Fellows in the Master of International Development Policy (MIDP) program traveled to Washington, D.C., from Jan. 10-12 for the Professional Development trip. The annual trip gives fellows the opportunity to connect with development professionals and learn more about the work of various government agencies, nonprofit organizations and international financial institutions.
“The trip was a fantastic opportunity to see what we can expect when it comes time for us to join the development world,” said first-year MIDP Fellow Joshua Cootware. “Apart from the great networking, we were able to put a face to the organization and initiate personal dialogue with various representatives.”
Beginning on Sunday, Jan. 10, they heard a panel discussion on careers at the United Nations, in which MIDP alumni Bautista Logioco (‘04) and Keti Melikadze (‘02) participated.
The following day, they heard from panelists Sam Worthington of InterAction, Derick Brinkerhoff of RTI International and Kate Warren of Devex on the future development career. The panelists agreed that, in addition to having technical expertise, the future development professional must be an “integrator.”
“It’s important to develop your expertise in one area, but you should also be able to work across and through different sectors and break down silos that are often found in organizations,” Warren said. “Being able to find common ground is such a critical skill.”
Fellows also visited organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank, the Eurasia Foundation and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, and later attended the Sanford School’s alumni reunion.
On Tuesday morning, they finished the trip with visits to the World Bank and International Finance Corporation. During the World Bank visit, they heard from Dan Radack, manager of the bank’s $1.2 billion Biocarbon Fund, and HR Manager Roberto Amorosino on job and internship opportunities at the organization.
During the visit to the World Bank, Senior Operations Officer Gulnara Febres and Economist Hiroshi Saeki, alumni of the MIDP program, offered their advice and encouragement to current fellows.
“You should look for ways to break the rules,” Febres said. “You should try to find new ways of networking and expanding your skills.”