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Thread: Urban planning internship fall 2011

  1. #1
    Member
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    Mar 2011
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    Madison, WI
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    Urban planning internship fall 2011

    Hello there,

    I am a recent graduate from UW-Madison, with a degree in Political Science, though I took several geography and urban planning classes once it became clear that that was what I was really interested in. I have been living in Madison since I graduated last summer, but have had trouble getting my foot in the door as far as meaningful experience. [I have a few opportunities pending, so we'll see...] I plan to go to graduate school in fall 2012 for an MUP, but I have a year in between where I'm not really sure what to do to advance my ultimate ambitions.

    Come August, I will be moving out of Madison. Ideally, I'd like to find a paid internship in a mid-to-large size city to get some hands-on experience before entering a master's program. I'd love some hints as to where to look, if anyone can help.

    I'm also considering pursuing a GIS certificate in the coming year, if nothing else can pan out. I know that GIS is strongly considered these-a-days, and can ultimately give you an edge up, or some flexibility. Is this a good idea?

    Any advice/tips would be excellent. Thanks so much.

  2. #2
    Member
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    Mar 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    Oh, and another thing. I am considering pursuing a joint law degree and MUP. Any advice from anyone else who has done/is doing the same?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
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    A few things in no particular order:

    I don't know what your financial/residence situation is, but if Madison is your home and you're hoping to look away and live off a paid internship, you will find that very hard to do. You'll probably need a job to supplement it. You may want to consider finding something in Madison if that is the case.

    Having said that, paid planning internships are very hard to find, especially for someone with no experience in "hard planning" (undergrad classes are mostly theoretical, but correct me if this is not the case). Lots of graduate planning students look for paid positions, and they will have priority over you.

    Now, after all that, I'll give you what you're looking for: if you really don't care what city you end up in, go to http://www.planning.org/jobs/search/ and search "intern." Not many things get posted here, but it can't hurt. It may also help to pick a city first, then search. For example, pick NYC. Then look at summer internships. Then see what may be paid (I think DOT summer internships are paid, but I'm not sure). And if you want to stay at home, UW-Madison's urban planning department should have an internship posting board -- go to the program director and ask about it.

    As for the MUP/JD idea, there have been a few threads here on that (just search "MUP/JD"). The consensus seems to be that it doesn't help you much if you want to be a planner, and it doesn't help you much if you want to be a lawyer. Of course, it is by no means bad, but it is also probably not a "magic degree." Overall, you'll probably just end up doing land use/zoning law for a developer. That may be what you want to do, and that's fine, but it may not be worth an extra few years (and a lot of money) to get a dual-degree that doesn't help you too strongly in either field.

  4. #4
    Member
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    Jan 2011
    Location
    Marshfield, WI
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    I don't mean to resurrect a dead thread, but I thought I'd see if you had any luck finding an internship in the area. Personally, I just finished up at UWSP with a degree in Geography - Urban Planning and have had a tough time finding the right internship (turned one down earlier this summer as they really wanted a new building inspector). I've taken the GRE and have recommendations... but haven't applied to grad school, fearing making a commitment that large without having an internship under my belt.

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