If you're a student, the volume and variety of educational sessions, networking events, and other activities at the National Planning Conference can be overwhelming.
To help you navigate in New Orleans, we've highlighted some events and sessions that may be of particular interest.
This is just a sample of the many opportunities for education and networking at NPC18, so be sure to check out the full conference program online to plan your personalized conference experience.
Get Togethers and Networking
Student Representatives Council/Young Planners Group Ideas Exchange
Sunday, April 22, 4:15 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Meet four young professionals who will share their experiences with APA as leaders in Planning Student Organizations, the Student Representatives Council, Young Planners Groups, and beyond. SRC Student Reps are required to attend. [Location: Hilton Riverside]
Student and Young Planner Social and Trivia Night
Monday, April 23, 8 p.m.–10 p.m.
Join the Crescent City Shapers (the local Planning Student Organization) and the APA Louisiana Chapter, New Orleans Metro Section on Monday night at the Rusty Nail for the Student and Young Planner Social and AICP/Planning-themed trivia night.
Careers and Mentoring
Recent Grad in the Working World
Sunday, April 22, 8:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m.
This facilitated discussion will be led by a panel of seasoned professionals who will discuss their career paths, the value of AICP, choices available to you as a planner, and other career topics chosen by participants.
Employer Connection Job Fair
Sunday, April 22, Noon–5:15 p.m.
Employers will discuss current job openings during informational small-group meetings. Drop in at any time during the job fair, dress for an interview, and don't forget your resume!
Becoming AICP: Advice from Credentialed Members
Sunday, April 22, 2:45 p.m.–4 p.m.
This is an interactive opportunity to pick the brain of individuals who recently became AICP. They will share what they may have done differently to prepare for the exam and what the exam experience is really like.
Mentor Match Meetup Mixer
Sunday, April 22, 5:30 p.m.–7 p.m.
This is the place at NPC to meet your mentor! Be sure to sign up to be matched with a mentor in advance.
Career Networking Power Hour
Monday, April 23, 2 p.m.–3 p.m.
Connections are key, whether you're on the hunt for a new job or a new member to complete your team. The Career Networking Power Hour is open to all who are looking to hire and those looking for work.
Opening Keynote: Derreck Kayongo
Saturday, April 21, 8:30 p.m.–10 a.m.
Ugandan refugee, visionary, and renowned human rights activist Derreck Kayongo will tell his courageous story of survival, social entrepreneurship, and humanitarianism.
Closing Keynote: Angela Glover Blackwell
Tuesday, April 24, Noon – 1 p.m.
Angela Glover Blackwell has dedicated her life to advancing economic and social equity. She is the founder and CEO of PolicyLink, a national research and action institute committed to those goals.
Hot Topics in Planning
Fast, Funny, and Passionate
Saturday, April 21, 10:45 a.m.–Noon
These seven bite-sized presentations will both entertain and inform you, and are ideal for those interested in public engagement and planning for inclusiveness and social justice.
It's Complicated: Placemaking and Gentrification
Monday, April 23, 10:15 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Placemaking, revitalization, active transportation — sounds great, right? Unfortunately, these terms are often synonymous with gentrification. Join the dialogue to explore this issue in more depth and to develop and share solutions.
Getting Ahead of Self-Driving Cars
Monday, April 23, 1 p.m.–2:15 p.m.
Self-driving cars are coming — and fast. Hear from a public works director, national researcher, and national consultant who examine two key areas where planners should be focusing on autonomous vehicle impacts: street design/management and parking-garage design/management.
The Art of Private-Practice Planning
Tuesday, April 24, 8:30 p.m.–9:45 p.m.
Learn the art of persuading communities to create visions for their futures. Explore the challenges and rewards of private-practice planning, including the role of the consultant who collaborates on a range of initiatives across diverse communities.
Top image: Students at the 2015 National Planning Conference in Seattle. Photo by Joe Szurszewski.
About the Author
Karen Kazmierczak is a senior marketing manager at APA.