Ignacio Aravena

Master of Urban Planning - 2020

Doctoral Student
London School of Economics
Ignacio Aravena

Why did you choose NYU Wagner for graduate school?

I chose Wagner because of its comprehensive and policy driven focus, which is not very common for a Master of Urban Planning. Here, I got the chance of boosting my quantitative skills while I was also learning about housing and economic development policies from different facets of the social sciences such as economics, sociology, and policy analysis. Thanks to this, I was able to problematize pressing urban issues and to understand several complexities regarding affordable housing. This has been very useful to frame my research and to provide an applied component to it, too.

How would you describe your experience as an NYU Wagner student?

I would describe them as enlightening and life changing. Being part of Wagner changed many prejudices and preconceived ideas I had while I was also learning skills to understand and try to solve pressing issues that are currently happening in our societies. Thanks to Wagner, I feel better equipped to face an academic career dedicated to public service.

How did your experiences at NYU Wagner prepare you for your career?

My experiences at Wagner helped me to be more prepared to face complex and multidisciplinary issues while also being part of a team, which sometimes you get to lead. In addition to all the hard skills I got from Wagner’s courses, I also developed soft skills like time management, being a team player and boosting my leadership skills thanks to the opportunity of chairing the Urban Planning Student Association between 2019 and 2020. An important soft skill I got during my stint at Wagner was related to learning how to effectively communicate my ideas to different stakeholders, being able to write an academic paper as well as a policy memo and crafting a presentation to a community. Finally, one of the most important aspects of my education was having the chance to share many experiences with people from different backgrounds, countries and beliefs, which helped me to expand my vision on several urban and social issues we are facing nowadays.