On November 17 and 18, our IPED cohort ’24 traveled to Washington DC to attend career-organized events by various organizations. We started the first day with a visit to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) where we were introduced to different areas of work in international development, and emergency response. We
learned about the International Peace and Development Prestigious Fellowships, and how we can prepare for the application process. Then, we had lunch with alumni representatives from the International Trade Administration (ITA) who shared with us their journey with the government work, challenges in the global market, and their work with foreign trade partners. They discussed different career prospects as well as tips about Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) Program, which is highly recommended for students interested in government career lines. In the afternoon, we had a career session with United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The panelists spoke about their work with USAID and their career journey abroad. We had a very productive discussion about different career trajectories and opportunities.
In the evening, we had a wonderful alumni networking dinner. Many alumni from the DC area joined to connect and talk about their IPED experience, career prospects, and work abroad. It was a fun and fruitful networking dinner that introduced us to a wider circle of the IPED community.
On the second day, we visited the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). At the MCC, we were briefed on the agency’s unique approach to promoting economic growth and reducing poverty which was followed by a very dynamic discussion around the role of the MCC and countries’ choice for development grants. At the CSIS, we discussed the organization’s role in conducting research and providing analysis on a range of global issues, including security, economics, and energy. We also met with the HR representative at CSIS who answered our questions about the job market and gave us tips on how to boost our job applications. At the USDA, we learned about the agency’s work in supporting sustainable agriculture and food security around the world. We also learned about the USDA’s efforts to promote trade and economic development. At the end of the session, we also had a dynamic Q&A with the speakers about their career paths, the organizations’ work, and potential opportunities that
we can apply to.
Overall, the career trip provided us with a valuable experience to learn from alumni who are now working in these organizations and to gain insights into the career paths and skills required to succeed for some of the top government development organizations in Washington D.C. We left with a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities in this field and a sense of excitement and inspiration for our future careers.