Hello all! First post here, but I’ve been a longtime lurker. I have a question about education and career trajectory. I think some of you will be able to bring answers to the table that have lots of experience and perspective behind them.
I’m a 23 year old woman holding a degree from Queens College (NY) in Urban Studies with a concentration in planning. I have always loved this city and have a passion for our urban environment. I like knowing what makes this city tick, how it works, how it’s planned and how to keep it running smoothly for everyone. I am particularly enthusiastic about new developments and new ways to beautify and revitalize communities through “resident-friendly” developments. My ultimate dream would be to own my own development firm specializing in community revitalization and/or middle income housing (pipe dream, I know!!)
I currently work for a very high end real estate development and investment company on the Upper East Side. Our company has a really impressive portfolio and I go to work every day so happy to do what I do because I really feel like we—in some way—make a mark on this city. I like taking a walk and recognizing buildings that we have owned, developed or have been involved with in some way. I work as the assistant to the director of all development; this means I go to construction sites with him, speak to subcontractors, get bids on materials, assist in project schedules and cost analyses, etc. While I love what I do, I feel it is time for me to further my education and start to really advance in my career. I do not want to be “stuck” being an assistant forever and feel now is the time for me to go for it. This would either mean taking on more responsibility within this company or elsewhere.
My question is this: if I like the design/construction aspect of development MUCH more than the financial/acquisition aspect, what would be a good Master’s Degree for me to get? I’m torn between urban planning, real estate development or civil engineering. Ideally, I would like to be able to work on a project from conception to design and then completion. I want to be brainstorming with other developers/designers/architects, drawing up plans, figuring out ways to fit a development in with the character of a specific community or neighborhood and be on site making sure everything is going to plan. Am I on the right track?
I’m leaning towards an MSRED (Master of Science in Real Estate Development), but I can definitely see the merits of an M.E. (Master of Engineering). Should I do both? I’m almost positive my company will sponsor at least one of those degrees.
Thanks so much!