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KickStart Your Humanitarian Career

13 April 2017

On March 28th 2017, RedR hosted a ‘Kickstart Your Humanitarian Career’ fair. Over 100 participants browsed the career stalls, visited the CV stand and attended the panel discussion. Helene Berhane, Membership and Communications Intern, reports on the highlights of the event.

RedR UK hosted its second annual humanitarian careers fair on the 28th March 2017, at the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE). The aim of our careers fair was to provide individuals – either those interested in entering the sector, professionals within the sector that are early in their careers, or mid-career professionals from other fields looking to enter into the sector - with a better understanding of what skills are required and what opportunities and pathways are available to begin a successful humanitarian career.

Throughout the event there were a number of stalls where humanitarian agencies and universities, including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), VSO International, University College London (UCL), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University, promoted opportunities within their respective organisations. There was also a CV drop-in service where participants could book in a consultation with a RedR HR professional, to gain some insight into how they can make their CV stand out from the crowd.

Following the careers fair we hosted a panel discussion, allowing attendees to listen to humanitarian professionals and recruiters fromthe sector share their thoughts on what it is like to work in the sector, pathways for entering the sector and their best advice for career progression. Overall, the overarching message from the panel was to gain as much experience as possible. Particularly, to travel and gain field experience through relevant volunteering placements and internships for humanitarian organisations, and to develop persistence and resilience until you get your foot in the door.  

A special thanks to all stallholders and our chair and panellists; Stephanie Hills (Director, Encompass Learning and Development / RedR Associate Trainer), Geraldine Anup-Willcocks (HR Field Officer for Médecins Sans Frontières), James Andrews (Current Facilitator of the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth), and Steve Rhys Williams (Independent Humanitarian Consultant).

Thanks also to the Institution of Structural Engineers for hosting the event, and to everyone who managed the perfect running of the evening.

For those who were unable to attend, a video of the panel discussion can be found here.

For those interested in receiving additional information about events such as these, please contact out Membership Team via

Photos © Helene Berhane, Robert Bertrand

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