Hi. I am looking for advice about how to frame my unique background and skills when applying for urban planning jobs.
I am in my mid-twenties and have a bachelor's degree in mathematics and dance. I worked for two years doing economic research for a consulting business in Maryland. I worked on a few projects for the Maryland Department of Planning, which I plan to emphasize. I honed my technical skills at that job: I am pretty much an expert at Excel and PowerPoint and can comfortably get around SAS, SPSS, and Access. I did extensive data analysis (though usually in collaboration with a higher level economist) as well as more qualitative economic research and writing sections for some reports.
I also have a year of graduate coursework in biostatistics. I left the program because I realized that I didn't want to be a biostatistician and some traumatic life/health events made it impossible to stay there. Even though I maintained a 3.7 GPA while there and now have a great grasp of statistics (also did some computer programming and took courses in GIS) I think that this will be a blemish on my resume.
I have just moved to New York City and want to start working in urban planning, possible doing research, since I think that's what I'm more qualified for. Even though I think I have all the necessary skills for a planning job (especially a more technical, research oriented one), I don't have a traditional background or a master's degree. I have been applying for jobs, but no one seems to show any interest yet.
So, I'm looking for advice on how to frame my experience and year of graduate school in my cover letter and resume. Any advice would be appreciated.
Also, if anyone has any job leads in the New York area or knows of any companies where my technical skills would be a good fit, I'd love to know about them.