Help me combine my interests in Latin America, urban planning, and not being unemployed.
I recently (last year) completed a master's in international relations/economics and, upon finishing, realized I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with (or without regard to) this generalist's degree. Prior to grad school, I worked for a couple of years in urban planning with a small (mostly-domestic) consulting firm. (My bachelor's was in geography with some urban plannning stuff, but no real design practice--just cartography.)
At the time I left to go to grad school, I thought I was done with planning, but in retrospect it was probably just the annoyance of dealing with petty stakeholders in relatively affluent areas: in that job, I spent a fair amount of time working on zoning regulations (specifically, sign dimensions and other relatively unimportant design standards), which I find pretty boring. I think if I were working on projects in developing areas (more focused on housing, transportation, public services) instead, where good policy and projects can actually make a difference in people's standard of living, I would be much more interested.
So the question (finally!) is: where/with whom should I be looking for work?
I'm interested in organizations like ITDP
, I am young and mobile enough that it doesn't matter if I'm working from the U.S. or based in other countries, and I have the resources to work pretty cheaply for a while. For reference, I speak Spanish pretty well and I've studied Portuguese*--I'm most familiar with Latin America, but I wouldn't rule out other regions.
(For those who see an obvious blind spot in my question: unfortunately, my school's career services office is not the most helpful, and it takes about a month on average to get an appointment to talk to them. The school's international development department focuses more on rural issues, government accountability, and economic development...urban planning sort of falls through the cracks.)
*Also, can anyone recommend a good Portuguese-language news podcast? I can read pretty well, but I want to work on my listening comprehension, and every tool helps.