Students who venture abroad to study economics in Italy or in other international settings, often have a desire to keep traveling and see the world following graduation. Many new grads are attracted to careers in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) because of the potential these positions have for helping others while remaining mobile. NGOs often look for candidates who are skilled in accounting, management and fundraising, and some even have their own marketing and public relations departments. If you have the heart of a humanitarian and the spirit of an explorer, read on to learn more about landing a job with an NGO!
What Type of NGO?
Non-governmental organizations are often funded by the government, foundations or private individuals, but are run independently of the government. The term itself was coined by the United Nations, and many intergovernmental organizations are in fact run by the UN.
There are thousands of U.S.-based NGOs that perform outstanding work inside the United States. Alternatively, there are also U.S.-based NGOs that do international work in hundreds of countries around the world. One of these is the well-known CARE International, which provides humanitarian aid to poverty-stricken areas with a particular focus on the needs of women and girls. Other international NGOs help refugees, the elderly, animals, and the environment. Humanitarian causes are virtually endless, and with 2 million NGOs based in the U.S. alone, interested candidates are certain to find rewarding positions with possibilities for travel.
How to Get the Job
Finding the perfect NGO job starts with doing your research. Candidates need to determine whether they’d rather be based abroad, or would prefer to spend the majority of their time working in their home country. They also need to investigate the culture and mission of the NGOs they’re most interested in working with, and make a short list of favorites.
Another important consideration in securing an NGO job is self-presentation. Having volunteer work on your resume will help to boost your chances of getting a foot in the door. It is also important to showcase any particular skills you possess that the NGO really needs, such as business communications, accounting, or the ability to write persuasive proposals. In the case of international NGO work, multilingualism can be a huge advantage when applying for a position. While you study abroad in Italy, consider pursuing an internship at a local NGO or inter-governmental organization. Proving yourself early on can lead to full-time employment after you graduate – or will help strengthen your next application by adding commitment and experience to your resume.
NGOs in Rome
Let’s say you do want to volunteer at an NGO in Rome, or are interested to know which options are available to you if you decide to study in Italy. Rome hosts an assortment of local and international NGOs, such as:
- INTERSOS (Aids victims of disasters and conflict)
- World Vision Italia
- World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) Italia
- World Food Programme
- AVSI Foundation
Opportunities at John Cabot University
Many John Cabot University students seek out internships at organizations like these to get a taste of what the career path is really like. The Guarini Institute for Public Affairs opens its arms to a new selection of John Cabot students each year. The university has also recently offered internships at the Peruvian consulate in Rome, and at Active Citizenship Network Rome, an organization that encourages the active participation of citizens in policy-making. As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities in Rome to launch your international NGO career – before you even graduate!
Which NGO would you be interested in working with?