during my undergrad. I first interned with the Agency of Healthcare Administration in Tallahassee, Florida and then interned with the Champaign County Department of Planning and Zoning. Through these internships, I was able to gain knowledge of planning in the real world.

Why did you choose to study urban planning?

When I started college, I was actually an Architecture major. I thought architecture focused too much on individual buildings and wanted to look at a bigger perspective. After a year and a half in the program, I realized Urban Planning was a better fit for me. I love being able to have a positive impact on a community not only for the short term, but also for the long term.

What advice would you share with someone who is considering a career in urban planning?

The best advice I could share is to talk to Planners in the industry. Planning is truly such a versatile career and does not have one main focus. From transportation, public welfare, land use, and design of the urban environment, there is a lot you can learn in the major. This past year, I have been very involved with the Chicago Metro Section of the American Planning Association (APA CMS). My position has given me the opportunity to attend and even host my own session at the City of Naperville. My involvement with APA CMS has really allowed me to network with my fellow Planners and learn from their experiences. Talk to Planners as much as you can. See what direction they have pursued and you will be able to find the right career path for you.

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