As a young professional graduating from a university and willing to work in international development field, you are fully equipped with academic knowledge in regards to your area of studies. But do you possess enough practical experience to determine where do you see yourself in 5-10 years from now?
The problem is that being a fresh graduate you are unaware of what the professional roles are like and which one is most suitable for you.
The key to building a successful international development is to understand the responsibilities, try all professional roles and choose the one which you enjoy the most and where your skills fit best.
In the United Nations and other international organisations all activities you can be engaged in are divided into three major roles – policy and advisory, project management and advocacy and outreach:
If you enjoy collecting information on different issues, building data and revealing development trends, then your professional role is Policy and Advisory. This role is associated with conducting research and providing police recommendations.
If you describe yourself as a practitioner who likes things happening on the ground and loves managing people, time and budgets, go for Project Management role.
Advocacy and Outreach role is most suitable for you if you are eager to produce campaigns, participate in public events and build partnerships with different institutions.
Experience of all three professional roles is vital to make the right choice and jump into your international development career.
You may not see much difference between various professional roles at the beginning of your career pass, but it becomes more and more visible with every promotion you get.
As a young professional, you probably completed some internships and were engaged in entry-level positions, however these engagements provided you with very limited responsibilities, making you unaware of the ‘full picture’ of organisation’s work. In addition, it is quite hard to try all three professional roles during your studies as the time is limited and young professionals often proceed with the role that have previously worked in.
To help you out, we designed the training course International Relations Career Challenge. The program agenda includes professional role assignments targeted at providing young professionals reals hands-on experience of different responsibilities.
Professional role assignments are conducted in a United Nations simulating work environment:
For Policy and Advisory role, participants conduct a research, reveal development trends and provide recommendations to the government on improving the outlined issues.
For Project Management role, participants design a project to implement the policy recommendations they provided earlier. The project is described in a comprehensive document, outlining objectives, outcomes baseline indicators, risks, timeline and budgets associated with the project.
For Advocacy and Outreach role, participants create a campaign to raise awareness about their project and motivate and inspire people in the assigned county to take action and make an impact within the project scope.
The selected topic for IRCC 2017 professional role assignments is ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment: Fostering Entrepreneurship’.
Participants’ work is evaluated by high-level speakers with a vast professional experience in the professional role. Students receive detailed feedback from the speakers in regards to their assignment findings and are advised on developing career in this specific role.
The IRCC 2017 also includes workshops and exercises to help you:
Present your profile in the best possible way while applying to the United Nations jobs. You will understand how to describe your background, including duties and responsibilities, as well as how to write a motivation letter to support your application.
Get prepared for the competency-based interview. You will be introduced to the United Nations values and competencies, understand how they are assessed, and learn how to demonstrate them at the real interview.