International Development is a popular career area amongst LSE graduates. Here LSE alumnus Lee Bailey (MSc Development Studies 2013), who is Director of Communications at the Natural Resource Governance Institute, gives his tips on how to get started based on his experience in the sector:
1. Establish a Twitter footprint
Use this to reflect your international development interests and growing expertise. Follow relevant organisations and individuals and you will soon have a real time feed of goings on in the sector (including job opportunities). Start retweeting and even providing your own (carefully considered) commentary.
2. Visit and work in the field
If at all possible and keeping in mind the pitfalls of ‘voluntourism‘.
3. Volunteer your time
For example to an NGO in London that does work that interests you. Even a short stint can enhance your CV and sharpen your understanding of the field.
4. Be persistent
While you don’t want to annoy people, they have a higher threshold for annoyance than you think. If you reach out to them in a sincere and informed way, they will be receptive to your requests for an exploratory coffee or an offer to volunteer your time.
5. Join relevant groups/lists
For example the London International Development Network, and the Guardian Development Professionals email newsletter.
6. Learn another language
Preferably by immersion.
Finally, don’t forget we have a wealth of specialist information and support on our website.