Price Student Q&A: Nick Cerdera
Hometown: Glenside, PA
Major: Urban Studies and Planning
Q. What inspired you to choose your major?
A. Transportation systems have always fascinated me. They are complex puzzles that exist within our cities. Many factors go into deciding where different stations are, where lines run, which spaces can and should be used for advertisements, etc. The problem-solving aspect, however, is not why I wanted to study Urban Planning. Urban Planning first, connects issues such as Public Transportation with social justice, environmental sustainability, and politics, and second, concentrates on trying to solve and work with these issues.
Q. What opportunities has Price afforded you?
A. Price offers unique help in resume building. The Price Office of Career Services specializes in helping students get into the policy, planning, and real estate development field in private, public, and non-profit sectors. The office is super friendly, and they have helped me produce a resume I am confident with.
Q. What skills have you developed in your time at Price?
A. Price has helped me learn how look at spaces. An individual space can mean a lot of things to different people. Often, spaces are not accessible to different groups in society, leading to inequity. It is an urban planner’s job to identify spaces that exclude parts of the population and figure out how eliminate the problem.
Q. Tell us about your internship experience.
A. This past summer I got an internship in Tel Aviv, Israel. I was working for a non-profit that helped support mobility start-ups. The opportunity to work abroad in the industry I am interested in was incredibly special. The internship offered me opportunities to talk to start-up founders, heads of incubator programs, Indian governmental officials, and executives at Volkswagen. It was interesting to see where transportation technology is headed, and I am excited to incorporate what I learned into class back at Price.
Q. What class have you enjoyed most at Price and why?
A. PPD 300 Social Justice in Policy and Planning has been the most mind opening class I have taken so far at Price. Taught by Professor Lewis, she points out how current governmental policies and urban structures systematically discriminate against different groups of people. She also was not afraid to point out where the students’ biases lie, so that we are now more aware of them. We now are prepared to think about different oppressed groups, our implicit biases, and how to form policy and cities while considering these ideas.
Q. What are your future career plans?
A. I am planning on applying to the MPL progressive degree program. If I get into the program, I will have the opportunity to finish both my undergraduate and Master’s in only five years. I believe this will help me achieve my goal of working in the transportation industry.
Q. What is the best advice anyone has given to you regarding your education?
A. The best advice I have received is to take classes that interest and challenge me even if they are not easy. Taking classes that are easy but boring is wasting valuable time. College is short, and we, as students, should enjoy it as much as possible.