Life After Graduation
As graduates, majors in Growth and Structure of Cities have pursued careers that reflect their interests and experiences in cities worldwide and their commitments to active and thoughtful civic participation. For many, this involves professional training in architecture, planning, education, advanced academic disciplines, law, government, medicine, public health, and business. Others have carved out their own paths as developers, restaurateurs, advisors with NGOs, environmentalists, artists, writers, and disc jockeys. Alums who have worked with mass media at ESPN or in Bollywood have directed the Main Street Center for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, have designed Washington, D.C.'s 9/11 Memorial, and have organized neighborhoods in which they live and work. In all these ways and more, GSC graduates have made their mark on cities worldwide. And many continue to share with us their experiences and reflections on Cities as they participate actively in metropolitan growth and development, raise families, and mentor new students and alums.
Architecture has always been one of the most popular career paths for Cities students. In addition to work in architecture and urban design, others have gone on to teach in architectural history at universities ranging from Berkeley to the University of Washington. Other alums have extended their undergraduate architectural training in work with housing, landscapes, or planning.
Public service is also a core of the program, reflected in the many students who work with government organizations and civic foundations worldwide. Often, these students develop their professional interests through schools in planning or public policy. While some students have chosen to pursue this through the 3+2 Master in City and Regional Planning with Penn, others have also studied for advanced degrees at MIT, NYU, Berkeley, and University College London, sometimes in conjunction with specific programs that allow them to develop their interests in education, housing, or other fields. Others have developed their interests in governance through programs in Public Policy at Harvard, NYU, and other institutions. These graduates have gone on to work in local, state, and national governments across the country as well as with private consulting firms, creating a network from Naples, Florida to Southern California, New Mexico to Afghanistan. Many are active in the Philadelphia area, providing connections for student internships and advising. Others have prepared for policy work through service with Teach for America, the Peace Corps, or other international organizations in Guatemala, Niger, Israel, and Pakistan.
Still other graduates have felt that they could better effect policy decisions through law school. Again, their combinations of interests - law and environment, immigration and labor, law and housing, law and international business - show how the interdisciplinary discussions of the Cities program create wider approaches to law school and careers. The same is true for medicine and public health, which at first sight might seem uncommon choices for majors grounded in the social sciences and humanities. Nonetheless, Cities students have gone on to medical programs nationwide as well as earning Master's degrees in Public Health from institutions like Johns Hopkins University and Harvard.
Cities students have also chosen to pursue careers in education, whether dealing with the classroom at the elementary and high school levels or completing advanced degrees in fields that represent the full range of academic contributions that constitute our cross-disciplinary discussions. Cities alums can be found today in the classroom as teachers or students in universities across the country and the world, in American Studies, Anthropology, Architectural History, Chinese History, Environmental Psychology, Geography, History, and Sociology.
Cities students have also been active in business, joining firms in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Boston, and adding M.B.A. and management programs to the variety of advanced degree programs in which the issues of changing cities can be debated and shaped. One of the newer areas of professional interest emerging among graduates involves mass media and communication, from journalism, television, and film to the internet—intersecting as well with alums who have become involved in careers in libraries and information management.
Even this list only begins to suggest the careers and interests that Cities students create after graduation. As alums share news of their projects and successes, their families and neighborhoods, their students and colleagues, the legacy of the Cities program once again becomes part of urban form, life, and imagination worldwide.