Careers in International Development
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Careers in International Development


so I’d like to begin by asking our panelists introduce yourself and tell us briefly about your current role and the organization you are with and how it all happen, how did you get from York to where you are now Ok so I work for Inuits of Canada as a community engagement coordinator and majority of my role essentially is working on community fundraising and events that you raise funds and then also working with youth and youth engagement, funny thing is the first campaign or worked on at Unicef was called “Spread the net” and David and David used to work on that with us and before Unicef Canada I used to work at taking IT global which he works now it’s a very small world i actually don’t have a formal training in IT, I work in the sector but I’m actually a marketer by training and I work I work in the sector because the things that I’m interested in and the thing I wanted to do pretty much relate to International Development throughout my i would say the 40 hours you have to do in high school to graduate I worked with individuals with disability and primarily kids with a developmental disabilities and then through that I actually got exposed to a lot of children and concerns and i was working with an organization called Community Development Ontario and somehow from just being a volunteer and Iended up being on their Board at the problems level and through that it’s just basically grew my interest in it and while i was graduating from York with a marketing degree and a public policy degree i was just like okay how do I put all this together to do something in the not for profit sector because being a marketer, one thing I promised myself was I was trying my best not to be selling shaving cream or chewing gum I told myself that’s something i don’t want to do and but I want to use that skill set and that’s my strength and that’s what I’d like to do so i started working at IT Global as a youth engagement representative and whatever I worked on was essentially was engaging youth within City of Toronto and providing them the training and the tools through social media on to basically express themselves and learn more about social causes on how they want to make impact globally locally and be like nationally and then from then I started as an intern at Unicef did a four month internship there’s no formal internship program at Unicef, its just I’ll tell you now at Unisef just that every year there’s just that two or three internships they hire for i was fortunate enough then to be kept on on a contract position for about six months and then from then on I became permanent and now I basically manage our Unisef on-campus program which basically is about 35 campus clubs across the country that are at universities and high schools and colleges and then also do basically events of any sort of across the country so it’s fun. Okay, so hi everybody, my name is Sarah Hassan and I’m currently working with “Taking it global” much like where Manuv started but I am working in the capacity as a program officer i’m specifically working with the “Taking it global” for educators program where we empower teachers around the world to integrate global issues in their classroom using technology and the second part of my role is also I’m coordinating an environmental education program called the de-forest action. So how I got to taking it global it’s kind of full circle to be honest so I am a York grad through the Ideas program in I graduated in 2007 so much like you were saying, speaking to earlier on I was a part of international development study student association and when we’d started up again in about 2004 heavily involved with the program and trying to figure out what do i do with my Ideas degree I’ve learned all the theory now how do i put it into practice so that was my big question when I was kind of figuring out what to do and during my undergrad I tried to really connect with the Ideas community at York to network to learn about opportunities to also do awareness raising events on campus to really kind of channel what I’m learning in class into something more tangible on campus as well during my undergrad as with every ID student we’re craving that field experience getting into the field learning kind of the issues on the ground so i did as a two-month volunteer placement with “Youth Challenge International” in Guyana during the summer of my third year which was pivotal for me going into my fourth year and really informed the kind of the learning that I was doing during my 4th year ideas classes. So when i graduated in 2007 I was wondering now what’s next do i go to the UN that was something that I was thinking of always thinking about do I work locally but my heart was really into going back into the field so I actively looked for an overseas placement and was lucky enough to get a placement through one of the CETA internships with an organization called “Direct all day of Global” in Honduras there i was working in the capacity of HIV Aids education working with youth on the ground to help them develop an HIV Aids curriculum and help to support them to teach that curriculum in their communities this is a fantastic experience i was there for a year and then thinking well I need to go back to school so I then came back to Canada and I did my masters in Globalization Studies at at McMaster but one thing that really kind of drove me to do that masters was during my time in Honduras I really found what I was passionate about which was education so during my master’s I focused my my studies on Global Citizenship Education how do we educate youth in Canada about these types of issues and how to take action on them and kind of the theory and pedagogy around that. So upon finishing there I actually went to do an internship with “Taking It Global” specifically with the “taking it global” for educators program because that’s what they do and take does actually have a formal internship program now so i will put that out there. We have 3 cycles a year, so I was with the first cohort of interns that started at Take in January 2010 so i did a four month internship as a