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  • Writer's pictureDAC Planning Team

Meet our Planning Assistant Intern - Asuka Onishi

We interviewed Asuka Onishi, our Planning Assistant Intern to find out more about her internship experience and exposure to a town planning consultancy. Asuka joined DAC Planning through the Essex Interns programme with the University of Essex and Santander Universities. The scheme helps local organisations connect with talented graduates through three month internships.

woman standing with diploma in front of building

Asuka is a great support to the team and brings her marketing knowledge and skills, and civil engineering background to our projects. We are passionate about supporting and developing graduates. With our office in the Innovation Centre on the University of Essex campus, we benefit from networking, workshop and business development opportunities.


Please introduce yourself – who are you and what is your role at DAC Planning?

I’m Asuka. I have been working as a Planning Assistant Intern at DAC Planning since January 2024.

What projects have you been working on at DAC Planning?

I have been working on marketing proposals, content creation for social media and online learning materials, and so on.

Can you explain the Essex Internships program and how you came across it?

“Frontrunners”, the University of Essex’s on-campus internship scheme, has introduced this opportunity to me. It’s designed for helping students develop their skills, knowledge, and experience in a supportive, familiar environment.

What skills have you learned during this internship and what will you take forward with you?

I have learned a lot about how to create visually attractive content in accordance with brand consistency. Conducting marketing research to reach a wider audience is also crucial for my growth as a digital marketing specialist.

image of road with tram and buildings
Kunamoto City in Japan, well-known for its transport infrastructure and 400 year old castle

What have you learned about urban planning in England?

I learned a brief history of civil engineering in England during my BEng in Civil Engineering (Tohoku University, Miyagi, Japan).

I am interested in the Garden City concept, which values green spaces as social capital and balances urban and rural areas – my home country, Japan, got a lot of inspiration from the planning strategies in England.

What are you currently studying and why?

I’m pursuing an MSc in Psychology despite holding a BEng in Civil Engineering – I was fascinated by the mechanics of our visuospatial cognition during my studies in urban design. My dissertation thus focuses on visual cognitive function across multiple psychological domains.

How are you managing to balance graduate studies, an internship and personal life?

In order to enjoy all of them, I am managing my time effectively while staying organised. Balancing my life in a one-year postgraduate course requires effort and planning, but it’s achievable with discipline in place!



DAC Planning provides specialist local plan support and advice.

For a discussion on how we can assist you, please get in touch with the team: / 01206 259281.

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