When I first started as a part-time planning intern at RC, I was aware of the fact that the largest obstacle to my internship will involve time management. Thus, as an international graduate student studying and working remotely, I was strategically planning my schedule for a remote working environment. Despite these measures, I had few challenges towards the start due to my commitment to multiple works in order to achieve the required hours of the co-op semester. Several responsibilities for these works collided often and there were times when I was working all days of the week. But, as I progressed with my internship, I was able to navigate my efficiency through flexible adjustments. It became eminent that despite one has made a proper schedule to attend to their responsibilities and work commitments, it is necessary to construct flexibility for remote working environments.
One of the solutions that really worked for me was to incorporate added hours of time gaps between two works which effectively helped in time management. Additionally, constant communication with the supervisor about updates, working environments, and in general, any type of obstacle has helped significantly to overcome these challenges. While working remotely, a constant channel of communication with your fellow interns, supervisors, and people associated with the organization can certainly enhance a good internship experience.
One of the most interesting aspects of my experience with RC for phase I have been data visualization for the CorpsAfrica/Maroc Project. I was always interested in visualizations as a planning student as I believed in the power of visuals to convey complex information to the readers. It provides multiple perspectives on how simple data can be modified to relay specific information that may help readers/viewers to understand with a convenient approach. Through Tableau software which specializes in analyzing and visualizing data, I was able to experiment with the software to display qualitative, quantitative, and geographic data into graphical charts. Aside from navigating software on my own, I utilized the “Tableau Help” section from the main website as my readable source. A collection of video demonstrations working with the software can be accessed here.
Experiences & Skill Development
Although it has only been a month of working with RC, the opportunities to work with different projects have contributed to multiple skill developments. Some of the accomplishments include professional skills in terms of data development and visualization, communication strategies, and effective time management that are often considered beneficial for a planning major.
As a part of the research and development phase, I worked with data documentation for the CorpsAfrica/Maroc project which indeed helped me to understand the necessity of data management and how this can further contribute to analyze the project details. This further manifested in data visualization, which has been one of the good experiences through learning, research, and development. Further, I was able to practice my research interest with a Park Project as a public space, thus adding international planning and design experiences which will enhance my resume for future planning careers.
Such experiences will have a major impact on professional development while working in a multidisciplinary and self-directed learning environment. Overall, my phase I with RC has established a professional platform to explore many opportunities for independent learning as a planning student.
Summer 2021 Co-op Student
Master of Community Planning, 1st Year
University of Cincinnati
Class of 2022