Where are you working now and what are you doing?
I am working as an International Volunteers Coordinator for an Indian based charity called PAVE. PAVE work to empower the lives of the poorest individuals in North India.
My job is currently to grow the volunteering scheme and develop the charity so it is registered and recognised in the UK also. It is a big task but I am excited. To further my knowledge in the area of NGOs and international work, I will be applying back to the University of Birmingham for MSc in International Development for September 2012.
What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
The best thing about the job I'm doing right now is that life is always busy and interesting. Constantly meeting new people and being immersed in a different culture. I love the fact that I can travel regularly and see new places.
What did you think were the best points of the course and the University?
The best thing about my time as a student was having the time to be able to get involved with extra curricular activities. I was involved with several different university related activities, including the Christian Union and also I was a committee member for 'Fresher's Off Campus' for two years. As well as this I was able to gain voluntary experience in working with homeless people. I volunteered at a homeless hostel in central Birmingham and although at the time this was part of my degree, I continued volunteering there after the placement finished.
Living and studying in Birmingham was a great experience for me. I was able to learn how to live independently and learnt basic life skills which I now pass on to others as part of my job.
Living away from home also made me become more responsible for my time management. There was no-one around telling me to get my work done. Birmingham was an amazing place to be a student. I loved the fact that my friends were just around the corner all the time and we could always just meet up for a cup of tea!
What advice would you give to current students wishing to get into your career?
After deciding to take a career break from working with homeless people, I discovered my love for travelling and volunteering in different countries. Travelling and volunteering helped me to see that this line of work was for me. So travel is one fun piece of advice I would give to anyone thinking of working abroad. Go and volunteer in different countries and see where it takes you - it took me to India!
Secondly, look at studying further; getting a job with many NGO's requires further studies to Master's level.