Networking is what you make of it. If you are the sort of person who is happy to meet new people, chat with them and keep in contact with them, then acting in that way would be second nature, and for me that is largely what networking is about.
Pursue volunteering opportunities – they don’t always lead to paid work, but they’re still a great foot in the door and a way to build your resume while doing something meaningful in your community.
I believe that every skill acquired, no matter the job… is a valuable skill, because all of them will teach you a little more about yourself; about which are your strengths, which are your best qualities, and most importantly, which are your weak areas that need improvement and dedication.
It is important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this industry before committing to it and know at least where you stand on these issues. It is possible to have a career in this industry without living in war-zones, and if that’s what you want, then you need to know which path to take.
Do your research on… the specific organisation, on the department you are applying to, and if you are contacting an officer directly, take interest in the work that they are involved in. This will help you to write a strong application.
My internship was based on my skills and knowledge so far. Once you are in the field and have done some good work, you will be noticed and will get offered positions that might not be advertised to everyone.
Interpreter Helen Reynolds-Brown recently spoke to The Guardian about her experiences working for the UN and how she came to be in her position. Helen didn’t grow up bilingual, but studied French and Russian in school and later immersed herself in the Russian language by living in Moscow and St Petersburg.