DRT, ESA, PJR, SPA, TIS, FSR, and EIS… some acronyms you don’t learn in school. For the last four months, I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside the expert Planners and Planning Technicians at UrbanSolutions, where these short forms are part of the daily vocabulary. As a recent graduate of Queen’s University and a current Mohawk College Planning student, I viewed working for the esteemed Planning & Land Development company as the ideal first step in my career.
Over the course of my employment, I was able to participate in the planning process at various stages for UrbanSolution’s projects. I worked closely with Planners to develop several applications for the municipal approval process, including, formal consultations, minor variances, road closures, and zoning by-law amendments. I also assisted in creating Planning Justification Reports for clients, and AutoCAD drawings for concept plans and land severances. I learned that attention to detail is critical in all aspects of the Planning industry, from the initial concept, to final approvals. Lastly, I witnessed the importance of keeping a strong relationship with clients and municipalities; a factor which is vital for a project’s progression.
Furthermore, the Planners offered me terrific career advice, and expressed the importance of working to obtain an Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) Membership. I also saw, first hand, that each project requires seamless teamwork, communication, and creative perspectives; all components which, are not only present, but strongly encouraged at UrbanSolutions.
As a result of my time at UrbanSolutions, I have acquired valuable insight of the Planning industry, and have gained a set of skills that can only be taught through a hands-on experience. I would like to thank the entire UrbanSolutions Team for making me feel welcome, challenging me, providing me with guidance, and giving me the opportunity to grow as an employee and a future Planner.