Year graduated from SOAS
MSc International Politics
Current job title and name of organisation
Press & Communications Officer - Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)
What do you like about what you do?
I love working for a cause that I feel passionately about. CND engages with the political process through a whole range of activities, from Parliamentary lobbying to direct action. It's great working in an environment where political developments shape my day and where I feel that I'm making a difference, however stacked the odds may seem.
How has your time at SOAS helped you succeed in this role?
SOAS is a great place to learn about and discuss politics, and I owe a lot to some inspiring lecturers and students. My International Politics Master's degree definitely helped in getting my first post at CND, as did work experience in other areas.
Can you give current students any tips on getting into this kind of work?
It can be tough getting paid work in NGOs. I think if I'm honest you have to be a little bit lucky, but there are definitely ways to give your luck a helping hand.
- Treat job-hunting like a job. Commit the hours to searching for jobs and looking for ways you can map your experience/skills to the person specification.
- Tailor every CV and application to the job you're doing. That doesn't mean to say fudge the information, but you definitely have a bit of leeway to emphasise different aspects of your skills to different jobs.
- Get relevant experience wherever possible. If you can get good work experience elsewhere and then apply those skills to an NGO (in combination with your academic experience) - that's a great way to get employable without directly relevant experience.
- Volunteer. If you've got spare time around job hunting then maybe do one day a week in a charity or NGO. It will be great experience and you'll probably meet lots of lovely people!
- Read up on organisations you're applying to. No-one likes to see people applying to them who only have a very limited grasp of what the organisation is about!