"What’s like to work in an International Organization? In three words I’d say complex, competitive, and incredibly rewarding.
International organizations can be large bureaucracies of extremely well-qualified & highly-driven professionals – getting in is often tough, and the learning curve is usually steep (at the beginning and beyond). Degrees from top universities (such as LSE!), foreign languages, and field experience, paired with passion & patience, will definitely help with both recruitment and onboarding.
Yet International Organizations are also places that attract multiple talents, value diversity, and strive for results. You’ll likely find yourself surrounded by colleagues with incredibly varied backgrounds (economists and socials scientists but also anthropologists, engineers, legal experts and even doctors!), who operate in respectful work environments and lead projects that aim for real impact.
A few quick tips:
+ Be flexible: specialize in a field, and be open to update or change it – start off at HQ, but get ready for a country office,
+ Keep your eyes on the big picture: projects can be large hence take time to produce results – stay focused on goals, while working on tasks and learning your way through the admin
+ Keep your mind (and soul) open: some spend their whole career at one organization and love it, others simply get stuck in it. If you feel that things are getting flat, inward-looking, or both, consider change – it’s a small world of big international entities out there, many doing really exciting work."
Carmine Soprano (EMPA, 2020)
Senior Economist (Trade & Gender/Youth Specialist) at The World Bank
Carmine is happy to talk further via LinkedIn.
"The Tony Blair Institute of Global Change works with leaders around the world with possibly the hardest task of all “how to get things done.” We work in over 37 countries globally, with around 850 people, and support highest level of government leadership on strategy, policy and delivery, unlocking the power of technology. I help shape and implement strategies across some of the key political and policy challenges of our time. We work on issues ranging from AI, biotech and climate change and I help identify primary challenges, define key policy actions, and how we build effective solutions for the highest levels in government.
Our central thesis is that technology has the potential to how government operates in the 21st Century: from how it uses data and technology to develop strategy and policy, right through to how it uses technology to deliver better outcomes in health, education and much more. We work on the belief that radical, but practical, policy is needed. This includes thinking about how emerging and frontier technology can be translated into a policy capability, in particular around AI today.
The path of public policy holds the key to catalysing this transformative government change. The correct direction of travel across these challenges will not happen unless it shaped by the government. I recommend my career path to anyone who possess a profound sense of public spiritedness and a genuine concern for the transformative power of the state in shaping the lives of citizens.
Today, policy making at the highest level operates where political priorities converge with developmental imperatives, geopolitics and often hinge on the pivotal role of the private sector as a catalyst for change.
To flourish in this a dynamic sphere, some concrete advice is here:
+ Private Sector Dynamics : A strong grasp of private sector direction of travel i.e, next wave of opportunities, global headwinds, tailwinds, is key.
+ Operational Insights: A hands-on understanding of the execution of public sector development programs is pivotal.
+ A Comprehensive Approach: Policy roles demands a holistic approach that weaves together political realities, socio-economic dynamics, and global considerations, aligning them to achieve transformative impact.
+ Adopt Propositional Thinking: Cultivate a mindset that is an 'incubator of ideas' and a provider of pragmatic solutions. Articulate your concepts in ways that elicit resonance, get people to ‘respond to’ and ‘enthuses’ people
+ Demonstrate Leadership: You should try to identify novel policy opportunities and present them with a real business case. That way you will distinguish yourself as a leader amongst peers.
+ Endurance is Key – Keep an unyielding mindset, a relentless spirit to win, and an unwavering capacity to endure is all distance between dreams from reality."
Prachetas Bhatnagar (MPP, 2021)
Head of Strategy & Operations at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change
Prachetas is happy to talk further via email.