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Thread: Grad student resume

  1. #1
    Member
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    May 2008
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    chicago
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    Grad student resume

    Hi,
    I'm in the MUPP program at UIC with little experience in Urban Planning. I have a BA in Historic Preservation and Community Planning from College of Charleston. I'm trying to find an internship in Chicago and am having trouble updating my resume as a student. Am I just supposed to list the classes I've taken so far and what I've learned in them? I'm having a hard time with this.... does anyone have any suggestions as to how to create a resume as a student with little experience???

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
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    midwest
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    In college I was the student project manager for 2 large semester projects. The first project was designing a PUD, and the other was a 100 page neighborhood plan. I worded these projects to sound more like "jobs" than student projects. I spent 20-30 hours a week on each of these projects for 3-4 months, so I treated them like contracts.

    Focus more on deliverables. A finished product, even a student project, will stand out more than just saying what you learned in a course.

    However, if you don't have any large projects (college or grad school) and no internships, you might need to just list what you learned.

    Finally, you can always create projects for yourself to do in school. It doesn't always need to be assigned by someone else. During my junior year in college, I taught myself Illustrator and GIS and put together a basic portfolio and landed a GIS tech job with the state geological survey. As I taught myself more skills, I added those self projects to my portfolio and earned more internships after that.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    chicago
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    That helps!

    Thanks so much. That definitely helps! I haven't done any large papers (yet). But I did take an ArcGIS course, which I could definitely start creating a portfolio for. I'm not an expert on it by anymeans, but creating some projects for myself would definitely help. I never thought of it that way. Thanks so much!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    FL
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    Before I got my internship I didn't have any planning related experience either. However, I did have a job for two years in high school and another for my first two years in my undergraduate program, and I had some training and leadership experience in those that I listed on my resume. When I went to my interview, they told me that the training experience and experience in customer service was very good to include for an internship because public planning agencies deal with a lot of customer service related issues. So I would say include the classes you have taken (especially if some of those include GIS) and also any job experience that you have at all, at least to show that you can hold a job. Of course, if you have done any major planning related projects, include those as well.

  5. #5
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    Good to know!

    That's very good to know as the majority of my work experience is in sales, customer service, and non-profit member retention. I'm glad to hear that not every company will look poorly at me for lacking planning experience. I'm also happy to hear that GIS will come in handy for helping me obtain an internship (keep your fingers crossed). There's nothing worse than thinking you're in a graduate program, dedicating all this time and money, and are unsure of whether or not it will help you move into your desired field. Did you have to move to do your internship? The majority of internships that I see are not in Chicago, which will prove difficult for me if I can't work where I live.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    FL
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    I actually am in my senior year of my bachelor's program, but one of my professors recommended me to a regional planning council, and I went through one of the most intense interview processes I have been through, took a test on how well I can use GIS, and was offered the internship. It is in the city I go to school in (although it is about 45 minutes from where I live). The internship is going to last until I go to grad school next fall, and then I get to start the process over again An important thing to note about planning internships is that a lot of them aren't advertised, so you really need to just start sending out your resume with a cover letter to as many places as you can. That was what I was doing before I got this internship, and I actually did get some responses (which came after I had already accepted this position). Also, your school/program may have resources that will help you find an internship - my undergraduate school was no use for that though.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Aug 2007
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    SC
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    I would just like to echo what crrfl said about listing general job experience - just being able to demostrate reliablity helps. Also, if you have held leadership positions or helped plan activities for any campus organizations, I would include that as well. Additionally, if you have volunteered or had other internships, include those as well. As a student applying for an internship, you aren't expected to have much "professional" experience, but the ability to demonstrate reliability and/or leadership experience through campus involvement, volunteerism, or other jobs will definately give you a step up.

    When did you graduate from C of C? I'm an HPCP alum myself.

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