Matthew A. Brandmeyer
Matthew A. Brandmeyer
M.A. in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development, 2000
Planning and Development Administrator
Madison County Planning & Development
I was initially attracted to the urban planning program at Saint Louis University because it offered job-ready skills that other programs didn't. SLU's interdisciplinary program provided me with a sound understanding of practical legal, financial, and economic development aspects of planning.
My courses also introduced me to the practice of planning, equipped me with tools to find answers for day-to-day planning problems, and provided me with a vocabulary in many areas of planning. To this day, I consult materials from my classes as I'm working through a planning problem.
While in the program, I focused on the links between planning and development by identifying planning solutions to development problems. This win-win in planning and development can be elusive, and success often depends on being able to understand others' perspectives.
Communication is key in planning, and having writing proficiency will give you a head start in your career. My advice to potential students is to understand that while writing papers can be a burden, don't dismiss it as a class requirement. See writing as an opportunity to improve your skills. When interviewing job candidates, I pay particular attention to their writing samples, and it's one of my primary justifications for hiring a new planner.
In my current position as Planning and Development Administrator for Madison County, Illinois, I deal with a wide range of rural and urban planning issues. I'm working on a stormwater management plan, sustainability initiatives, and a revision of our overall comprehensive plan. I'm also helping draft a form-based code for a growth area in a partnership with two other jurisdictions.
Previously, I worked for the cities of Chesterfield and Creve Coeur, Missouri, and at The Koman Group, a real estate development firm in St. Louis. I've done exactly what I set out to do in my career, and I owe a great deal to the urban planning program. I'll be forever thankful for the education I received at SLU.