In photography land, nobody ever cared where I went to school. As a matter of fact, focusing on school credentials sort of bleats "inexperienced", at least in commercial photography world, even if it isn't the truth. You didn't say exactly what kind of work you were interested in, but the reference to assisting may indicate a commercial bend. The two things that get you work in commercial world are working and networking, and the best advice I can give you is to get involved on any level you can, and attend functions where creative directors, photographers, and ad people are in attendance. Try to get on sets doing anything at all. If nobody knows who you are, you are nobody. It's rough at first, but if you work at it, you will catch a break.