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Jacob Kosior, Economic Development

View Jacob's paper Looking Beyond The Banks: Cincinnati’s Plan for Economic Development. The paper was developed for the required economic development course UPP 530.

What is your academic and work background? What did you do before enrolling in the MUPP program at UIC?

I graduated from Princeton University in 2010 with a B.A. in Politics and a Certificate in Urban Studies. I then moved to Chicago to take a fellowship position with Center on Halsted, Chicago’s LGBT community center, to serve as their Director of Special Events and Volunteers. After 2 years at Center on Halsed, I left the organization to pursue my MUPP degree.

What attracted you to planning and made you decide you wanted to be a planner?

Planning is the nexus between politics, residents, economics, and the physical environment. I like that planning is applicable to so many fields and is essential to fully understanding how our metropolitan regions work and what it takes to enact change from the bottom-up and the top-down.

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Why did you want to study planning at UIC?

I chose to study planning at UIC because of the program’s strong reputation not only in Chicago, but across the country, and the access to working professionals that the program provides. I continue to be impressed with the connections to the professional community that UIC provides and the diverse skills and backgrounds of my classmates.

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What are some of the highlights of your time as a student--classes, projects, internships, volunteer involvement?

The highlights of my time as a MUPP have been my economic development classes and my internship with the Illinois Housing Development Authority. My ED classes have been very useful in understanding the process of economic development planning and my internship at IHDA allowed me to development skills that I wouldn’t have found in the classroom.

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Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I will hopefully be working as a private planning consultant in the Chicago region and partnering with local governments, developers, residents, and other planners to help take advantage of all of the assets that Chicago has to offer.

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