Upload & Sell: On
Cold call. Find local photographers whose work you admire. Call and speak to their receptionist, try to get through to the photographer. Walk into studios, too. Try to get to the photographer or the studio manager.
Take any level assisting job you can get. Don't try to jump to first assistant right away. You'll have to learn how that particular photographer works, what he or she expects most from an assistant. Your job is to make the shoot as effortless as possible.
Once you're in, pay attention to the photographer's ability to interact with his clients, before, during and after a shoot. Get to know the studio manager and that role. That's the administrative side to it all: bookings, schedulings, payroll, contracts, inventory.
You'll know when it's time to get out on your own as a photographer.
This might be getting ahead of yourself, but casually start to research the different lighting systems, capture software, camera systems/formats. Give yourself an edge now so you don't have to learn the remedial stuff on the job. In some cases, it will help get you the job. You don't have to go crazy, but just familiarizing yourself a bit will go a long way.
The benefits of assisting are indispensable. If you make the most of it, you'll come out business savvy and technically competent, freeing up your own creative ideas.