What you do now, professionally:
Parking Operations Coordinator for Stanford University Parking & Transportation Services
Why you do it (what motivates you, why you find this work interesting or meaningful):
Initially, being offered a part-time opportunity to conduct field surveys (i.e., working outside on foot and on bike) and to use GIS (Geographic Information Systems) while also volunteering outside of work was a big draw for me to work for P&TS as an intern. My job as well as our department have gone through enough significant changes and transitions to keep me interested and growing. How you got here: My former supervisor referred me to the hiring manager for my current job. It took one interview and a couple days to get offered a job. I had a one week gap between my previous part-time job with Stanford Public Safety and my new part-time job with P&TS (which became a full-time position after a year or so).
What your background in Urban Studies has done for you:
Professor Fred Stout taught a seminar back in 1994-95 that required us to prepare a short paper and presentation for every class meeting. Even though this seminar lasted 1 quarter -- a blip on the undergraduate timeline -- I have to tell you that this one experience made an undeniable imprint on me. It was like boot camp for my writing "muscle," and my writing has never been the same since then. I didn't realize it until years later, but that class -- among others I'm sure -- prepared me to be one of the top performers in our department in terms of resolving customer complaints and producing high customer satisfaction via well-written email responses. My colleagues now rely on me heavily to navigate difficult questions from community members, challenging customer complaints and requests as well as policy questions that they struggle to address in writing. Mind you, I'm not a supervisor, manager, director or policy maker in title. But the mark that has been made by the Urban Studies Program on my writing is felt throughout P&TS and -- dare I say -- throughout the broader campus community from the President's office on down to the Children's Center of the Stanford Community! Thank you, Professor Stout and Program in Urban Studies!