July 24, 2023
By: Kyle Niblett
University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning student Anand Bhatia is wrapping up his summer as a planning intern with Stantec in Tampa, Florida. Following his graduation this August with a degree in sustainability and the built environment (SBE), the UF Student Planning Association member will immediately pursue a master’s degree in the UF Department of Urban and Regional Planning (URP).
The DCP communications team recently sat down with Bhatia for an extensive question-and-answer session.
What would you tell prospective students who are thinking about attending DCP?
The education I received here has been fantastic, but the thing that I will never forget about my time in DCP will certainly be the faculty. Every faculty member I have come across at DCP has not only been extremely friendly and helpful with all my career and educational questions, but they are all also enormously knowledgeable and passionate about their field. The DCP faculty are world-renowned for their research and accomplishments, and it’s incredible that I can be their student.
What was your favorite course/professor at DCP and why?
Dr. Hal Knowles and Dr. Ruth Steiner are two faculty members who I have an especially strong bond with, as they have both helped shape me into the person I am today through class instruction, after-school events and hours of chatting about everything else.
What has been your favorite memory at DCP and why?
The passion I feel from my fellow students in SBE and URP has been tremendous. Every student is so enthusiastic about helping our world become a better place and being a decent person while doing so. The deep professionalism and maturity conducted by my fellow students during ethically challenging conversations that us planners must discuss in class is another thing that made me proud to be a student here at DCP.
What is the one thing you know now that you wish you would have known about your first day at UF?
I wish I had joined and knew about the SBE/Planning 4+1 degree sooner, as I had been a finance/business student for the first year and a half in Gainesville.
How important is the DCP network of graduates across the globe?
I constantly see our alumni getting mentioned on LinkedIn for massive accomplishments like winning competitions or being promoted at highly respectable firms. I partially managed to attain my Stantec internship from cold messaging a former SBE/MURP student, and I would highly recommend students reach out to graduates, no matter how cold that first message or call may be. I know that when I graduate, I will help any student from DCP/MURP.
Can you tell us about the day-to-day responsibilities at Stantec?
Every day is a new adventure in my job. Some days I will be working on overlaying zoning data on a site in GIS; other times I will be attending meetings with my supervisor or travelling to other local Stantec offices to collaborate.
How did DCP prepare you for this internship?
The SBE and MURP faculty have been instrumental to the position I am in today. Their teachings have filled me with confidence in my abilities to compete for these types of positions. The programs themselves have exposed me to a wide variety of subject materials which makes me a versatile candidate for positions and as well as an employee. My friends and classmates in DCP have also helped to refine my teamworking abilities, my professionalism, and my overall ability to perform in a consistently positive and uplifting manner.
What are your long-term career plans?
I would love to be a well-rounded planner who will work in a variety of planning sub-fields and different sized companies. I aim to make a greener world along the way.