Samuel Filler

Master of Urban Planning

Director of Industry Development
Empire State Development
Samuel Filler

How would you describe your experience as a Wagner student?

The community of students, alumni, professors and administrative professionals was my favorite part about Wagner.  I made lifelong friends and mentors by immersing myself in the community, and those relationships continue to enrich my life even after graduation.  As the past President of the Urban Planning Students Association (UPSA), I always appreciate meeting the next generation of UPSA leaders who continue to make Wagner a warm and welcoming community.

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

Wagner’s emphasis on interdisciplinary group projects helped me develop the confidence required to lead and assist in intergovernmental projects for the state.  Understanding how to work with people with a variety of work styles and personalities is invaluable when in a demanding professional environment. 

What are the advantages of the Wagner alumni network?

Wagner’s alumni community extends into all corners of the public service universe and at high levels of leadership.  I have always found that alumni are willing to meet for lunch or coffee, and share reflections about their personal journeys and career paths.  Our alumni inspire me to continue to contribute to the Wagner community so I jump at any opportunity to meet and speak with current students.  I think that the alumni network is the greatest value-add from a Wagner education.