Ann Forsyth's blog

Ann Forsyth is professor of Urban Planning at Harvard University.
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Planning to Get an Internship

It’s winter break for many northern hemisphere planning students so time to start planning for next summer’s internship. I have previously blogged about "making the most of an internship": Here I briefly talk about the practicalities of getting one.

Retired Faculty: Keeping Up With Them Via Blogs

With the proliferation of new media planning practitioners have new ways to find out about the continuing work of planning faculty members who have retired. Not all of them blog of course, but the list below demonstrates some of the variety of these efforts.

Planning Programs Using Social Media: A Useful Window for Prospective Students

As readers of this blog will know I encourage people to find out about planning programs in multiple ways. Reading the work of faculty is a crucial first step as is reading the program’s web site. Visiting open houses or connecting with students (programs often set up some kind of chat space around admission time) are also options. Increasingly schools are using multiple forms of social media to reach current students and alums providing a useful window onto the programs for prospective students. This list highlights a few of these sources used specifically by planning programs.

Making the Most of an Internship

Recently I’ve had a number of undergraduate students ask how to make the most of internships—over the semester and in the breaks. The following represents some advice for current students.

Blog 54: My Top All-Time Blog Posts on Planning Education

When the Planetizen team set up the Interchange blog section in early 2007 they invited half a dozen academics, and dozens of others, to blog. This is my 54th entry in that (monthly) series. I’m about to start dealing with some new topics--like big ideas in planning--but thought I should do a little research to see which of my past blogs people have been reading.

Managing Your Academic Adviser

It’s the middle of summer and few people are thinking about the return to school. However, in the coming month or two new students will need to start interacting with their faculty adviser. The following tips can help make it a productive relationship. 

I’ve Graduated, Now What?

Many of those who have recently graduated in planning are currently asking “how can I get a job?” Of course a number of recent graduates do have work. But government budget cuts may mean that local jobs are hard to get. This is the time to use your imagination. To get you started here are some ideas: 

Summer Conferences with an Agenda: Ideas for Students and Others

Spring is conference season for many major professional associations including the American Planning Association. However, if you missed APA this year, or even if you didn’t, a number of more specialized groups meet over the summer in smaller and more focused settings. Student registrations and deals on accommodation can make these very affordable. 

Obtaining Letters of Reference for Graduate School in Planning

I’ve had a lot of students ask me recently about who should write a letter of reference as they apply to graduate school. I have a policy on my own web site stating when I will write a letter but there are more general principles that hold across many faculty members and programs. 

Managing Time in Graduate School

Recently, a number of students have asked me questions about a similar topic—managing time. In graduate school there are deadlines. Some required tasks are not things you would choose to do unless forced—just like the world of work. At the same time one has a relatively large amount of flexibility as to how one organizes time to get it done. The tips below aim to help you figure out an approach to this difficult issue. They draw on my own observations. However, my able researchassistant Amanda Wilson provided some additional comments and I quote her fromtime to time! Errors are of course mine.