Each semester, UTC graduate student researchers land positions with leading transit agencies and private companies across the nation.
Below, alumni from the Spring Class of 2014 share thoughts on their months working at the Center and career plans.
Jennifer Kane, MUPP — Project Analyst, Transportation Resource Associates, Inc. “Working at UTC accelerated my learning in the transportation concentration of the MUPP program. Research projects, seminars, and guest lectures complemented my coursework by adding more of a ‘real world’ on-the-ground component. My position introduced me to professionals throughout the industry. I was able to start building a network while still in school, and get a glimpse of how people in government and the private sector talk and think about transportation challenges.”
Martin Menninger, MUPP — Associate Planner-Policy Development, CMAP.
“The UTC allowed me to develop my transportation planning experience for my resume, as I’m looking to land transportation planning consulting jobs. The atmosphere at the UTC was nurturing and supportive for graduate students studying transportation. It was nice to be near other students taking similar classes because we were able to help each other on both UTC work and course work.”
Alexandra McNally, MUPP — Transportation Planner, CivCon Services.
“Perhaps the single most significant benefit I gained by working at the UTC was an in-depth knowledge of an aspect of transportation planning, specifically freight transportation, that I otherwise would not have known a lot about. I’m so thankful that I had the position as a graduate research assistant because I was able to meet great people and learn more about freight transportation. I enjoyed writing a thesis and feel that I have a better understanding of academic research.”
Brendan Dodge-Hayakawa, MUPP — Bus Scheduling Analyst, Chicago Transit Authority.
“Working at the Urban Transportation Center gave me a better grasp of transportation policy and how to analyze data better. I’ve mastered how to use census data and have become much more aware of the other kind of data that’s available for transportation research. Plus, the UTC offers a great working environment. I’ve made relationships that will help me succeed throughout my career.”
Jane Wilberding, MUPP — Parking and Transportation Consultant, Desman Associates.
“I cannot imagine my graduate school experience without working a the UTC. I received much support from the professors, staff and fellow RAs. This has given me a dynamic depth of knowledge and expertise in the field, and I am now confident in pursuing my future career path. It was such a supportive and informative environment, absolutely perfect for students with varied interests, struggling to figure out what to do with their lives. “