Aaron Bond

MUP 2014

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

I currently work as the Small Business Site Development Assistant for Chesterfield County in Virginia, guiding small businesses through the county's land development permitting processes. The education I received in my master’s classes on development related economics and local government processes prepared me for my current role. My previous work experience includes various different planning roles in local government. I had an internship with the City of Urbana where I designed and led a neighborhood assessment. I interned with the Park Planning, Design, and Capital Division of the City of Alexandria, Virginia as a Community Outreach Coordinator. I worked as a Planner for the City of Baltimore where I helped manage the city's INSPIRE (Investing in Neighborhoods and Schools to Promote Improvement, Revitalization, and Excellence) program. INSPIRE is a small area planning effort that leverages public and private investments to strengthen public schools and their surrounding neighborhoods. I also have worked as a Zoning Planner for the fast-growing Loudoun County in Northern Virginia, reviewing site plans and special exception applications.

Why did you choose to study urban planning?

I chose to study Urban Planning because I am interested in the formation of community. I wanted to study how different communities design and use space in order to understand how to facilitate interconnectedness and create healthy, fulfilling, and inspiring experiences and relationships for people in diverse groups.

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

I would advise anyone considering a career in urban planning to study what intrigues them. Urban Planning is a very diverse field that has endless intersections and practicality. If you are interested in people, how they interact, and how that informs spatial development, whatever you do professionally will seamlessly connect with Urban Planning.

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