Pic 6 (B&W) from Rach
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December 2021

Introductions…

Why did you apply for the opportunity?

I have wanted to pursue a career in International Development since sixth form and I have been following the JOA Programme Associate Internship and the journeys of previous Interns since the scheme was first rolled out. Seeing the opportunities Lauren, Becki, Faye & Doug have had encouraged me to apply for the role. This post provides a unique and rare opportunity to obtain hands-on experience within the sector. I feel very lucky to be the fifth JOA Programme Associate and can’t wait to see how the next 12 months unfold.

What is your relevant experience?

I have practical experience volunteering with International Sustainable Development Organisations – for example, in 2015 I spent the summer in Costa Rica volunteering with Raleigh International. This placement sparked my interest in the sector. Following completion of my undergraduate degree, I went on to take a year out to travel. I spent 3 months in Nepal, on an ICS placement. Here, I worked on a Livelihoods project in the Gorkha district which was focused on sustainable economic diversification of agriculture. This placement confirmed my desire to pursue a career in the sector as I had my first taste of how long-term development projects are planned, implemented and monitored.

Following Nepal, I solo-backpacked in South America with the desire to improve my Spanish speaking skills. However, COVID-19 travel restrictions cut this short. So, I made the decision to undertake an MA in Global Development at the University of Leeds – I also used this time to gain more practical experience within the sector by interning remotely alongside my studies with SEED, an NGO which works in Madagascar.

What are you most excited about / looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to learning as much as I possibly can from everyone at JOA and HelpAge International. I think this role is so great as it offers the chance to see the International Development sector and the “Aid Chain” through both the lens of a donor – with 2-months spent in the JOA Office – and also from the perspective of a grantee with HelpAge International. I’m particularly excited for the 6-month placement abroad, which I hope will not be delayed travel restrictions.

What are your aspirations for the next year and what do you hope to get out of this amazing experience?

I hope to use this opportunity to learn as much as I can and to gain as much practical experience as possible. A particular area of interest that I have and would like to learn more about from the JOA and Help Age International teams, is how projects are monitored and evaluated. I’d also like to learn more about the project drafting phase.

Tell us a little about yourself…

I was born and raised in Jersey. I went to Jersey College for Girls, before reading BA Classics (Latin and Ancient Greek) at King’s College London. After taking a gap year after my undergraduate degree I completed an MA in Global Development at the University of Leeds (albeit remotely due to the Pandemic). I’ve also recently qualified as a 200hr Yoga teacher!

What would advice would you give to any youngsters who may be interested in a career in international development?

I think having a second (or third) language is so helpful for this career (I’m trying my best to keep my Spanish ticking over). I also think it’s important to remember that the route to a career in International Development varies widely, so keep an open mind!

How have your first few weeks been?

My first few weeks in the JOA office have been extremely busy but extremely interesting too. I have had an introduction to everyone’s roles within the team and the work that JOA is involved with. I have also been involved in a variety of tasks such as researching, presentation drafting, helping with JOA Communications and attending a variety of meetings with partner organisations.