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|Active Alum: Liz Ruess|
Q: Which ACSP member school did you graduate from?
A: San Jose State University (May 2011)
Q: What degree(s) do you hold?
A: Masters in Urban and Regional Planning
Q: Where are you working today?
Q: Why did you select your particular specialty?
A: I interned with two non-profits during grad school, interned with a local municipality the year after graduating, then worked as a project manager for a real estate development firm. After several years in development, I decided I wanted to be back on the other side of the table and be a city planner. I really enjoy the variety of municipal planning. I get to work with the public, all other departments at City Hall, at our Committees, Commissions, and City Council. I learn so much from my co-workers in other departments who include other planners, building inspectors, the public works department, the City Manager's office, finance, recreation, etc. The variety of projects I get to see makes every day interesting and constantly challenges me to grow and learn.
Q: Is there a particular class or professor that made a great impact on you? How so?
A: I really enjoyed GIS with Rick Kos. Learning how to collect, sort, map, and present data was fascinating to me and so important in the planning field.
Q: What future goals do you have in your field?
A: I am currently studying for the AICP exam, so passing that is my short term-goal. I'd like to continue to push myself by taking on larger more complex projects. Ultimately I'd like to be a Planning Manager or Community Development Director for a Bay Area Municipality.
Q: Any advice to current or potential urban and regional planning students?
A: Network, network, network. Attend events, go to the conferences, and schedule informational interviews. My contacts and references that I have built during and after grad school have played a huge role in the jobs that I've been offered since graduation. Planning is a small world; your relationship with fellow planners is incredibly important.