program assistant and it completely opened my eyes to the world of possibilities in global education and but at the time when i was working on through my internship I still have a little bit of an inkling of maybe I just want one more field experience to know that you know this is the right program i want to be in this is the area want to be working and so I applied for an internship with the Agha Khan Foundation who also has an internship program for youth on looking for opportunities in development and I was selected as an Agha Khan intern and was sent to Zanzibar Tanzania for a year so there I was working in early childhood education and got really hands-on experience on kind of the the intricacies of implementing education at the local level and then I was trying to think about how I could bring back those insights into work that I want to do living and kind of settling back into Canada so lo and behold through my internship at “taking a global” i was able to secure a full-time position where it is where i am now so I’ve taken the insights that I’ve drawn from the two overseas placement I’ve had and I’m really working at it now to help teachers around the world incorporate that into the teaching they’re doing with their students on global issues that’s where i am now and yeah excited to be here. Thank you. So, it’s always very difficult to know where to start when giving one’s kind of history and trying to connect the dots and looking for those threads from one’s past and so on but my background academically is in philosophy have an undergraduate specialized honours degree from York and then I went on to do a master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Guelph but in between that time there was about a 10-year period and it was a really interesting period for me and i’ll try to connect a few of those dots for you first of all, thank you for inviting me I always have incredibly fond recollections as i drive back onto the campus here at York I’ve been in this room many times for different functions i still have many friends who have attended York who still teach at York and were Professors many years ago who have retired so its indeed a pleasure for me to be here. My path to to international affairs international development is a pretty I think eclectic one if that’s possible for a path to be eclectic i started in construction many years ago I worked for 18 years for the same company for 12 years in rough construction as a electrician and went on to do relationship management work with the royal bank canada for about six years working with the same company that was about an 18 year period and during that period i was doing my undergraduate degree here part-time and so I would put in a 10-hour eight-hour 10-hour day I would drive up here before they had all these wonderful parking garages and I would change in the car and feel like a little bit of a lunatic and then walk to a seven o’clock class for a three-hour lecture and drive home energized like you wouldn’t believe. And with no one to talk about his pre cellphone so of course you couldn’t call your friend just to chat about what you just dialogued about in class or what it was that was driving you forward even farther so for me philosophy was a first thing so for me too i believe in international development i believe the question you know like Neos Trinity says in the Matrix i believe that the question drives us and so I believe the question drives me as a philosopher but more importantly now it drives me as an international development worker and so a good needs assessment a good results based management log frame a good narrative description of any project that you’re about to do a good monitoring and evaluation report is going to have to be based on asking the right questions and so I would encourage you all to continue to do that and I think you’re all here today i would imagine because you have some relevant questions that you’d like to that to see addressed and so for me that’s really been the thread is it as a philosopher yes is that as a construction worker yes and it’s also now as a development worker over the past 10 or 12 years I also now am teaching at humber college I was going into a PhD program or at least so i thought and i was hoping to get into the University of work to study continental philosophy i was going to read Heidegger and Nietzsche and Simone de Beauvoir and write weird and wonderful things that no one would ever read and i was reading also at the time “Shake hands with the Devil” by Romeo Dallaire and “Race against Time” by Stephen Lewis and I decided that I didn’t know who these two people really were and I decided that as the president of the philosophy graduate students association at the time at Guelph believe me it sounds more lofty than it really was we held a library our book sale once a year and raised a few hundred dollars i took it up a notch and so what we did is we brought Stephen Lewis in to speak at the University of Guelph and we I didn’t really know who Stephen was at the time i worked with him three times since he’s a wonderful man I’ve read “race against time” i highly recommend him. The night of the event, somebody came around that we had sold 48 tickets two days out and we have over 700 seats to sell this was an expensive event somebody was going to be in trouble and so somebody came to me and said you’ve got to come and see the lineup out front and I figured 50-60 people and I opened the door and there was over we figure a rough estimate between four and six hundred people lined up to come into here Stephen Lewis speak on where in the world is the world headed and this was just one more dot that was connected based on a few questions that I asked previously and so it drove me drove me that much farther forward into what the next step was and that was applying for postgraduate work in international development and that was at Humber College and thankfully as a result of getting to know a few of the people they’re doing well having a love and a passion for the field itself and for the people involved in it I decided to see if I could teach there and have been teaching there in the program now for about six years i teach a course called “Issues in international