“You don’t have to wait for a job to start doing things,” advises Neil Ghosh, who recently departed SNV USA as founding president and executive director. Kids as young as kindergarten students can begin engaging in civic activities to improve the world around them. You also don’t have to join an NGO or development organization to do good, Ghosh points out. “You can do that as an impact investment fund manager,” for example.
He goes on to dispel the myth that the social sector is where you will find all of the “kind-hearted, nice” people. The private sector has just as many empathetic professionals committed to harnessing their talents to make the world a better place. “A lot more bridges can be built between government, nonprofit and private sector” — a fact he wished he’d understood earlier in his career.
“It is not enough to have passion for the cause, but also important to have compassion,” Gosh shared when talking about what soft skills he sought as an executive building his team. He also stressed the importance of integration, not being stuck in silos, and that being flexible and multi-talented is as important as any technical expertise.
Watch the video above to learn why an MBA can be valuable to a global development career, how the nonprofit sector should invest more in training and development of staff, and more advice as Ghosh looks back on his own career — and thinks about the future for international development professionals.
Kate Warren is the senior director and editor of careers and recruiting content at Devex. With more than a decade of international development recruitment experience working with international NGOs, consulting firms and donor agencies, she has a finger on the pulse of hiring trends across the industry and insider knowledge on what it takes to break in.
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