St Louis Missouri
What is your current job and how did your planning degree prepare you for it?
I work as a Junior Planner/Designer with Winter & Company, a historic preservation and urban design consulting firm in Colorado. During graduate school, I took as many historic preservation and design-oriented courses as I could, focusing on the built environment and how we can preserve the resources we do have while creating design-sensitive solutions for new construction. I also worked as a Research Assistant with Extension and the City of Washington, IL to create design guidelines and a resource manual for the local historic district. During the summer between my two years in the program, I also had the opportunity to work as the Preservation Planner for Madison, IN.
Why did you choose to study urban planning?
I chose to study urban planning because I’ve always loved historic architecture and design. For a long time, I thought I would become an architect; however, during my undergraduate studies, I realized that I was interested not in the specifics of a building and its construction, but in how people use and relate to the built environment. The intersection of the built environment and social interaction, among many other topics covered by urban planning, was what really drew me towards planning.
What advice would you share with someone who is considering a career in urban planning?
My advice to those interested in urban planning or those starting out in the planning field would be to meet and engage with as many planners as possible. The field of urban planning encompasses so many topics that there are planners in all types of jobs. Talking with as many planners as possible will give you the opportunity to figure out what type of job you might be interested in as well as what type of planning interests you most. This will also help build your network of contacts, which is always important when transitioning from an academic to professional environment.