What happens next: jobs, grad schemes and the rest

For those of us who are at the half way point of our one year ICWS Masters programme in human rights, one question keeps popping up: what’s next? The thought of job-hunting and applications fills me with terror so I tend to do a bit here and there to ease myself back into the “real world”. Most of the suggestions below are to start in the autumn because that’s when most MA programmes finish, with their dissertation hand-ins.

Graduate schemes, paid internships (few and far between) and even a PhD have all crossed my mind (the PhD option, ever so briefly). As I continue to bookmark websites and save possible job opportunities to my laptop, I thought it may be helpful to share the love with fellow freaked-out students. Because of my MA focus, this post may seem more geared towards students looking to work in human rights. Most of the suggestions, however, are applicable for any students of conflict resolution/international development etc.


Frontline Defenders: http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/about/recruitment

Frontline Defenders are an organisation protecting human rights defenders worldwide. They are based in Dublin and have a number of PAID year-long internships. One particularly good option is the Frank Jennings internship that runs for a year is split between Dublin, with the organisation, and Geneva, at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. You must speak both Spanish and English for this placement.

Merlin: http://www.merlin.org.uk/field-management-development-programme

Merlin, an international health organisation, run a Field Management Development Programme that looks a great opportunity. It involves 6 months in London and 6 months abroad, pays minimum wage, and is likely to lead to a full-time job (according to the website!). February 2013 entry is now closed but the next round will be advertised mid-2013.

On Purpose: http://onpurpose.uk.com/become-an-on-purpose-associate/apply-today-2

This is a really interesting training scheme ‘to grow the next generation of social enterprise leaders who will harness the power of business for good’. The £21,000 for the year isn’t bad AT ALL and this is a good option for people interested in both good business practice and the third sector. The website also provides good tips of improving your CV!

Peace Brigades International: http://www.peacebrigades.org/get-involved/volunteer-field/

PBI have incredible opportunities for people who want to work abroad for a year or more providing protective accompaniment to human rights defenders in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Nepal. You will need fluent Spanish for the Latin America roles. I’m currently volunteering for PBI UK at their London office and previous field volunteers tell me it is an incredible and challenging experience. Also worth noting is that while it is called a ‘volunteer’ position, you are not expected to fund yourself. Expenses will be covered and you will receive a stipend.

People and Planet: http://peopleandplanet.org/careers/

Paid internships! 5 paid internships! Need I say more??

Save the Children: www.savethechildren.org.uk

Save the Children definitely have humanitarian trainee schemes whereby you work in London for 6 months and abroad for another 6. Sounds great but I always have difficulty finding them on the organisation’s job page! Maybe entry for the scheme is closed this year or maybe finding the elusive application page is part of the challenge? If you’re lucky enough- share the love on the comments section of this article!

UN: https://careers.un.org/lbw/home.aspx?viewtype=NCE

Applying for anything at the UN in general is scary and competitive in my experience. There are exams and eligibility tests and all that malarkey. If you can get past that, though, their Young Professionals Programme is definitely worth a look! Here is the link for the step-by-step guide to getting started: https://careers.un.org/lbw/attachments/Inspira-How_to_get_started.pdf.

Useful Websites

Charityjob is good for UK jobs: http://www.charityjob.co.uk/

Devnet for international development jobs: http://www.devnetjobs.org/

Foreign Policy Association: http://www.fpa.org/jobs/?utm_source=Jobs+August+27%2C+2012&utm_campaign=Jobs+8-27-12&utm_medium=email

Milkround for graduate schemes and UK jobs: www.milkround.net

Reliefweb for humanitarian and development jobs: http://reliefweb.int/jobs

UNHCR for jobs with refugees and internally displaced people: http://www.unhcr.org.uk/about-us/jobs-and-internships.html

Obviously this is just one list of suggestions for jobs/websites/organisations that I’ve personally come across. Feel free to add to this list in the comments! What job sites do you use? Have you seen any organisations/websites advertising jobs/paid internships/graduates schemes in the UK or abroad?


Georgia Booth



5 thoughts on “What happens next: jobs, grad schemes and the rest

  1. Good list! A few MA alumni have done several of these (Merlin, PBI..) so worth getting in touch with Corinne for contacts.

    I am currently on a paid year long placement with the Quaker UN Office in Geneva, so that is another option (there are also vacancies in the NY office), but wouldn’t be until Sep 2014 as the applications have closed.

    There are the UK Peaceworkers who are placed in a Peace Organisation in the UK (past organisations include Freedom from Torture, War Resisters International, Oxford Research Group, Alternatives to Violence Project…) and these are paid, and are currently being advertised:


    For more see our cheesy video!



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