- Last updated:
- 07 Feb 2017
Nearing the completion of my Master of Urban and Environmental Planning, I recognised the importance of gaining work experience in order to successfully transition to a career in planning.
Whilst my post-graduate study provided me with foundation knowledge and skills, I perceived the absence of a formal work experience component in my course to be detrimental to my future ability to gain employment as a planner.
During my final semester, I actively sought work experience opportunities with local government across south east Queensland and considered myself extremely lucky to be offered an opportunity to undertake work experience within the Major Urban Developments [MUD] branch at Sunshine Coast Council [SCC]. It was during my work experience at SCC that I was made aware of the My Summer Workplace program. I was subsequently successful in securing a position as an intern and returned to the MUD branch to continue building upon my planning knowledge and skills.
Whist working as an intern in the planning officer role I assisted the project coordinators of the Caloundra South and the Kawana projects and gained an understanding of Council’s varied role in each of the projects in terms of priority development areas and master planning processes. My supervisors ensured I engaged in a range of tasks during my internship so as to maximise my learning experience within the program. Such tasks included the preparation of internal reports, assessment of development applications under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 and against planning scheme codes, master plan requirements and strategic planning documents. Additionally I conducted research, undertook site inspections and liaised with internal and external stakeholders such as development and planning industry professionals. This enabled me to the experience the broad scope of tasks in the planning officer role.
The real-world experience I have gained during the My Summer Workplace program has been invaluable – not only providing me with confidence as a graduate planner but better equipping me to progress my career as a planning professional. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with SCC and appreciate having had an opportunity to grow and develop.