Rojan Thomas Joseph

Rojan Thomas Joseph Master's Candidate

Hometown: Kottayam, Kerala, India

Where did you go for undergrad and what did you major in?

I completed my Bachelors in Architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India. My concentrations and electives were on group housing, urban design, sustainable construction technology and building energy and performance analysis.

Why did you choose to attend DURP at UIUC?

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning at UIUC is highly reputed for its community development for social justice concentration in addition to its concentrations of land use and transportation, local and regional planning as well as sustainable design and development. A degree program that could provide the right combination of technical skills as well as focus on social and community planning was an important criterion for me. The program is well-respected in the US occupying a place in the top 10 and consistently topping the Midwest region. Finally, the department's offer to provide funding for my studies made the choice much easier.

What are your career ambitions?

My interest areas are primarily in sustainable transportation and community development. In the coming few years, I would prefer getting experience in the US in these fields as much as possible before moving back to India. I also have a deep interest to join the civil service and I think my backgroud in Urban Planning would be an invaluable asset to that. One of my long-term goals is to run for public as there is a lack of professionals and well-minded people in the Indian political system. I see potential in myself to provide leadership within my community. In the coming years, I will diversify my experience as much as possible. My current trajectory will/should place me in an early-mid level career position in a regional transportation agency or state/metropolitan level urban development authority in India. If I find myself in the private sector, I will start my own firm within ten years working as a consultant for local state governments.

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