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Thread: International new member seeks advice on American entry level planning Jobs

  1. #1

    International new member seeks advice on American entry level planning Jobs

    Hi,

    This would be my first post, but was hoping I could get a little bit of advice.

    Im a British national, just about to complete my Master's in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Sydney, i have no relevant planning experience, but have worked in managment positions in multi-national organisations thus have a good employable skill base. My girlfriend (and soon to be wife) is American, thus will be moving to America in just few short weeks.

    My question is simple, given my Australian planning education and lack of professional experience, do i have any chance at all of getting entry level planning work in America? I've read some threads that have left me feeling a little dis-heartened to say the least.


    Any advice/opinions/comments would be appreciated... Im all in favour of brutal honesty.

    I just wanted to add that im a pretty humble kind of guy and am more than prepared to accept underpaid positions in exchange for work experience... Not sure if that would make any difference to employers

    Thanks
    Last edited by newby; 05 Jun 2007 at 3:33 AM. Reason: additional info

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I'd say you have a good shot. Face it, you are generally cometing with a bunch of other grads who have a degree and no experience. Some places might actually enjoy having your international perpective. Where you move to is going to be the big deciding factor. If you are going to one of the rapidly growing parts of the country like Florida or Arizona, then you will have a much better shot.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Oh Yeah....

    If you are willing to do what you've said, then you have a good chance. Look to areas that need help the most, maybe rural areas, maybe Arizona?, maybe Florida?......It would seem that Cardinal would agree with Rumpy that all you need is a pulse to get a job in Florida and Arizona Both places I've worked in recently Hmmm....let me check....yup....I've got a pulse

    I'd say rely on your soon to be wife for the primary pay check and get an entry level job anywhere you can.....it will only take a year or two of experience to move up.....

    I'm waiting to get your application........

    Skilled Adoxographer

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    If you are willing to do what you've said, then you have a good chance. Look to areas that need help the most, maybe rural areas, maybe Arizona?, maybe Florida?......It would seem that Cardinal would agree with Rumpy that all you need is a pulse to get a job in Florida and Arizona Both places I've worked in recently Hmmm....let me check....yup....I've got a pulse
    Like I've said before, a mop and bucket could get a planning job in Florida and do a better job than some of the people I've met there.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  5. #5
    Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated.... Looks like i'll be off to Florida then. Luckily my future wife is happy moving to anywhere i can get work.. Apparently she's not too keen on the idea of relocating to England - cant think why??????

  6. #6
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    Hey newby, slightly off topic and a bit of a hijack but I am from Sydney and I am looking at doing a Master's in Urban and Regional Planning starting next year. How did you find it? Would you recommend it? I don't have any planning experience but would love to do it and hope that the Master's in Urban and Regional Planning is the way to get into it.

    Let us all know how you go.

  7. #7
    Hey Snowboard99

    Which uni are you thinking of doing your masters at?

    Im just about to graduate from the Sydney Uni Urban & Regional Planning Programme... Imy opinion on the masters - overall its been good, there are quite a lot of optional course units open to you, you also have the ability to specialise in certain streams such as urban design, heritage or housing if you want (doing so extends the masters by another semester though). All lecturers are friendly and approachable, you'll also get taught by Ed Blakely who i must admit is the best professor i have ever come across (he's playing an important role in the New Orleans rebuild). The one slight concern i have had is the lack of organisation in some of courses, it is very annoying when deadlines and assignment guidelines get changed.

    With regards previous planning knowledge, so long as you're prepared to do the extra reading you'll have no troubles. If you've had no exposure to planning prior to starting the course i would recommend reading a book like Peter Hall's - Cities of Tomorrow, an intellectual history of urban planning. It offers a very good overview of planning from its origins... I read it before starting the masters and it put me ahead of the game in some of the courses.

    Overall, would i recommend it - yes, given the option to come back here i would. I think if you want to work in Sydney as well, going to this school will do you no harm purely because of the 'snobbery' mentality some private practice firms will have toward where people graduate from. This is my own opinion though, i have nothing to base it on.

    Hope this helps, and hope its not too confused a response... My thesis is leaving me braindead at the moment.

  8. #8
    Hey Snowboard99

    Which uni are you thinking of doing your masters at?

    Im just about to graduate from the Sydney Uni Urban & Regional Planning Programme... Imy opinion on the masters - overall its been good, there are quite a lot of optional course units open to you, you also have the ability to specialise in certain streams such as urban design, heritage or housing if you want (doing so extends the masters by another semester though). All lecturers are friendly and approachable, you'll also get taught by Ed Blakely who i must admit is the best professor i have ever come across (he's playing an important role in the New Orleans rebuild). The one slight concern i have had is the lack of organisation in some of courses, it is very annoying when deadlines and assignment guidelines get changed.