development” and i also teach in their International development institute i teach a course called “issues and tools in international development” as well and have a wonderful time working with younger people and digging deeper into the issues and again being driven by hopefully substantive meaningful questions so again lots more there but that’s I hope short and fairly precise history to provide a little bit of context for you as we move forward and thanks again for coming I appreciate your time and Larissa, if I can ask the panelists, we’ve been asked to if the panelists can speak directly into the microphone and bring the microphones a little closer to you, alright how does that sound yeah, we’re good, alright, hi everyone my name is Larissa Strong i work here at York University and as I said i will soon be a graduate not soon enough master’s program here i’m dragging it out for an extra year to do some hardcore research and so as a potential graduate I’m very happy to be in the company of graduates and which you will be as well, one of the portfolio’s i have in my rolette in the office of the associate vice president international, York International, is running the York international internship programs has anybody heard of it? couple people and we have a couple of past participants nice, hi everybody, who’s that? oh hi! so you saw those hands that went up and you’ve applied you might want to chat with them during the networking session to see what their experience was I think it was positive for everyone, for those I’ve been around and I told my story a couple of times at York so if you’ve heard it before feel free to glaze over, I did my undergrad at Queen’s University had no idea what I was doing just everybody said that we have to go to university, so I said I’ll go to University and upon completing my fancy degree at Queen’s University I was a really smart bartender but that was about the extent of what I was able to do. so I heard about this opportunity through Canadian crossroads international to go down to Costa Rica and Latin America’s was always a bit of a passion of mine so I said well let’s do that and it was that kind of it was basically a voluntourism I can’t even say it was an internship I went down and lived with the family in rural Costa Rica and on Monday Wednesday Friday, I walked up the volcano and taught English “taught english” so i am not a teacher or I don’t know how to teach English but I can speak English so obviously i could teach it and something I called development skills such as things like this is how you brush your teeth and or after a big rainstorm we go out and we fix the road so we showed community participation and tuesdays thursdays walk down the volcano and did the same thing at another school did that for about four months didn’t feel like coming home so headed to the beach and worked under the table at a hotel the important part of this was that in a year of living in costa rica I picked up Spanish and I think probably one of the huge assets that i have is the capacity to work and think in a second language and it’s something that i would strongly recommend to anybody you can do it formally by taking it in classes what have you or you can go to costa rica and find an Eduardo whitewater rafting instructor and he will help you learn very quickly one’s a little bit more fun than the other but yeah having a second language is something that I when I’m looking at applications from interns of something that I definitely look closely at I know how hard it was for me to learn another language so I know if anybody else speaks another language their brains working at a higher capacity and so that says to me let’s put them into consideration pile even if nothing else is very strong in their applications think about another language so i came back from Costa Rica after a year how long can i continue being a beach bum and I went back to bartending quick money, so easy money knew I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life and so I found out about this new program Humber College called international project management and so in the second year of the program picked up moved to Toronto took the program my plan was finish school and go work in a refugee camp you know that was the plan what actually happened was I got hired for a job, not an internship, in Welland Ontario, anybody from Welland, ok, I’ll tell you a story if you want to know where Wellend is you follow Lake Ontario until you get through the armpit that’s where Wellend is because it is resembling of an armpit, but so i was working in Wellend at Niagara College in their international department as a student advisor wasn’t exactly development work but it was paid work and through that I was able to start working with their development wing and for a year before i started at York I was managing two projects in south africa and one that we were starting in sri lanka and it was fascinating it was thrilling and I was on the road for six months out of a year and it was fantastic and it laid the groundwork for me getting a better job working at york university with all of you just that i’m going to give a couple of things that I learned along my way couple of ideas that kind of, that I i think are important for people to consider because I hear it continuing I meet with students all throughout the year which is the best part of the job, but lot of people have that idea that i’m going to graduate with my undergraduate degree and i’m going to start working in an NGO. Did that happen for anybody but you did a budget internship in there, but, i had the thought yeah but you had the thought and that’s very common thought, if you look at how many NGOs are in Toronto and how many people are in the room there is probably not enough jobs for everybody so, something to think critically about, i love the idea that people believe they will finish school start working work 40 hours a week and earn enough money to pay off their debt, buy a car, buy a house no, it’s not true, i thought that ,yeah how long are your weeks typically? more than 40 hours do you work saturdays and sundays? depending on the week yeah and you do you get paid overtime…NO. and have you paid off your school