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Thread: One year before grad school - advice please!

  1. #1
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    One year before grad school - advice please!

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for advice on what I can do for 1 year before Grad school. Here's my situation. I graduated from the Univ of WI with undergrad degrees in International Business, Management and Spanish. I worked in the corporate world in Minneapolis for 3 years and decided I was not going down the right path. It was a good company but I just didn't feel rewarded and I didn't want to chase the $$$. So here I am, 8 months later, teaching in South Korea. It has been a wonderful experience and I would recommend it to anyone.

    I am returning to the US in September and I would really like to get my Masters in Urban Planning. Unfortunately, I missed the Fall deadlines and it looks like Spring admission for many colleges is rare. What types of 1 - year jobs could I get in this field - with no planning experience? I would like to gain some experience and really see what this job is like. I know working for a year in the field has been highly recommended in some other posts I've read. I've checked the planning.org site. Most of the Internships are for people already in college...I will still apply for many of them. I would like to stay in Minneapolis but I'm really willing to move anywhere for the right job.

    I appreciate anyone's advice!

    Thanks,
    Adam

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The District's avatar
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    if you have to, take an unpaid internship with minimal time commitment, then go from there (i.e., getting a paid position elsewhere or something). i give this suggestion for two reasons:
    -you don't have any education or experience, so it'll be harder to convince someone to PAY you as an intern.
    -if they're not paying you, i believe you're entitled to be involved in a wider variety of tasks. you are FREE LABOR. this will be helpful later as you apply for grad schools.
    also, with your educational background, i think a nonprofit business development corp. or downtown alliance would be interested in your skills--business and spanish are helpful in those places.
    an internship will really help you decide if this is what you really want to do, so you don't waste your time getting a grad degree for a job you don't want.
    i'm currently doing some unpaid work for a company, which will likely turn into a job offer this week. i wouldn't work for free for just anybody, but working for them would be a dream job, so it's a sacrifice i'm willing to make.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian RubberStamp Man's avatar
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    The unpaid internship is probably you're best realistic bet. Without contacts it'll be tough to get into the field competing against those whom have a leg up in either related education or experience.

    Or you can see what local planning events are being held in your local area upon your return to schmooze and network. Try starting with the APA and their local planning org chapter to see if there is anything in your area.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    If you can't get a job or an intership, you should at least start frequenting planning board meetings, city council meetings, county commission meetings.. anything to familiarize yourself with how things work. Get as involved in local issues as you can- that can mean simply becoming a regular at council meetings or volunteering to serve on something yourself.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ah....

    Quote Originally posted by vaughan View post
    If you can't get a job or an intership, you should at least start frequenting planning board meetings, city council meetings, county commission meetings.. anything to familiarize yourself with how things work. Get as involved in local issues as you can- that can mean simply becoming a regular at council meetings or volunteering to serve on something yourself.
    1. Enroll at the University of your choice as a non-degree seeking student
    2. Get Good grades
    3. Go looking for a job as a "planning" student
    4. Find internship with the help of the school....?
    5. Get job in related field...planning, GIS, parks planning...geo-tech, survey crew, developer, real estate gofer...whatever
    6. Gain full admission next year with a year full of credits under your belt...
    7. Graduate....
    8. Obtain great job in Western Arizona.....
    9. Find a good looking spouse....
    10. Have 5 children.....
    11. Win loto
    12. quit job...
    13. Buy villa in S. of France...

    Well, that's pretty much what I see for the next 50 years....let me know how it works out....he he he....

    Oh and Welcome from Western Arizona
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

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