MURP Alumni Profiles

Prospective students often ask, "What can I do with a MURP degree from CU Denver?" Our program prepares students to work in diverse areas of planning around Colorado and the United States. Check out the profiles below to read alumni stories about how CU Denver MURP helped them meet their career goals. 

Bryan Sullivan_edit

Bryan Sullivan '17

Military Community Planner

What have you been up to since you finished the MURP program?
Since finishing the MURP program, I have begun my career as a military community planner at an international architecture/engineering firm. Our work focuses on planning projects for federal clients, primarily those involved with national defense, ranging from technical infrastructure reports to creative master plans.

How did you become interested in your field?
I became interested in military planning because it was a field that I was unfamiliar with and I felt that it was a great opportunity to learn more about something that is unique within the planning discipline. I have always had an interest in military history and operations, and this interest also drew me to the field.

What have been the biggest challenges in your career?
The biggest challenge is trying to adapt to the "military world", especially the jargon and relatable personal experiences that I have not had as a civilian. Many of my coworkers are veterans or planners who have done military planning for years, so it is easier for them to have conversations with our clients, simply because they are familiar with the specific terminology, processes, and day to day life related to military installations.

What do you find most rewarding about your career?
The most rewarding aspect of my career is that I have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of projects. During my time as a military community planner, I have completed several master plans, but I have also been involved with environmental assessments, infrastructure capacity analyses, cultural resources management plans, resiliency studies, and other documents which broaden my knowledge about planning. Much of this knowledge is easily translatable into a civilian context, and I believe I have a better understanding of cities and small towns because I have been exposed to so many diverse projects on military installations.

In what ways has your MURP degree had an impact on your career and who you are today?
I believe my MURP degree has made me a better public speaker and a more confident group leader. It also taught me about how best to communicate data to diverse audiences and how to get points across using the many tools available to planners.
What would you say to a prospective student that is considering CU Denver's MURP program?
I would say to prospective students that the skills taught in the MURP program are definitely in demand. This program will introduce you to, and/or allow you to master, several computer programs that you will use as a professional planner, as well as other skills like public engagement and data analysis that will benefit you in any planning position.

What was your favorite part about your time at CU Denver?
My favorite part about my time at CU Denver was being able to work on "real-world" projects with my classmates. I loved familiarizing myself with communities of all different sizes and characters and listening to their specific needs that could be addressed by good planning. I also learned a lot from my classmates as we all came from different backgrounds and have had our perspectives shaped through our own unique experiences.
Do you have any advice for recent MURP graduates looking to break into the planning field?
My advice to recent MURP graduates would be to keep an open mind and be a "lifelong student". Your career may shape up to be completely different than what you envisioned and may take many unexpected turns, but if you always have a willingness to learn and try new things, you will end up being a better planner and person.