May 22, 2023

Students of the Student Planning Organization (SPO) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently travelled to downtown Chicago for the first ever “Firm Crawl.”

The “crawl” was designed to connect students to a variety of firms with different focuses. During the daylong event, 28 students had the opportunity to visit up to four firms of their choice, allowing each student to create a day tailored to their specific interests in planning. Epstein was among the firms students could choose to visit.

The SPO connected these groups through APA's network of planners and UIUC planning alums. Students spoke with planning professionals and learned about projects that planners and professionals with planning backgrounds were involved in. Projects that different organizations were working on ranged from affordable housing projects to bus route planning to construction management.

“Epstein was honored to be included in the UIUC SPO 'Firm Crawl',” said Tim Gustafson, Senior Planner. “We met planning students from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, gave a tour of the Epstein office, and shared information on past and current planning projects. It was so great to see future leaders express an interest in the work we do, and we look forward to seeing them join us in the planning and design industry very soon!”

The visits helped undergraduate and graduate students understand the different paths that planners can take on. The trip connected student’s work in school with their work in the professional realm and gave students the opportunity to network and explore future career opportunities.