debt? Ah yes,oh good girl, my work week can be anything from 40 hours to 80 hours a week yeah like I do a lot of response work in fundraising for emergency so when Haiti happened i was working 17 hour days for six months yeah David weekends? up until about eight months ago I was probably doing 70 hours a week yeah but I I’ve had a bit of a what i would call an epiphantic moment so i have decided that in order for me to the runway for me is getting a little shorter probably than it is for most of you in the room and so I’m trying to manage my time and my expectations a little more but yeah it’s that the unfortunate i think it’s a great question and the unfortunate thing about this field is there’s no shortage of opportunities and there are no shortage of need, but unfortunately burnout level, the divorce rates, these things are very high in this field and i think going in it’s really helpful to know that so that you can so that not not that you’re following in that path that’s not what I mean at all not a negative prerogative way but that you can be aware of it and that you can hopefully prepare yourself for kind of what’s next but it’s a, it’s a really important thing to think about and and the idea, this idea of entitlement of any kind, shape or form you really should toss out of the window right now because 70 hours raising funds is hard, rigorous, demanding work, it really is, so yeah, yeah I think that’s very fair i mean the last time I worked i’d love to know the last time I worked 40 hours i don’t think i’ve ever worked 40 hour week in my life but the nice thing is I as you get older your body just starts telling you, Nope we’re not working 80 hours anymore I’ve also discovered 16 year old scotch so that’s had, its had an impact yeah like on my 70 hour work week I think it’s probably a good segway into my next question is, what kinds of students and new graduates who are passionate about international development work and want to get into this field what can they expect in terms of like in terms of the opportunities that exist upon graduation so are you going to be doing like fieldwork right away or you can be answering phones and some office, like what can they expect and in terms of how much output like effort in you know what’s the work week, typical work week like, what’s a typical day like? Moner would you like to start My typical day depends on what’s happening around me, so for example yesterday, my typical day was because i’m i’m launching a campaign next to be called a student challenge , which you all got the brochures for, so that so yesterday was pretty much dealing with websites dealing with vendors making sure everything is printed on time and it’s pretty much a lot of administrative marketing work because a lot of my job is marketing but at the same time I also work on international travel for youth, through the campaign so i will also be working with making last year the trip vendors went to Panama this trip vendors are, the challenge vendors are going to New York lot of workouts to do around that and engagement, beyond that like it literally varies a lot so because because I wear three different hats i can be doing three different things and my workout my work week typically is like about 10 days like 10 hours a day and i do i am on the phone a lot and a lot of time it’s basically managing relationships a lot of times it’s basically managing relationships that have gone rogue that you’re trying to mend and as students i would definitely recommend that before you guys graduate, how many of you guys are graduating in April? so now would be a good time fo ryou guys to actually start looking for jobs because and and if not looking for jobs at least start looking into what is it that you were interested in doing so I was fortunate enough that I got the guidance, while I was in school and I pretty much narrowed down to say okay like what because I do want to work in a profit sector and when you work in that is very much driven from your belief system and my thing was I want to work with children’s rights, children education and healthcare and when you when you when you think of those things then you can actually sort of narrowing it down into what kind of work it is that you would like to do and there’s a lot of opportunities out there it’s but it’s the thing that you need to put a lot of time to it so i had a ritual that every in my last one year that every two weeks I was just research on a new organization and and just learn about them and just learn about what kind of opportunities they had and what kind of things they did and that’s pretty much how we came to know about “taking it global” and when I realized what kind of work they were doing it basically called him up and said “I know I know you’re doing awesome work” Can I just come in and learn what you’re doing and how you’re doing it and it was basically informational interview but I walked out of the interview with a job surprisingly, and so it’s just you really need to put yourself out there but you also need to be realistic that when people say that you will apply 100 jobs and get maybe ten interviews and have 1 job out of it , it’s actually true, truely like you need to be mentally prepared for that but don’t lose sight of what you want to do because that’s what is very important. ok good. So, I guess my typical day my day changes everyday so working at “taking it global” we are in which we’re a young organization and we’re constantly continually evolving with new ideas so we’ll start with an idea in the morning and have something completely different by the afternoon, my current day I’m working on and this campaign called “De- forest action” so it’s connecting youth in schools around the world on raising awareness on the issue of deforestation helping them find ways to take action this project is currently centered in asia-pacific we’re working with the network of schools there, so my day sometimes start at 4:00am in the morning to accommodate calls with teachers or do a webinar with students, because a lot of our work is online and we are leveraging social networking and social and technology as a way to connect people around the world I’m on the computer a lot but what’s really great is I’m