Help me plan for planning!
May 12, 2010 8:32 AM Subscribe
I think urban planning could be my dream profession. I also have no experience whatsoever, all the introductory jobs want experience, and I don't want to go to grad school without KNOWING this is for me.
posted by showbiz_liz to Education (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I am a college senior with one semester left before graduation. I majored in advertising and anthropology. Advertising made me realize I love working on big projects where you have to whittle a ton of data down and then come up with new ideas based on it. Anthropology made me fascinated by how people interact with their built environments, and also made me very aware of social justice issues.
So with only two semesters left to graduate, I took a class in the city planning minor, to see if I would like it. And I loved it! Every week I'd have some cool new fact related to planning and go around telling all my friends about it, but no one was excited as me. Everything we talked about was either something I felt passionate about already, or something that I couldn't believe I'd never heard of before. I deliberately chose a hard-to-research topic for my final paper, which I wouldn't normally do, and found out about the emerging field of food system planning, which I still can't stop daydreaming about working in.
So, I am going to graduate in December, probably with a 3.51 GPA. I am currently studying for the GRE and will probably do well enough on it. And I THINK I would love to go to school for planning.
I only took the one class in planning, and I don't have any related experience- my club/internship experience is all in graphic design and marketing.
I looked into planning tech jobs, which don't require a degree, but all of them wanted a year+ of GIS experience. I've never even used GIS.
I can't take more planning classes because I'm going abroad next semester.
My professor (well, grad student) was no help whatsoever when I asked her about this. She basically said "do more research and then get back to me." So that's what I'm doing now.
My actual question: What can I do to gain relevant experience, if the traditional method of working as a planning tech or doing a planning minor are not options? I want to make myself attractive to grad schools, but I also want to make sure that I really want to do this with my life.