The social aspect of life at NTU gave me the chance to interact with students from various parts of the world, and gave me exposure to a variety of different cultures that has allowed me to better interact with colleagues and build a better network.
More about Carol
After graduating from our MSc Global Food Security and Development course, Carol is now working for the United Nations as a Communications and Information Management Assistant at the Food and Agriculture Organisation. Previous to her studies, Carol had also worked as a Food Security Analyst at the United Nations World Food Programme in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Here's what she had to say about her time at NTU, getting into the food security sector, and what her current job entails:
What is your current job role and what does it entail?
“I am currently a Communications and Management Assistant at the Food and Agriculture Organisation at the United Nations in Rome, Italy. I am working with the Pastoralist Knowledge Hub team based in the Animal Division of the Food and Agriculture Organisation. My role is mainly advocating for and ensuring that pastoralist (livestock farmer) voices are heard on a global stage to promote sustainable pastoralism (keeping of livestock).
“This means that I contribute to the knowledge management of the Hub by curating documents and regional policies on the Pastoralist Knowledge Hub website; produce communications material such as feature articles, photo stories, case-studies, infographics and online discussions, support the preparation (writing concept notes and proposals); documentation of events; and reviewing relevant policies related to pastoralist mobility, resource access and conservation.
“An average day is normally spent in the office, where I have meetings, do research on relevant content for the Pastoralist Knowledge Hub website, as well as research on relevant topics to support upcoming events advocating for pastoralists.”
How did your time at NTU help you get to where you are now?
“My course was interesting- every day there was something new to learn. It prepared me for working in the development sector as I’m not currently applying the theoretical skills I learned at university practically at work. I learnt some underlying technical skills such as situation and system analysis, proposal planning and monitoring and evaluation of projects which I adapt to suit various situations in the field.
“Good writing skills which I developed from doing assignments at NTU are also important, as writing applies every day whether that be writing proposals, concept notes or communication material.
“The social aspect of life at NTU gave me the chance to interact with students from various parts of the world, and gave me exposure to a variety of different cultures that has allowed me to better interact with colleagues and build a better network, which continues to help me in my career.”
What would be your advice to future students looking to get into the sector?
“Have an idea of what you want to do. The development sector is quite broad, so having an idea of what sector you want to join will help you focus on what you want to do. I would also say internships. They can help you gain new experiences, make new connections and see what interests you and what doesn’t.
“Also networking! Don’t be afraid to go on international interviews or grab a coffee with someone if you are interning somewhere. People are genuinely happy to talk to you, and it will provide more connections and opportunities to learn.
“If you get the opportunity, living and working abroad is also a great way to expose yourself to the world and develop cross-cultural skills which are important in the field of development. Lastly, be patient and let your passion drive your decisions. If you get chance, learn a new language, as this will come in handy.”