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Thread: Newbie here and to the urban planning world!

  1. #1
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    Newbie here and to the urban planning world!

    Alright I've been 7 pages deep on this part of the forum so I don't know if this has been addressed yet.

    I'm 18 years old still finishing up my general education at a community college and I will transfer for an urban planning major. My friends and such are finding jobs mostly at retail and I still haven't been employed because I just felt that working at the mall won't do me any good for my career except some side cash until I get there. My question is, are there any internships I can apply for that can introduce me to urban planning? Also, I'm from San Diego and I would like to know what colleges in my area have a great program for urban planning? Basically I just want to know what I am getting myself into. I'd rather be prepared and know more than colleagues at my level since this a competitive career. Any advice would be appreciated Thank you!

  2. #2
    Lol, planning jobs are so numerous, you won't even need an internship to get ahead. And, if you must have one, be prepared for you to interview them! They'll be falling over themselves trying to hire a planning student.

    Seriously, I would not worry about it. Welcome to a rewarding, lucrative, and secure career!

    Moderator note:


    Warning for sarcastic reply outside of the FAC. Really, if you want to convey the reality, do it in a manner that isn't insulting to the user...especially a new user that may not know where you are coming from. Next time earns a suspension.

  3. #3
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    haha thanks for the reply just wanted to know what's a part of this mysterious world of urban planning. always been fascinated by how cities are laid out and such. got a lot of youth left in me just wanted to know what this career is all about.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Hopefully you realize that chocolatechip's response was rather tongue in cheek. Right now any job in the workforce is a good thing. Without a degree in planning you are not very likely to obtain a job or even an internship at this point. Even with a degree, things are tough in our vocation due to the sagging economy and the public employment sector on the downturn in many places. Hiring managers like to see work experience period. Can you work in a team environment, do you know how to work with a diverse customer base, can you multitask and prioritize well? All things you learn in the service industry.

    Spend a little time in the student forums so you can find out more about different schools and their programs. Planetizen publishes periodic rankings of planning programs but ultimately you need to pick the program that is best suited to your particular interests and needs. Here is a link to the guide published by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning which provides a quick overview of each school offering planning education, what degrees are offered, and whether or not they are accredited plus some basic admissions and cost information. http://www.acsp.org/sites/default/fi...ACSP_Guide.pdf

    Good luck!
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  5. #5
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    You'll have some trouble finding an internship when you have absolutely no background in planning and haven't even started college yet, particularly anything that pays. That being said, you could probably go ask a department if you can just help out with making copies, filing, etc. Or you could even just ask about job shadowing someone for a week or two. I would also recommend attending local Planning Commission, Zoning Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, etc. meetings to get a taste for the issues that are discussed, the role staff plays and how decisions are ultimately made. Those meetings can afford you an opportunity to meet staff, particularly if you attend meetings in smaller surrounding cities rather than just San Diego itself. You can also look up contact info for the local APA chapter in your area and see about attending meetings, mentor/job shadow opportunities, and similar programs.

    I am not aware of a college in the San Diego area that offers an accredited urban planning program thru APA's Planning Accreditation Board, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. My degrees are from non-PAB programs and I've done just fine. University of San Diego is supposed to have a pretty good engineering program, but for what you're talking about I'd take a look at San Diego State University.

    SDSU has a couple of degree programs to look at, and you could look at double majoring or adding a minor in order to get a precise mix of interests you are after. They have undergrads in urban studies, sustainability and public administration. Based on the program descriptions, it looks like the public administration program there is designed for a potential planning career path. Plus, they have internships built-in as a requirement of many of their programs.

    As for PAB programs in your area, you're looking at moving at least to the LA area. Here are a few:
    • Cal Poly Pomona - both bachelors & masters are accredited
    • Cal Poly SLO - both bachelors & masters are accredited
    • UC Irvine - masters is accredited
    • UCLA - masters is accredited
    • USC - masters is accredited

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

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    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    I've done several informational interviews with High School students and beyond. If you can find the right staffer at a nearby local gov or county, I'm sure someone would agree. Send a few emails out to see if you get any responses. Also, SR's suggestion of attending local meetings is a good one.
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    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Work is work. It shows your future employer that you have some work ethic and teamwork. The last intern I hired was picked out because he was working on his degree and had a good letter of reference from Ihop manager. To help get started you could always volunteer to help around the office. Even if you're just filing you'll learn something about the profession.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    Lol, planning jobs are so numerous, you won't even need an internship to get ahead. And, if you must have one, be prepared for you to interview them! They'll be falling over themselves trying to hire a planning student.

    Seriously, I would not worry about it. Welcome to a rewarding, lucrative, and secure career!

    Moderator note:


    Warning for sarcastic reply outside of the FAC. Really, if you want to convey the reality, do it in a manner that isn't insulting to the user...especially a new user that may not know where you are coming from. Next time earns a suspension.
    Lol.

    Planning is a small field, and the competition for jobs is fierce. Mobility also might be a problem.
    Last edited by jobaba; 18 Sep 2012 at 1:49 AM.

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