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What about a career in international development?

IMC has been meeting with students to shed light on the international development sector, which is always on the lookout for new skills to deliver life-changing projects worldwide.

Tuesday 28 March 2017, Lorenza Geronimo

International development is often associated with the world of charities and NGOs, which grab most headlines. Less is probably known about consultancies, which tend not to look for media attention as they do not rely on citizens’ donations.

Yet, they deliver some of world’s biggest aid programmes, generally funded through official development assistance from bilateral and multilateral funding organisations.

Consultancies need expertise to implement projects that improve people’s lives in low- and middle-income countries. They span across areas as diverse as disaster risk reduction, water, hygiene and sanitation, and infrastructure construction.

Consequently, consultancies offer a wealth of career opportunities that are, however, harder to find.

To help improve understanding of the international development sector and contribute to shaping the thinking of tomorrow’s minds, IMC has been increasing its engagement with school and university students in the UK.

As part of this move, on 14 February, IMC Managing Director Gavin English delivered a lecture at Reading University in front of 100 students from over 20 countries.

IMC is the implementing arm of clients such as governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, and private corporations, on behalf of which we deliver technical assistance programmes. We employ professionals with a wide range of specialised skills, ranging from economists to engineers, regional experts, evaluators, programme managers and communicators, to mention just a few.

It is possible that students that never considered a career in international development might think about it if they know that their skills are needed, as was confirmed by Reading University students.

Some of them noted that the lecture made them think about what they want to do in their careers and many are even considering the international development sector as an attractive option.

Meanwhile, on 9 February, Inclusive Growth Senior Technical Director Anthony Way sat in a careers panel at London School of Economics alongside representatives from Adam Smith International and Coffey.

The audience, made up of 140 students approaching graduation, had the opportunity to ask questions on the international development sector for one hour and a half and several showed their interest in completing an internship at IMC.

This is not the first time that IMC representatives meet with LSE students and we are committed to engaging with them more and more.

Daniel Idowu providing King Solomon Academy students with career guidance.
Daniel Idowu providing King Solomon Academy students with career guidance.

Decisions to pursue a career in non-profits, charities, or government are often made at quite a young age, sometimes when students are at university, sometimes even while they are still in school.

That is why our colleague Daniel Idowu took part in the Careers Week organised by King Solomon Academy in London from 30 January.

The school serves a particularly deprived community of pupils– over 60% of them are eligible for free meals. Nevertheless, in 2015, King Solomon Academy became the highest achieving non-selective school in the country. 95% of pupils achieved 5A*-C including Maths and English GCSE.

As a lack of understanding of the working world is a barrier to find employment, Daniel provided 11- to 16-year-old students with careers advice and guidance.

‘The most important thing I learnt from your [Daniel’s] session was your 3 tips to being a management consultant: you need to be able to talk to people and manage them, have strong communication skills and to be able to be flexible and adaptable. I am sure the class benefited from your expert advice and will carry it with them in the future.’ 

Year 9 student Sheymae Abdulkader

To bring fresh young skills to our team, IMC has also been running an internship and a graduate scheme in our UK headquarters and Pakistan and Nepal offices.

These programmes allow graduates to move straight from the university classroom to hands-on, meaningful work in engineering and socio-economic development under the mentorship of experienced professionals.

In sum, the international development sector is rife with opportunities that only wait to be discovered – opportunities to embark upon a rewarding career while making the world a better place.

Does that sound appealing to you?

Then start by having a look at our job vacancies on IMC website!

Cover photo: Schoolchildren in one of the schools that IMC is rehabilitating in Pakistan within the UKaid-funded Humqadam programme. Credit: Humqadam programme team.

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