connecting with people from around the world all the time whether it’s on discussion boards or whether I’m just emailing a colleague, a colleague in England or colleague in Australia it’s that kind of, it’s that kind of connection that I’m having in my day-to-day. Our days run about eight to ten hours as well depending on depending on the nature of the day and but it’s a fantastic place to work just in terms of the motivation, the enthusiasm and also because it’s a youth run organization youth led organization, we are full of energy, we’re full of passion everyone’s there because they are excited about the work we’re doing and are really passionate about a cause and echoing what Moneb said definitely one of the things that I’ve learned through my journey is is really being passionate about an area within the spectrum of development that you really care about you really feel you can apply yourself to, that was something for me that came actually later on when i started with with international development i actually fell into it. My big goal was to work for a multinational like Nestle or Glasglow Smith Kline, I was focused on International Business when i came i applied to Schulich like I was pulling out the stops, so my first year, I was actually Marketing major and I took a class called Third World in International Development as an elective and it completely blew my mind I was very shocked by a lot of international issues that I just didn’t seem to be aware of and kind of shocked with the fact that I was learning about them in university and not, you know, earlier on in my educational career, so when i switched to International Development, I was very much focused on well I’m going to go towards the policy end, but I wasn’t really sure about in which area, I wanted to be working in you know there’s health, there is education there is sanitation, there’s so many different areas, only once I graduated that I found that that I’ve really passionate about education and so i definitely encourage that and i really encourage you to get involved on campus to help discover what you’re passionate about what was great about going to York where there are a multitude of club, a multitude of opportunities, to be able to explore what what i like and that’s where i got involved with Model UN, I was involved with International Development Association, so I do encourage that into helping you find your your passion what you feel you’ll be great at. Upon graduating just like everybody else I was applying for jobs left, right and center and one thing that I do encourage is do get field experience even if it is in a small capacity because being able to relate to what’s happening on the ground and then applying that to your work here in Canada is really helpful and really beneficial just for your own personal growth but also for your professional for your professional career bringing those insights to make sure the work you’re doing here is relevant and it’s so i would definitely encourage upon graduating look for opportunities to go overseas and don’t be afraid to volunteer that’s one thing I know, what’s really hard is finding a paid internship, but don’t be afraid to fund-raise and actually raise the funds to be able to go somewhere and make an internship for yourself as well, it’s that kind of ingenuity, that kind of creativity and that kind of drive that will really make an experience for you and in the long run to help help you be noticed by an organization who will then so maybe bring you on afterwards and something that I’ve seen my colleagues do as well so definitely encourage field experience there’s lots of opportunities out there there’s been the internship program through Sidda, there’s the Agha Khan Foundation has internships as well there’s lots of volunteer placements through organizations like Youth Challenge International I really encourage doing that and having having those travels and being able to connect with that, so once you do come back to Canada and the situation that I was in as well where do i apply, what jobs do I look for now that I’m back it really helped narrow my focus and help me find what I was passionate about. Thank you. Steven, So just to clarify, the question was, “what’s my typical day?” is that… well its sort of a two fold question, pretty much yeah yeah yeah, based on your experience what can students and new graduated expect when they graduate, what would their work week, work day look like, right, and then what is your work day like, right right So I there is no such thing as a typical workday as far as I’m concerned but there are extraordinary work days and I don’t know if that makes any sense at all but i find this work to be incredibly invigorating but also incredibly discouraging at the same time and it’s a constant struggle for me to balance the two. Four steps forward ten steps back three steps forward to seven steps back, a donor drops off, a program doesn’t come to be, a Skype connection is lost, your 4:00 in the morning called, now has to be pushed for another week and it’s a constant series of challenges that you are overcoming which on one level is a really exciting thing really exciting thing because we’re all problem solvers on some level but it’s also incredibly discouraging when you start to see how slow some of the change is that’s occurring not only in our own communities but around the world and so “Sochanges”something that I started coming out of my Humber postgraduate work “sochange.ca” by the way for those of you who are interested in and it’s a capacity-building organization and I can use that and move on in this room knowing that you all know what that means, but I’m here to tell you, very few people know what it means to actually build robust substantive meaningful on the ground capacity and I’ve been stunned by that, and so what we are doing is coming alongside nonprofits but also now coming alongside corporations and what we’re doing is we’re creating integrated social change campaigns and we’re trying to say we can write proposals and we can design projects and we’ve worked in Rwanda and Mongolia and Cambodia is my favorite place in the world by the way, if any of you care, had a huge impact on my life for so many reasons