Here is my situation. I'm about to graduate with an MA in Regional Economic and Social Development from UMass-Lowell. Basically, it's a quite similar to planning, with a focus on the specific needs and requirements of economic development and an emphasis on sustainability.
For the last 11 months, I've been interning at a community development corporation and learning the ropes of project management, by shadowing the Real Estate director, completing funding applications, examining proformas, etc.. as well as working on grantwriting with the organization's fundraising director. As the organization is a mission-driven nonprofit, a lot of community organizing goes on, and I've done a lot of that as well.
That said, now that graduation is approaching, I've started interviewing for project management positions at a few CDCs in Boston. The impression that I am getting is that despite the experience I have, I don't have a background in finance, and I am wondering if that is a liability. It's always tough to break into a field, and these nonprofits operate on a very tight margin... they have to in order to survive. They want to bring new blood into the field, but they need experienced people in order to put deals together.
How can I get my chops up? Should I go to work for a planning department instead, and maybe see about entering the development world after a few years? Or am I just overanalyzing the situation?