The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
There are constantly forums and speakers being held at NYU that are open to both students and local urban planning professionals. The exciting thing about these events is that they provide an opportunity to be exposed to new research or ideas while also seeing how the professional sphere reacts to the same concepts. Thus you could see a piece of research in a totally different light than if you had only read/discussed it in class.
OCS has given me concrete tools to help me with my career. As an international student, I have taken advantage of all types of OCS services: walk-in hours; resume, cover letter and interviewing workshops; career panels; employer information sessions; Alumni Career Advisement Program; and career fairs. All of this led to my finding four internships in my first year at school.
Attending the American Planning Association and National Brownfield Association conferences were great opportunities for networking and connecting with others in the planning field. The forums were also excellent venues for exploring my career interests in more detail.
Working on events with WEPSA (Wagner Education Policy Studies Association) allowed me to develop relationships with others interested in education and gave me a reason to reach out to and develop a network within the broader education network in NYC.
The feedback I received from OCS regarding revamping my resume was invaluable. Resumes are very personal documents, and their unbiased feedback helped me focus my resume more appropriately.
I found informational interviews very helpful. The alumni I met with gave generously of their time and made very specific suggestions that assisted me with my job search. In fact, I believe one of the reasons I have my current position is because of the contacts I made through informational interviews.
Getting work experience has been central for me at my time at Wagner. I worked at a private planning firm last fall, since I had never worked in planning, and wanted to understand the field. I felt like I got a lot of basic, core knowledge from that job. When I was looking for my next internship/job, I decided to go to the opposite extreme - to look only in the public sector, and to look for a position in administration rather than planning (these are two of the roles that I'm considering in my future job search). That is how I ended up working for the Division of Citywide Administrative Services for the City of New York. I feel like through only 2 internships (so far), I've gotten a tremendous breadth of knowledge.
OCS was the guidance counselor I never had. The staff is supportive, motivational, and most importantly, accessible. My advisement sessions were always constructive and energetic. Professional development can be incredibly stressful and it was so helpful to know that I had such a reliable resource supporting me.
I hate networking – that’s why I usually don’t do it. Instead, I just look for events that attract people that have common interests and talk to them about these interests – oh, wait, that IS networking!
I'm very focused on my career goals, so with every class and work assignment, I feel like I'm constantly honing my interests to find out exactly what I want to do. So far, I think that I've reaffirmed that I want to be in the public sector working at the city level, but I'm still working out what role I want to have. Administration (the field that I initially thought that I would be in), still interests me, but so do planning/economic development and finance, so I'm hoping to explore those fields more over the coming year.