Patrick Hess

MUP - 2013

Chief of Staff, Development
New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Patrick Hess

How did being in New York impact your professional journey?

I had been living in New York for 5+ years when I started at Wagner, and my time in graduate school further opened up the city for me in ways that I did not expect. The university and the city offered an excellent breadth and depth of opportunity for coursework, research, internships, networking, and above all observation of a first-class metropolis humming with life. Being in New York broadened my understanding of how municipalities work and, as a result, enhanced my ability to effect change at larger scales.

How would you describe your experience as a Wagner student?

My experience at Wagner was an exhilarating exercise in finding connections and balance. Wagner connected me to key mentors, leading practitioners, and future collaborators. Because it is impossible to take advantage of all the opportunities presented at Wagner and around the city, I learned to seek out those people, courses, and activities that best advanced my developing trajectory. It was energizing coming to this focus within a supportive community and among intelligent, dynamic colleagues, each engaged in his or her own exploration.

How did your Wagner experience prepare you professionally for what you are doing today?

It prepared me professionally by providing me with a strong practical, technical, and theoretical foundation for my work as an urban planner.  As a Wagner student, my friendships with classmates, faculty, and staff challenged old assumptions and facilitated new perspectives; as a Wagner alumnus, these relationships continue to offer community and inspiration.