Michael Gaughan

My career ambition is to revitalize downtowns and neighborhood business districts. In practice, this translates to utilizing my market analysis skills to understand where a new market is conceivable, financial skills to understand project barriers, and knowledge of public incentives to enable the project. I am currently in the first step towards achieving my career goal at the University of Pennsylvania’s city planning graduate program, where I focus on the study of public and private real estate practice.

Evidence of my commitment to this course of action is also demonstrated in my dual pursuit of a master’s degree in city planning concurrent with a Certificate in Public Finance at the Fels Institute of Government. This course of study balances needs of private real estate interests, which I address in real estate finance courses, and the public limitations discussed in public finance and planning law courses.

The next step in my career will occur in the finance department of a public agency or economic development corporation where I intend to work as an analyst on projects that creatively leverage incentive programs. Subsequently, I plan to utilize this finance experience to move into a position negotiating incentive packages with private developers and tenants.

As a senior level official in public service, I will balance private incentives and public benefits with the sound understanding provided by my diverse coursework and previous experience. This includes my time as an Associate at an urban economics consulting firm, which gave me in-depth knowledge of retail markets and the project gaps resulting from an immature market. Additionally, my skill as a planner will enable full recognition of the long-term public benefits derived from the project.

With my understanding of public/private development, I plan to mitigate project shortfalls produced both by the market and restricted credit resources to facilitate investment in revenue deprived urban areas. Successful outcomes of my career efforts will be the transition of struggling retail corridors and districts to revitalized places with wide appeal. My commitment to urban revitalization makes me an ideal candidate for the CampusGov and govloop scholarship because the fulfillment of my career objectives will be satisfied through my entry into public service upon graduation.