The Public Works team is growing. Last month we welcomed two fresh faces: Joel Hochman and Emily Pfeiffer. Get to know them, their interests, and why they were drawn to Public Works below.
Joel attended Wesleyan University, earning a degree in Government and Iberian Studies. From the very beginning, Joel was interested in a mission-driven career. Flirting with the idea of a career in public interest law, Joel took his first job out of undergrad as a paralegal at the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG). At NYLAG, Joel provided direct legal assistance to immigrant communities across the five boroughs and coordinated an office-wide client referral program into an affiliated workforce development and job readiness program. As Joel hustled to help his immigrant clients obtain work authorization and then navigate New York City’s workforce development programs, Joel better understood and appreciated how essential good public sector, philanthropic, and nonprofit operational practices were in conferring immediate material benefit to New York’s most vulnerable populations. After a year spent teaching English in Madrid, his second most favorite city in the world after New York, Joel’s career interests shifted towards urban planning and community development. Joel worked as a program associate at Lawyers Alliance for New York, helping to provide technical assistance to nonprofit organizations serving disadvantaged and disinvested communities in New York City. Joel was also instrumental in scaling nonprofit technical assistance nationwide, coordinating with over a dozen peer providers on programming and educational materials for nonprofit managers and executives across the United States. Joel moved to Ithaca, NY to obtain his master’s degree in city and regional planning from Cornell University, where his academic focus was the intersection of land use and economic development planning. During the summer between his first and second years at Cornell, Joel came back to New York City to intern at the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) in the Housing, Economic, and Infrastructure Planning Division. At DCP, Joel worked on proposals to amend the zoning resolution to preserve and cultivate New York City’s small-scale manufacturing sector.
Public Works Partners earned Joel’s immediate attention, thanks to both its mission-driven approach and New York City focus. Public Works’ nonprofit management consultancy and urban planning practices were both areas where he felt he could meaningfully contribute right off the bat, so it felt like a great match. Joel is excited to learn from and collaborate with his co-workers, all of whom have exceptional experience helping New York City achieve its potential for all its residents. Although starting a new job remotely has had its quirks, Joel is grateful to Public Works for making the remote onboarding process as seamless as possible.
Joel grew up on the east side of Manhattan, but Brooklyn is now his home. In pre-COVID times during grad school, Joel picked squash back up after a long hiatus: he would love to find an affordable way to keep playing in New York City once it is safe again. Joel loves to go for runs up and down Eastern Parkway, and now thanks to quarantine measures, has a newfound interest in genealogy. Joel is always down for a food tour or a relaxing afternoon in Prospect Park. To really unwind, Joel loves to spend time scrolling aimlessly through Tik Tok and admiring the creativity of others.
Emily is a current senior at New York University, majoring in business with a concentration in marketing. She is also pursuing two minors of History and Entertainment, Media & Technology. Her coursework has been primarily focused on digital marketing, social responsibility, and advertising strategy. Throughout her freshman and sophomore years, she gained experience in social media management through work with startups to accelerate their marketing efforts. As part of her study abroad in the Czech Republic, she interned with Ernst & Young to collaborate cross-regional communications and internal marketing. Pursuing her interest in digital marketing, she has been a campaign operations intern with the programmatic advertising agency Yieldmo since junior year, focusing on project management and internal client campaign support.
Emily was drawn to Public Works and the mission of the firm, having had experience working within startups focused on philanthropic community building and employee engagement. She is thrilled at the idea of multi-tasking on multiple projects and aiding the Client Services team in doing impactful community work. As someone who loves research and organization, the role of project coordination and internal marketing intersected wonderfully with the great cultural fit of Public Works Partners. The warm welcome of the team only confirmed a supportive environment that will allow her to learn and grow new skills, while also utilizing her past experiences in new ways. Although Emily has now spent more than half of her work life in a remote setting, she somehow still finds herself accidentally forgetting to unmute herself in almost every meeting.
Emily is from Chicago, but grew up in Malaysia and has moved many other times in her life. Outside of work, Emily spends time reading or watching historical documentaries. She loves to travel and explore New York, scouring for the best restaurants or new pop-up exhibits. Like any good member of Gen Z, too much of her free time is spent scrolling through or making Tik Toks. She resides in the West Village with her cat Peaches, who surprisingly is a big fan of being taken to the park on a warm day.