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Summer Beauty Products

Summer Beauty Products

Thrilled to feature illustrations by Kristen Palana on this blog. She’s an artist, educator, and author, originally from the USA and has just moved to Lilongwe, Malawi, with her husband and sons. Welcome, Kristen ! P.S. Living and working in Africa and building a career […]

How early should you be to an interview?

How early should you be to an interview?

The rainiest day this month, Jennifer and I sit in her kitchen, chatting about her upcoming Skype interview; the clock reads half past one.

“It’s at four this afternoon,” she says, raising her coffee mug to her lips. “I’ve got time to prepare.”

“Let’s start now,” I say, pushing back my chair.

We sit down at her desk, planning to go over the questions and her responses, and something feels not quite right…

Friday Links

Friday Links

What are you up to this weekend? I’ll be making testing a brownie recipe – with amaranth and millet (“ancient grains“) and drinking several cups of milky chai. Here are a few links from around the web for your weekend reading. See you back here on Monday!

 

The watercolour version of Google Maps! You can zoom all the way in to your city. The Eiffel Tower is marked as a shadow-y space in the shape of its base 🙂

 

UNICEF is hiring a podcaster! Gosh, how far we’ve come from the early days of being an “aid worker”, wearing pants made of waterproof materials and rugged boots for tramping all over the jungle. So much of today’s work at humanitarian organisations is done in climate-controlled environments, with several computers, Bluetooth headsets, and instant, cross-continental communication.

 

This past week, Europe underwent its second heat wave this summer, making life very difficult for locals and tourists alike, in a continent where air-conditioning is considered a luxury. It rarely got that hot – 45C in Paris! – where I grew up, on the beach in the tropics. Simultaneously, every farmer I met in Patagonia complained about the too-warm winters and lack of snowfall (less snow means less water on the ground come spring, meaning less grass for the animals to eat) in the last 15 years. Is this the result of climate change? Are we going to see more summers like this?

 

Can you get a job writing Christmas cards? The answer is: yes! This NGO in the north of Thailand, started by two former bankers, is looking for English- and German-speaking volunteers to handwrite hundreds of Christmas cards later this year, presumably to be sent out to donors in advance of the holiday season, because there’s little so impactful as a handwritten note to express gratitude.

My first thought: no banking intern is ever unpaid (and banks regularly send out Christmas greetings to their private wealth management clients), so why is this role unpaid? Is it because it’s at an NGO in the tropics?

Second thought: They want a foreign candidate (native English or native German) with good handwriting (which often ends up being a woman), and the ability to sit for hours to do detail-oriented work, to fund herself to work on their fundraising team in a Middle Income country? For FREE?

Third thought: Why don’t they simply train a Thai person to do this job? Would a Thai person be willing to work for free when the results of their work are almost certainly going to bring more funds to the NGO?

 

xoxo

Malaika

 

Watercolour maps via DesignMom. Photo by Arnaud Matar.

Have you considered being an international development consultant?

Have you considered being an international development consultant?

Did you fall headfirst in love with working abroad, with other cultures, seeing the world… but you need something different from a full-time job? You might want to consider becoming an international development consultant. The truth is, consulting is a fabulous way to toe the […]

UN Internship in the Middle East

UN Internship in the Middle East

UN is hiring ASAP for its office in Jordan. Doing an UN internship is one of the best ways to learn how it works, and get invited to P-3 jobs.

PAID UN internship in Geneva, Switzerland

PAID UN internship in Geneva, Switzerland

Click Here to download details

You’re either looking for an internship, or getting ready for a position where you’ll be supervising an internship.

Both situations mean you need to pay attention to the fact that the UN is starting to pay its interns, signalling massive change in how an ancient, change-resistant bureaucracy is beginning to view its monopoly on unpaid white collar work. Because the UN is so incredibly influential, paid internships in Geneva and New York and Nairobi might also herald paid internships in places like Sweden, India, and Ecuador, where local NGOs take advantage of the fact that there’s no law requiring you to pay your university-educated “employees”.

Point being, whether or not you’re looking for an internship at this stage, you want to pay close attention to the evolutions of the industry (and UN agencies in particular), because these are the first tremours of the subtle shift to a world where millenials run the show – and dictate the demands of the workplace by their (our 😉 radical behaviour on social media.

Genava Botanical Gardens

Doing an internship in Geneva is a terrible idea if you start in the middle of winter, when it’s cold, unfriendly, and generally unappetising as a place to live.

With this role, however, you could start as soon as 2 August (because 1 August is Swiss Independence Day and a public holiday), and if things go well, be offered a consultancy that could help you pay for ski trips and fondue nights to tide away the long winter nights living in the Alps.

It’s a role on a small, committed team, and you have the chance to shine because of the growing importance of the theme they tackle.


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Plus, there are all the myriad benefits of living in a vibrant international city like Geneva, but being there in the warmer months, such as:

  • Sitting in a coffee shop outdoors, feeling the cool breeze and warm sunshine on your bare arms, a smile lighting up your face.
  • Going swimming in the lake after work (because the office is empty at 5pm anyway), then heading to a barbecue with friends.
  • Spending hours languorously sipping cocktails (or lemonade if you don’t drink) at a local bar, surrounded by colleagues from your agency and other international organisations like UNHCR and IOM, talking about human rights and pro-poor solutions and what to do next weekend when the weather’s supposed to be nice).

Click Here to download details
 
 

P.S. Flights/health insurance/”employee benefits” are not included, though this internship IS paid. You’ll have to fund yourself to get out here (and pay for mandatory health insurance while you’re living in Switzerland), and this salary is just enough to live comfortably but frugally in Geneva. However, network carefully, and perform an outstanding job, and you could well end up with a short-term consultancy that will let you save enough for the flight back home. AND they do give you a “lump sum” to reimburse the cost of your flight there. I’m still finding out how much this will be and once I do I’ll update this article.

 

Good luck!

Click Here to download details
 

 

Top photo by Avinash Bhatt. Botanical gardens by Arnaud Matar. Bottom photo by Jorge Leon.