and so what we’re trying to do, is trying to make sense of it all and so, “sochange” out of social change the center for social change is what really is where I started with the name and then it just became kind of “social change” and why not just “sochange” because there’s kind of a couple edges to that, that’s “sochange” but so, Change right, there’s a couple meanings there “sochange” damn it actually is what probably what I’d really like to say, why aren’t you getting engaged, why aren’t you involved, and so our job and this is where I get incredibly excited is to again plant those seeds of change our line is we help you flap your wings and based on a philosophical principle of chaos theory, one little butterfly can make all the difference in the world and i truly believe that and i truly believe that about each and everyone here in this room you are going to make all the difference in the world but you don’t you don’t have to go to the U Ed, you really don’t, you you don’t even have to go to York University, right, you’re already doing it the question is how and how much and how do you leverage that and build, and so my days are really not typical all and I think you should be prepared for that and one of the things that any intern that I’ve worked with has been astounded by is a job description, yea but David, this is what i was hired to do but ok great but now you’re on the ground and this is what they actually need because maybe a tsunami hit or an earthquake in Haiti or maybe not even something as extreme as that maybe somebody just died or left or they actually really didn’t have the capacity in the first place for this job and they were trying to pull you in and they just wanted your expertise and you get there and all of a sudden you’re showing a marketing skills as well are you kidding me well we’re going to use that as well right and so your level of expectation start to try to manage that already if you can so it might be here keep it here please for the love of all things holy keep your idealism and your expectations here that’s the only way we’re all going to make a difference in this world but manage your discouragement and the challenges that you’re gonna face each and every day but like i said before that’s for me and I think for most of us here what kind of makes it exciting and I think something I also want to pick up on what Larissa said is that you know she saw a couple faces back there and this is why she’s here it’s the students and to say that it’s all about relationships is so cliche and it’s so trite but you know what when you shake somebody’s hand at from this day forward, make it mean something, when you look at somebody in the eye, make it means something, they’re not just a means to an end, this is what you’re getting into the field for, its the other, its the other side of the world, its the other side of the community, its the other in it’s purely human and existential form you’re here to build capacity in one way or another, right, and that’s exciting but like I say we’re dealing with human beings we’re dealing with a very globally challenged world in so many levels that make the work that we do incredibly difficult and it can be difficult 7/24 so I hope that’s helpful as far as a typical day is concerned in as far as I think I’ve already spoken to it but as far as your day is concerned expect the unexpected you know again to kind of be a little cliche getting on the ground getting field experience i think is probably the best advice that you’re going to get here today and that can be field anywhere, the world’s a big field, and I think at York you guys have an incredible series of opportunities and i think Dianne could speak to this at great length, i love York, I loved york, i did my undergrad over a 10-year period i took two credits a year some people would call that self-flagellation but ten years I worked full-time, while I did it, best time of my life the relationships that I made the conversations that I had in Vari Hall and the list goes on leverage that, you’ve got this community there’s there’s a hundred people in this room what are you guys doing to connect? Are you guys members of taking,Take as it’s now, referring to global and so it’s to be hit by the way you gotta call it Take so, you know, are you members of this community already, have any of you volunteered for the water campaign that UNICEF is rolling out I can’t think of a better way to get a foot in the door with with UNICEF down the road then coming to them and say we as a group here at York University raise five thousand dollars for the new student challenge so you’re gonna have to get creative and you probably didn’t want to hear that but you really are going to have to get creative about what’s next and pick up the phone and shake hands and knock on doors and do things that are indeed unexpected so if you just send out all these resumes and wait for everyone to come to you you’re going to be sorely disappointed but if you start to take things a little bit more seriously and not shit up just a little bit from a creative perspective how can I get in the door I think you’re going to start to to feel not only empowered because now you’re really getting involved you’re you’re going to find something it’s going to be it’s going to not take you quite as long to find a rule in this field, because the reality is, as I said before, the needs are the needs are great, and I better shut up or I’ll just going, Larissa, there are so many good points made and did out as a shaking nodding my head, yeah okay that wasn’t but yeah, you’re so right with the resume point by just sending out blanket resumes especially if your cover letters are all the same no no no, where you just change it to dear organization or but it’s clearly when somebody reads about a thousand applications a year, it’s very evident when you’re using a standardized cover letter don’t do it because it in my mind if you can’t put the effort into writing me a letter I can’t put the effort into reading it so it’s might as well just leave it blank, pretty funny a blank cover letter yeah dear whatever ……. being creative i think is a great way of approaching it and when i was doing, when I was at Humber i was doing all