Name: Ariana Zeno
Hometown: Los Angeles
Educational Background: Wesleyan University, 2005. American Studies with a concentration in African American Studies
Planning Concentration: CED
How did you get interested in planning?
I became interested in planning while working at PolicyLink, a non profit staffed primarily by "progressive" planners working towards social and economic equity. I was inspired by their work and wanted to increase my expertise to contribute in similar ways. However, I am also interested in interdisciplinary work and chose to pursue a dual masters with Social Work as well in order to add a stronger Social Justice element and bring a mental health awareness to planning.
What was your background prior to coming to Penn?
Prior to Penn I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a year teaching English and translating. When I returned to the U.S. I worked for a year as a bilingual paralegal at an immigration law firm in San Francisco and at PolicyLink a non profit research and advocacy organization focused on low income communities and communities of color in the Bay Area.
Why did you choose PennPlanning?
I thought Philadelphia was a great environment in which to explore the benefits and challenges of planning for cities. I liked the strength of Penn's CED concentration and the dedicated faculty, and wanted a school that would allow me to seek dual degrees.
What is your favorite class so far?
Either Intro to CED or Techniques
Where did you intern?
Msquared Consulting in Washington, DC
Are you involved in any planning related activites?
I am the editor of the Link, SPA representative, and one of the School of Design's representatives to GAPSA
What are your career ambitions?
Rather than specific career ambitions, I'm interested in applying skill sets. I want to employ the valuable skills acquired in both planning and social work to whatever endeavor I pursue. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of my course of study, I imagine that that will take a variety of forms.