Preparing Students for Work

UMKC AUP+D sponsors urban planning internship fair

Dozens of employers met students from three area universities (UMKC, University of Kansas and Missouri State University) at an urban planning internship fair in April.

The internship fair was sponsored and organized by the University of Missouri-Kansas City Architecture, Urban Planning + Design Department (AUP+D) and the Kansas City Section of the American Planning Association. Students were able to meet and interview with professional organizations and public and non-profit agencies seeking interns.

This annual event began in 2012 with the collaboration between AUP+D and the Planning Association. Shannon Jaax, AICP, a past president of the Missouri Chapter of the Association; and Sungyop Kim, Ph.D., associate professor of Urban Planning and Design in AUP+D, were instrumental in developing the annual fair. The fair extended invitations to planning students at other universities as a way to promote the planning profession. Students have been able to secure internship opportunities for summer through the fair, and often get extended internship opportunities beyond summer.

“The internship fair has a very practical benefit in connecting students and employers for summer planning internships,” Jaax said. “But more importantly, it helps build connections and relationships between today’s planning professionals and the next generation of planners. At (the Association), we realize that the experience and skills students gain through these internship opportunities is a critical step in their development as tomorrow’s leaders who will guide the growth of the Kansas City region.”

“It is imperative to have meaningful internship experience for students to enrich their education and to find a stepping stone to begin their professional careers,” Kim said. “Our planning students have benefited tremendously from this annual internship fair.”

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