kinds of weird stop by with it, to start creating those networks, you know I did the Sensex so i got to know everybody in my neighborhood yeah I I was volunteering at Oxfam about fair trade bananas coming out of the West Indies, it was something, i was out there, was connecting was talking to people, I was getting an idea of how these organizations work and so I encourage you to do the same, don’t don’t look at volunteering as a way to put something else down on your resume I once looked at an application where the guy had like 30 clubs that he belonged to and I said, what do you do at any one of those clubs, tell me one thing you’ve done and he’s like well, I go to the meetings, now look at this is your opportunity to actually start building that skill set that’s going to get you the job, so is it fundraising, is it working on their social media campaign, those are the kind of things that you can do through volunteering and finding those areas that do spark your interest that you want to pursue further in your career we had a running joke it in the Humber program, whenever anybody asked us what we wanted to do in development we didn’t know what the answer was we go “community development” or “capacity building” because we don’t know what those things mean either so we’ll just say it sounds good so yea, get out there start connecting with those organizations they are low funded and need help, so that but don’t walk in and say I could do anything, walk in and say your Facebook page needs some work, you know that and I can do that for you that sense of optimism i think and it’s true you I can hear it in the three of you and I think I’ve got it in myself and I check it all the time my boss in Niagara College who worked for”Doctors without Borders” for many many years and so he’s you know he had the Nobel peace prize, you know so he might know something about something he said the moment that you get jaded and you lose that sense of optimism, get out, so keep that in mind when you’re doing international development because that jadedness is going to be exactly what prevents you from reaching your goals working with people in developing countries you have to recognize the privilege that comes with it and the vulnerability of the people that you’re working with and the moment that jadedness starts to come in it alters that relationship and that relationship is an important thing to manage, it is a relationship, i got caught once in South Africa, so yea well the project this, and the project that, the project this and my co-ordinator says to me Larissa, it’s our lives it’s not a project, and I kind of went Ohhh okay, lesson learned, you know stops you dead in your track and those are those kind of lessons that I hope I can share with you because it’ll take you that much further than where I was, to think about my average day when i was working at Niagara College, it could be anything from doing my log frame and results based management, figuring out the difference between an output and outcome or working on the budget, or booking a flight or organizing a pre-departure orientation so the really dry sitting at your desk in front of computer with the phone to your ear stuff but then there was those moments of brilliance where we were working with a group of youth who are connected through an HIV AIDS clinic in East London South Africa and they were using drama is a way of addressing the issues of gender in the transmission and treatment of hiv/aids and they put on a show and they showed me and it was like interactive drama and they showed it to me and and all the sudden I had this realization oh my God we’re actually doing something here, something’s happening here or the personal time for me when what were working with Walter Sisulu University and they needed somebody to do the commencement address at one of the graduation ceremony, so they were like, hey get the mizzoungu, get the white girl, white girl and so all the sudden i’m standing in front of a thousand people delivering a commencement address at walter sisulu university I mean it’s awesome but it’s a moment I’ll never forget, would I have had that opportunity any other time, Noo! Will I ever have that opportunity again ..Nooo it’s thanks to the lack of organization in typical of South Africa I got do something like that but those are the reasons why you keep going because that once in a lifetime so optimism, volunteering where do you find out about these opportunities if you haven’t liked the York International Internship program Facebook page, you really should anybody who has liked it will know how regularly it’s updated and opportunities are put through so definitely take a look for that on facebook alright, that’s what I got to say, I think the common thread that I hear is start with yourself you know clarifying what what it is that you want, what it is that you’re passionate about what it is that you’re good at and and then go from there, decide okay well if I’ve got a passion or interest or skills in a certain area then I need to start looking for opportunities or organizations that can make use of those skills or that that interest or that passion so and then start talking to people so don’t just think sort of outside of the job search box and you know so if you’re looking for opportunities in international development online you’re probably not going to find them many there, if any to people go approach them directly, like you were saying, call them up, go on use social media, join clubs , join community groups that sort of thing and get experience build your skills ask questions, do your research and that’s how you are going to find out about opportunities okay, so I think at this point we will open the discussion to questions from the floor, if anybody has a question, if you could raise your hand and I’ll when i select you, you could stand up and nice and loud and I will repeat the question for everyone to hear and we are taping session so you’re not interested in being taped then maybe you can have a seat and you can talk to them the panelists later on okay so anybody have a question? yes would you like, could you stand up thank you, what I wanted to ask is I appreciate, you know your advice on going some where