Finding a job in the field of International Affairs is no easy feat, and success on the job market begins with a marketable skill-set. Below are 5 skills that will make you a more formidable candidate!
Research, writing, and editing: These skills display that you are attentive to detail and that you can actually write. You’d be surprised how many employers state that millennials and GenZers cannot write well. The key to doing well in this area is knowing the grammar rules, effectively summarizing, and writing succinctly.
EXCEL: Don’t underestimate the power of excel! Get familiar with Excel; know the formulas, how to create readable tables and graphs, and understand how to sort and analyze basic data.
Data analysis (quantitative and or qualitative): This includes excel, but know your way around STATA and or SPSS too, AND be able to offer thorough analysis and relay your findings to superiors. Take an economics course before you graduate!
Tracking (budgets and reports): If you want to go far in this field, it is absolutely necessary to understand a budget, the requirements for reporting money spent for programming, and program reports submitted for compliance purposes. Take an accounting and business course!
Program management: Understand fiscal year programming and compliance with program requirements. Understand how to navigate the needs of the donor and field office, and be considerate and effective in how you communicate with both. Take initiative and lead the start-up process for a new project and follow through with its implementation.
BONUS SKILL: Market yourself as an expert on a topic in the field! Creating a blog or publishing weekly LinkedIn posts are good low investment zero cost strategies that can enhance your professional image and serve as informal networking systems.
What skills would you add to this list? What other career advice do you have for young talent seeking to build a career in International Affairs? Comment below!