Global Careers Week: Sarah’s inspirational global career

Employers from all countries are looking for graduates who can demonstrate global skills and competencies.

Bristol alumni, Sarah M. Natumanya, tells us about her global experience working for a German consulting group, the UN in Switzerland and as a consultant in Uganda.

So, you graduated from Bristol in 2020; what happened next?

“I was fortunate to receive an internship offer from the UN Human Rights Office – OHCHR (Geneva) in November of 2020, where I supported the enhancement of civil society participation in the United Nations.

After 6 Months, I took a consultancy role as a Gender Mainstreaming Adviser with INTEGRATION Consulting Group of Germany. I delivered gender and youth development activities and integrated gender perspectives in the skills development component of the Promotion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programme (PREEP). The PREEP aims to improve energy access in Uganda, particularly in rural and semi-urban areas.

Since then, I am working as an independent consultant supporting organisations with mainstreaming gender and human rights perspectives in their work through research, gender equality programming, youth and women employability and the socio-economic inclusion of refugees.”

What skills did you gain working in Germany, Switzerland and Uganda?

“Working with the UN perfected my ability to interact, work and engage with teams in a diplomatic environment. Likewise, my experience in leading the gender-mainstreaming project at the PREEEP was imperative in helping me evolve as a leader.

The exposure to multidisciplinary and multicultural settings, alongside my experience working with diverse teams as a consultant, has been beneficial in helping me gain deeper knowledge within the international development and non-profit sectors.”

As an international student, what did you do during university to prepare you for a global career?

  1. I set goals of where I wanted to go and the nature of issues I wanted to work on after my academic programme.
  2. I went ahead to invest my time in research and attending webinars to gain insights and to build an impactful career in international development.
  3. Finally, I made good use of the support provided by the University’s Career Service. An advisor at the Careers Service reviewed my first CV!

💡 Tip: Use the Career Ready Courses and the International Student pathway to support you with your career planning!

What key advice would you give current students looking to gain global work experience?

#1 – Research

Career research is not only relevant in informing you about vacant positions, but it will enlighten you about trending issues, persistent problems, and ongoing topics and discussions. This knowledge is essential for informing and strengthening your writeups, applications and proposals.

Furthermore, career research helps you to understand minor but extremely significant information about the organisation you aspire to work for. For example, working for the United Nations is exciting but securing a job in the UN requires in-depth understanding of the UN system, and how jobs are graded. This is information that you must discover on your own through research, speaking to people, reading about UN career blogs, and attending webinars.

#2 – Networking

Build as many relationships with people as you can. This will help you to hear other experiences and receive bespoke advice. For example, I shared my CV with Gender and Human Rights Experts for their genuine opinions and advice on how I can present my CV and communicate my skills. I found their feedback extremely useful.

While ambitious networking is encouraged, it should be accompanied with a great level of professionalism when approaching people!

💡 Tip: Attend job hunting and networking events to improve your networking skills!

#3 – Commercial Awareness

Finally, improve yourself in line with what you want to do. Take a new course, read articles on issues relevant to your field, and attend information sessions and webinars. This helps you to keep abreast of emerging information.

Get involved!

Attend our events throughout Global Careers Week to enhance your employability!

Ning Tay, Careers Support Officer, 2022