Since graduating from Appalachian State University in 2013, Amy Marion has started a master’s program in urban studies at Portland State University already possessing experience and knowledge in her field.
The summer before she started her master’s program, Marion split her time between an internship with Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s research center conducting data analysis, and introducing school children to local produce in Asheville, North Carolina.
“I have always been a list-maker and organizer, so planning was a natural fit for me,” Marion said.
“In my first intro class, Dr. Tighe asked us to raise our hands if we used to play Sim City – a computer game in which you design and build a virtual city, complete with various zoning densities, utilities and budgetary constraints. About half the class, myself included, confessed and that’s when I knew I was in the right place.”
Although faculty member J. Rosie Tighe has since left Appalachian, Marion said they have continued a mentoring relationship.
Marion graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Planning with a minor in Sustainable Development. She said any student thinking of studying planning should also consider a minor as she did, because “taking an array of classes allows you to find the specific niche that interests you the most.”
Marion served as the president of Appalachian’s Sustainable Development Student Alliance for a year and was a member of the ASU Solar Energy Society. She said being part of a club gave her a sense of community but also experience in planning events and presenting education workshops.
Another avenue really prepared her for graduation and her first career steps.
“There’s no better preparation than the Geography and Planning Senior Seminar class,” Marion said. “We spent months perfecting our resumes, drafting cover letters, taking personality/career tests, going to career fairs and job shadowing.”
“I am indebted to my Senior Seminar professors,” Marion said. “They went above and beyond to prepare me for life after undergrad and write letters of recommendation for graduate school.”
In addition to benefitting from Appalachian’s strong academics, Amy Marion said participation in campus clubs gave her a sense of community and experience in planning events and presenting education workshops.