    With regards previous planning knowledge, so long as you're prepared to do the extra reading you'll have no troubles. If you've had no exposure to planning prior to starting the course i would recommend reading a book like Peter Hall's - Cities of Tomorrow, an intellectual history of urban planning. It offers a very good overview of planning from its origins... I read it before starting the masters and it put me ahead of the game in some of the courses.

    Overall, would i recommend it - yes, given the option to come back here i would. I think if you want to work in Sydney as well, going to this school will do you no harm purely because of the 'snobbery' mentality some private practice firms will have toward where people graduate from. This is my own opinion though, i have nothing to base it on.

    Hope this helps, and hope its not too confused a response... My thesis is leaving me braindead at the moment.

  9. #9
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    Thanks newby,

    Yes, it is Sydney I am looking to go to, in same programme you mention. I actually have a degree in IT but spend way too much time at work reading up on developments that are occurring, especially some of the new TOD's that they are starting to try and implement on Sydney's fringes such as at Edmondson Park on the planned South West train line, and I guess I am interested to see how these turn out when compared to the traditional low density sprawl of the last few decades.

    Thanks for the suggestion on the book, I will have to source it and have a read. Do you know of many people who undertook the combined Urban and Regional Planning and Transport Planning?

    Once again sorry for the thread hijack but I am at a crossroad - deciding if I should pursue my passion in planning or just settle into my boring IT career! I think writing it like that kind of makes the decision for me.

  10. #10
    The TOD stuff in that area is pretty interesting, im actually considering it as part of my thesis. My investigation looks at whether the new metro strategy is going to be able to conquer car dependency in Sydney (personally i dont think it will)... The problem to me is whilst they're building TOD communities, they're not providing the rail infrastructure to link the areas to other regions in Sydney, thus people may (and i stress may) walk or cylce around areas like Edmunson Park and Oran Park, but they'll still rely on their cars to visit other places in the region. This is a major problem in the SW growth sector because it sits in the bottom on the sydney basin meaning airbourne pollution levels from cars are already high, adding more cars into the mix is just going to worsen the situation.

    Afraid i dont know anyone in the transport planning course, that forms part of the economics faculty therefore we never have lectures with any of them guys.

    You dont need to apologise about the topic change, i faced the same cross roads a few years back but was working in Procurment. Have to be honest, im glad i switched, but being a student again does suck a bit.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    An idea.....

    Quote Originally posted by newby View post
    The TOD stuff in that area is pretty interesting, im actually considering it as part of my thesis. My investigation looks at whether the new metro strategy is going to be able to conquer car dependency in Sydney (personally i dont think it will)... The problem to me is whilst they're building TOD communities, they're not providing the rail infrastructure to link the areas to other regions in Sydney, thus people may (and i stress may) walk or cylce around areas like Edmunson Park and Oran Park, but they'll still rely on their cars to visit other places in the region. This is a major problem in the SW growth sector because it sits in the bottom on the sydney basin meaning airbourne pollution levels from cars are already high, adding more cars into the mix is just going to worsen the situation.

    Afraid i dont know anyone in the transport planning course, that forms part of the economics faculty therefore we never have lectures with any of them guys.

    You dont need to apologise about the topic change, i faced the same cross roads a few years back but was working in Procurment. Have to be honest, im glad i switched, but being a student again does suck a bit.
    Hey, have you thought about working in Florida?? There are seriously difficult and technical TOD projects being developed down there and you might just be able to get a job......maybe

    Rumpy has introduced himself to you in this thread.....now how you respond will tell us all what we need to know about you.......we'll be watching..........

    oh yeah.....what kind of wine do you drink down there??
    Skilled Adoxographer

  12. #12
    I'd definitely consider Florida, my room mate at the moment is Canadian and was telling about Tampa.. Sounded quite nice, i'd prefer to live in a smaller city/large town.... After living in London for years and now Sydney im kind of over the big city life, im getting old.

    So are these TOD projects masterplan style redevelopments?

    As for wine, well im a red man myself so im quite a big fan of the Aussie Shiraz, i've taken a few trips to hunter wine region in Sydney and Margaret River in Perth.. for some reason i cant really remember the last few winery's i visted in each place

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    sorry for hijacking...i noticed that you guys mentioning about the combined transport management/urb&regplan at USyd. I was interested in the transport degree as well but i realised that it is more logistics and management focussed than planning or engineering focussed - you might want to consider the combined MTptStudies at the 4 WA universities - although they are also quite logistics and management focussed.

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