Read, Write, Get a Job

I was fresh out of school, with 0 desire to look for a job or even worry about this little aspect of my life. Weeks later, when I got the excitement of graduation out of my system, I  was lucky enough to land an internship with a sub-agency of UNITAR.   It was during my time there when I realized that my college education was insufficient and unreliable. Two years later, here are some personal notes:

  • READ  – the more I dive into international development and humanitarian aid issues, the more I realize that reading is essential. Knowledge is power, and if you don’t know where to start, check-out my first blog post here.
  • Write – I soon realized that I had limited vocabulary in international affairs, my writing habits were tailored for more academic purposes.  Hence, the blog. A way for me to write without sounding boring and completely detached from real events.
  • Volunteer / Intern – My best advice, get an internship while in school, and be the best at it !!!  Many organization fill in the job rooster by looking first at the people committed to the organization, that being the interns and volunteers.
  • Find your passion in this broad fied of international development. This is actually my weakness, this is why I’m lost. The field of international development is so complex,  having a specialty is a must! I have a passion for orphans,  refugees , women empowerment, international relief and disaster management. Ideally, I would love to work in all these areas.  So, more power to you if you discovered your niche and passion. I for one, still lost in aid 🙂

I found some articles and blog posts to be very useful in the quest for discovering the ideal job in the field:

This is not  an exhaustive list, looking forward for advices of how to find my path in humanitarian aid 🙂

Why Nations Fail?

Couple of months ago, I picked up a fantastic book: ” Why Nations Fail” by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.  As I’m a newbie in the field of international development and aid industry, the debate around the book was absolutely delightful.
I highly recommend reading the book, if only, because of the debate around the origins of development.

Why Nations Fail completely dismisses different theories of why development is successful or not, like the idea of culture or geography. Therefore, throughout the book, the authors make a strong case that institutions matter, more than anything else. Personally, I appreciated the consistency of the book, Acemogly and Robinson kept emphasizing broad terms like inclusive versus extractive institutions, which gets embodied into your brain and you come to accept their theory. Now, it is always good to take everything with a grain of salt, because at the end of the day, institutions are not a definite mark of why nations fail. Nonetheless, I enjoyed discovering a new layer of reasoning and a different approach in explaining development. I’ve tried to compile a list of some interesting articles regarding the debate around the book, ultimately trying to learn more about this controversy:

I know I’m late to the debate, but I really enjoyed spending hours absorbing all these information. At the end of the day, it helped to remember that there is no black and white in international development.

Must read now!

Truth be told, I lived around poverty. I did not experience first hand, but just witnessed it around me. Naturally, from an early age that sparked my interest in why some people lived in poverty while others did not. Many events and life experiences later, I’m here now, trying to answer my childhood question. A simple question with a very complex answer, so in order to get a better understanding of what exactly my question implies, I read – a lot! Currently, in my hands, its the book of Jared Diamond “Guns, Germs, and Steel“. I intent to write more about the book once done reading it. Until then,
a short list of what experienced bloggers consider must read books for an aspiring worker in international aid:

Well, I have my own list which hopefully I’ll write more about in a future post. Always looking to add more books to my list, let me know what other books are worth the time.