Town planning after the Master of Urban Planning

Claudia has embarked on a career as a town planner after completing her Master of Urban Planning in 2019.

Claudia headshot

How would you describe your overall experience studying?

I absolutely loved my time studying with the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning. In terms of my education, I felt that the quality and breadth of the subjects on offer allowed me to tailor my experience to my interests, whilst ensuring I had access to the base knowledge that would be required to enter the industry.

The resources available through the faculty, including the MSD building and its collaborative spaces, added to this experience, and helped me feel immersed in the knowledge I was gaining. I also found the existence of student clubs and events, both social and industry based, made me feel very connected to my peers and the talented staff I was surrounded by. I was also able to interact with valuable industry connections, through guest lectures and events.

What made you want to study and work in urban planning?

I think I had always been fascinated by the way that humans interact with each other, and the way that communities form and prosper. When I started my undergraduate degree, I was exposed to a lot of urban planning content, and I realised that this great field existed that would allow me to explore both elements of human geography, and physical design and organisation.

I chose to pursue the Master of Urban Planning to build on this knowledge, as well as to learn some of the more practical skills that would be required to work as an urban planner.

What’s the most useful skill you learned that carried over from your studies to your work?

On a practical level, I found that content related to Victoria's planning system was extremely useful when I started working as a Town Planner, as I was able to understand the fundamental elements of this system that make my job possible.

On a more personal level, I found that the general organisational and interpersonal skills that I learnt during my time studying were invaluable to being a good Town Planner and a reliable colleague in general.

Can you tell us a little about the transition from studying into working life?

I think that the biggest challenge was adjusting to working full time, and the new kind of structure that it entailed. I think a lot of that time of transition was also spent making connections between what I had learnt and what I was practising.

I started working at Tract Consultants as a Town Planning Assistant in August 2018 (while I was still studying). Once I had graduated, I was promoted to the role of Town Planner. I've just celebrated two years at Tract.

How did your job at Tract Consultants come about? 

I actually undertook a subject called MSD Vocational Placement, through which I had a three week internship at Tract. This was a great subject that allowed me to gain some really valuable insights into the day-to-day life of a Town Planner, whilst also providing me with the opportunity to reflect on my learning and experience. I enjoyed my time at Tract so much that I decided to apply for the Town Planning Assistant role when it arose about a month later.

What type of work would you do in a typical day at Tract?

My day-to-day work currently involves a lot of project management, liaising with clients and Councils, writing reports and working with spatial technology (namely - lots of maps!). I have been working from home since late March, as have many workers. This has been a very interesting experience. I really miss the social aspects of being in a physical office, but enjoy the increased opportunities for flexibility that working from home provides. Luckily, most of the work undertaken by a Town Planner can be done remotely.

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