Jennifer Cao

Lynnwood, Washington

There is a diverse student body and faculty, and my program allows for flexibility in taking core classes while having time and freedom to take classes outside of AAP — it's really what you make it.

Why did you choose Cornell and AAP?

Cornell offered me an exceptional financial aid package in an affordable living area and it is a top rated school for my major. There is a diverse student body and faculty, and my program allows for the flexibility in taking core classes while having time and freedom to take classes outside of AAP to supplement your own goals — it's really what YOU make it.

What inspired you to join the field of city and regional planning?

I took a GIS course in my undergrad which introduced me to a field where I went on to do very rewarding work in future relevant classes. Also, I have a lot of unanswered questions to issues in the built environment that I hope to either clarify or actually solve. There's a good balance of practice and theory in this field and you get an interdisciplinary approach to societal concerns.

What experiences have contributed to your sense of belonging at AAP?

The classmates I've had have been very open and friendly so it's easy to meet people if you put in the effort. The field trip this year to Cleveland was also a fun experience and I really got to bond with people.

What are your extracurricular interests and how have you incorporated them into your college life?

In terms of school extracurriculars, I am in the Chinese Student Association where I have met extremely wholesome people. I am also helping organize events for the Society for Asian American Graduate Affairs, which is a tight-knit group who meet up for big holidays and it definitely helps with homesickness and feeling alone during the holidays. Outside of school, I enjoy anything related to performance arts whether it be live or prerecorded — so things like TV shows, movies, music, dance, etc.. I also enjoy playing team sports and will actually be taking an archery class next semester!

What do you hope to accomplish during your time at AAP and after graduation?

I hope to strengthen my skill set through class work and internships to be a competitive applicant in future jobs. I want to take the abilities I learn into the world of physical planning and urban development, particularly in transportation planning/infrastructures, and see where that leads in the long-run.