July 3, 2015, by Laura Estrop
Spotlight On… International Development
By Daniella Dutton, Employability Officer
As part of our events programme, we held a Question and Answer panel sessions with speakers representing a variety of international development areas. They answered a wide and diverse range of questions during the session, which we have summarised below. So if you are keen to work in international development, spare five minutes to read this blog.
What is international development?
The international development sector is comprised of organisations who work with or in developing countries in order to implement long-term sustainable solutions to current issues. Careers in this area are very broad and can range from engineering, administration, to relief work.
What skills and experience do I need?
Typically you won’t come straight out of University and go into an international development role. So, what do you need to break in?
- Experience is vital and can be in the form of volunteering or getting involved with societies while you are at university; these can include the UNICEF or Amnesty society.
- A passion and motivation for making a difference or a change in the world are essential, without these, you won’t get very far!
- Make sure you do your research and understand the organisation’s key priorities.
- Be flexible. You may not go into the job role you want straight away. You may even end up working in a location that might not have been your first choice. However, all of this will give you that key experience.
The key is to be persistent and never give up! There is no set route into roles within international development. Most of the work is short term and in the form of fixed-term contracts, which is usually the norm for overseas work.
Examples of organisations within this sector
Organisations within the world of international development are extensive. Here is a short list of examples:
- Development organisations: The United Nations (UN)
- Development banks and agencies: The World Bank
- Government departments: The Department for International Development (DFID)
- Non-governmental organisations (NGOs): Unicef, KOP Africa and British Red Cross
- Research organisations: ELDIS or ODI
- Consultancies: WYG
- Many universities offer postgraduate courses incorporating areas of international development. The University Of Nottingham runs an International Relations MA in The School of Politics and International Relations.
Professional service firms are strengthening their ties to international development. For example, EY have a department (Enterprise Growth Services) which is non-profit and focuses on how they can build a better working world.
If you would like more information about a career in international development, then visit our website. If you need help with breaking into this area, you can always book an appointment to speak to our expert team.
Photo: Christopher John SSF – 20110819_UN_&_vicinity_017
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