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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The mix of full-time faculty, adjuncts, and working students at Wagner provides students with ample opportunity to network with professionals who are out working in the field. I obtained some of my favorite internships by striking up conversations with professors and fellow classmates.
Doing informational interviews, looking for internships, applying for scholarships, peer advising and selecting classes have all given me pause to think about my goals. This summer, I received a job offer from a previous employer that really forced me to reassess where I am going. I have moved away from some of the areas of interest I had when I started at Wagner and developed new interests that I had not expected. The experience of considering a really good job offer helped me confirm my interest in working in government and in local economic development.
The alumni that I met with gave generously of their time and made very specific suggestions that assisted me with my job search.
What I value most about my time at Wagner has been the opportunity to balance both reflection and action in managing my career. As a planner by nature and profession, I tend to gravitate in theory towards straightforward approaches: set a goal and then figure out how to accomplish it. However, I realize that in practice, I don’t even know the meaning of linear. The Composing Your Career approach gave me the opportunity to be thoughtful in my decision-making and yet still be open to new, expansive opportunities that came my way.