I recently received my master's from a well-regarded Big10 planning program. I never interned for a planning agency in grad school because:
a) I went into planning school thinking I would most likely end up working in a nonprofit doing community development/"urban affairs" type stuff, as that was consistent with my previous experience. My summer internship involved work in this vein.
b) My department assigned me to a 20 hr per week graduate assistantship that had absolutely nothing to do with urban planning, so I didn't really have the free time during school. (I didn't complain though since the assistantship paid more than twice what other grad assistants were making)
c) didn't seem like there were lots of internship opportunities locally anyway. (and fellow students' responsibilities seemed limited to GIS data entry--which I was getting plenty of in class)
I am not having as much success with the nonprofit job search as I'd like, despite having a few years of decent work experience before grad school. Though I hadn't expected to work for a planning department, Planner I positions do look like an attractive way for me to build some expertise. (as much as that's possible in planning)
My question is whether I'm totally out of luck in this endeavor. I got excellent grades in planning school, work hard, and am willing to learn. But I worry about hiring managers out there unwilling to look at transferable skills. Am I screwed?