for internship and volunteering but also my concern comes in with, when somebody is a mature student, coming to York you want to do you know a degree program and somebody is immigrant and there is lot of things that come with that, a lot of responsibilities, we have to work and not going to be easy to going away for an internship for 3 months, rent to pay and the things and times you cant have even spare, maybe even a day to volunteer, because juggle between maybe two jobs and going to University so I don’t know what kind of you know advice you can give to somebody in that kind of situation. I think that is a great question, so i’ll repeat it for the table and for students at the back, The question was realistically if you cant think you can’t forward to take off for another country or to volunteer for a few minds and you’ve got bills to pay and student loans and all these financial obligations and other things and how can you still make a difference in and get involved in international development work anybody like to i can so the fact that maybe someones number greater comes with the background how to speak to it because I happen to be like the same thing I don’t have professional training and 94 I don’t have feelings experienced but i have lived before living in kind I’ve lived in five countries and I’ve been to like seven different schools and so it’s just like I don’t have that but i still have the life learning from it which I could record definitely apply in the work i do so that for example if someone talks about a project Pakistan or is doing something Pakistan because that’s the birthplace I can automatically connect the dots and there’s about 25 things that i can add value to that somebody else who has maybe done ID from here probably could not so just looking into within yourself and seeing what is that that makes you unique and in terms of your life learning to and yes we do not have the opportunity to maybe go abroad and watering but even just doing something within the community and it doesn’t have to be a while entering where you’re actually physically going somewhere else to do there’s take actually provides amazing effort duties for several volunteering and I were actually let you speak to that and then i’ll be quite yeah so that was actually something I was going to suggest as well is that not all volunteering has to be present to it could be online and that is equally as contributing towards you know creating knowledge sharing information I’m so we’re taking a global we do have a lot of opportunities for online volunteering whether it’s you know doing research and providing content for moderating our site or whether its translations if you have language skills that you can contribute these are so valuable and also then add to that skill set to and can fit within you know very heavy schedule on as well there’s them i actually did do online volunteering for Canadian cross with international for their g20 campaign that was have to confront 22 years ago and it was a research capacity was researching on hiv/aids issues globally and and trying to put into you know a simple language for their social media sites so these kinds of opportunities and these you can find online through research through social media networks of these types of opportunities as well and they are as in my building their skill building and they do contribute towards them toward social change in a different way so that that is definitely a really good piece of advice I was wondering right now I’m problem whether deciding if i want to apply for a master in 1540 mama may be my only job description seen a lot of them are and what their requirements are looking for a job description where’s that would suggest for someone who’s thinking about getting more experienced either field or is she questions about professional development and further education and continuing education is that helpful isn’t worthwhile to do and if so what should you beginning master description of the kid and interview go out but I i think i would want to ask you another question so I’ll respond by asking a question which is often just a rhetorical way of not responding to your question but really this is a question 2i hope that will enable you to dig a little deeper what is it that you’re hoping for and have you created your own log frame does everybody know what a log frame is nobody knows what a log frame is alright I’ll have to discuss that with the administration later but anyway that’s another conversation a log frame is is a two or three page document that lays out where a particular proposal / project / program will head and a government bilateral multilateral donor will look at this and saying three pages it’s a charge essentially here’s what’s going to happen here’s what they’re going to do all their activities and over here is an impact statement and you’ve reduced a two-hundred-thousand-dollar project or a 20 million dollar project 21 what’s called an ultimate today it will change tomorrow but it’s called an ultimate outcome statement and so you might want to look into that a log frame matrix you don’t need to do anything quite as robust for your own life but my point is is that you should be asking some other questions where do you really want to go could you afford to take a couple of years off and maybe do an internship with one of these great organizations here and spend two years in another part of the world that you wanted to see anyway and get a sense for what’s next because one of the one of the most interesting stories I’ve got as a teacher as an instructor a number is a young woman coming in at the beginning of the program saying to me I have no idea why I’m even here i have this sense this intuitive sense that i want to get involved in that I want to make a difference and she’s now working on our a lot agree and human rights that just sends a shiver up my spine but you may not know that right now so Oscar Wilde said its experience that we is the name we give to our mistakes right so you’re gonna have to take some risks you’re gonna have to make a few mistakes in order to get to that place that you’re maybe not even sure you’re going to wind up in yet so i guess my challenge to you is to maybe