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Victoria Stephenson

Having excellent communication and negotiation skills is invaluable and this is certainly something that was enhanced and developed further by my time spent studying at SOAS.

Year graduated from SOAS
2011

Programme studied
MA International Studies and Diplomacy

Current job title and name of organisation
Senior Development Manager at UNICEF

What do you like about what you do? 

  • Working with UNICEFs high level donors to educate them about UNICEFs work in the field.
  • Taking donors overseas to see UNICEFs projects first hand and having the opportunity to speak to field office staff.
  • Developing long term plans to support the work of UNICEF and build awareness for the organisation.
  • Responding to emergencies around the world in creatign emergency ask appeals for high level supporters.
  • Working with UNICEF's ambassadors and high level volunteers and events and appeals.

How has your time at SOAS helped you succeed in this role? 
Having excellent communication and negotiation skills is invaluable and this is certainly something that was enhanced and developed further by my time spent studying at SOAS. Also being able to write to a high standard is incredibly important in my role, as is the knowledge of international law and human rights law, which again was enhanced by some of the modules I studied during my time at SOAS.

Can you give current students any tips on getting into this kind of work? 
A big emphasis is put on academic achievement but it is equally, if not more important, to obtain credible work experience as well. I studied for my Masters part time whilst in full time employment which was difficult but ultimately very rewarding. I would encourage full time MA students to take up internships whilst studying through out the year and not leave it until the summer. With CISD most of the teaching is in the evening so there is plenty of time to take up part time work or internships.

It also shows potential employers that you are capable of successfully multi-tasking which is something that you definitely need to be good at when working for a UN agency.