I'm yet another member of my generation who worked hard to get a "good job", got it, and realized that I had accomplished someone else's goals instead of setting my own. I graduated from a good state school (UF) last year with degrees in math and finance, a 3.88 GPA, and 800Q/590V/4.5W GRE scores. I did research on the housing market with a fairly well-known urban economist, but I don't have my name on any publications. Since graduating, I've been working as an analyst at a major financial institution.
My current job is prestigious and high-paying, but it's not my passion. I spend my free time reading about transportation and urban planning, playing city sim games, and trying to evangelize smarter planning to anyone who will listen. Specifically, I'm interested in transit planning. After a ton of pondering, I've decided I want to become a transit consultant. I think I'd much prefer the life of a private consultant to that of a city government employee.
I've just started looking at grad programs that could help me along this path, with the intent of applying this fall/winter and starting in summer/fall of 2013. MIT, Berkeley, and Georgia Tech interest me the most when I consider opportunities, prestige, and location. However, I have no idea if my credentials would get me into any of those schools. Any thoughts on whether I'm looking at the right range of schools? Are there any programs that I should be looking at closer that would be a good match for my background and goals? And finally, any advice on how to make myself a more attractive candidate between now and when I apply?
Thanks for your help!!