I’ve never had a student ask me this, but it’s something that I always wondered when I was in school – do I really need Planning theory? In both my undergraduate and graduate degree, I took multiple theory courses. As a grad student I TA’d twice for a first year Planning Theory course. So its … More Do I Really Need Planning Theory?
When I’m asked about the biggest difference between school and work, my answer is always the same… Money and politics! Early in your career, you’ll discover that money and politics influence every aspect of a project. This can be a bit surprising at first, since you likely won’t learn much about either in school. Every … More Cash Rules Everything Around Me
University degree. Check. New job. Check. Business socks. Check. Okay, you’re officially a Planner, great work! Now comes the fun part – telling people. Lucky for you, this has gotten better recently, but you’ll quickly find that no one knows what a Planner/Planning is. Hell, I was most of the way through a Masters degree before … More “Oh, Like SimCity?” Or What People think When You Say You’re A Planner
Last week we looked at the different types of projects and studies that I work on. This week’s post looks in more detail at the process of a typical project, from the first meeting, to the final report. In one of the worst University classes I’ve taken, our professor told us to, ‘write a Planning … More The Anatomy of a Planning Study
When I talk with students, I bring a large stack of documents to show the different types of projects I’ve worked on. This variety is one of the highlights of my job. For every long and in-depth project, there are a bunch of quick projects to keep things fresh. This allows me to jump between … More Plans, Guidelines, and Proposals, Oh My!
“Do planners work a lot of overtime?” I get asked this one a lot. It’s a fair question, and one that I had when I was a student. Because, with the exception of architects*, nobody wants to invest years in a career that destroys their work-life balance. My best answer to this question is, “ummm, … More Do Planners Work a Lot of Overtime?
You’ve received your degree. You’ve had your interviews. And now, you’ve landed a job. This is it… What all the old folks meant when they said, “you think school is bad, wait until you get a job.” The good news is, it’s not so bad. And, if you land the right job, it’s pretty great. … More Your First Job: What To Expect When You’re Accepting
Update: Just a quick update based on some important feedback I received. This post speaks only to volunteering while you are in school – if you have the time, without impacting your studies (as I did). In no way am I suggesting, or do I support, that you should work for free once you have graduated. … More Does it Pay to Volunteer?
Every project that I work on is influenced by (or influences) a number of policies. However, I don’t recall ever taking a course in University (Policy 101?) that said, “These are the key policy documents; this is where you can find them; this is what they do and how you use them; this is how … More Behind Every Great Plan is a (Sometimes) Great Policy
When I talk to Planning students, I often get asked “what programs do I need to know” or “do I need to know how to use CAD?” The unfortunate answer to that second question is yes… Or at least kind of. Here is a run down of the programs that I use regularly, or have … More Do I Need to Know AutoCAD?