Updated: Jun 26, 2021
by Lucy Lu and Stella Yoh
Hi everyone! Welcome to our very first RE: Project Story series.
According to our recent survey with the London School of Economics International Development department, we found out that a lot of the LSE ID class of 2019 are still looking for a job — even with a Master’s degree from the world’s #4 school in Development Studies! In this episode, I sat down with 2 special guests Julian Buschmaas and Innocent Anguyo, from LSE ID class of 2019, to chat about our experience as recent grads trying to navigate the professional world and searching for the job that we want.
Despite the fact that it is a rather common phenomenon, a lot of recent grads often feel frustrated with not having a job straight out of school. We hope our video can help de-stigmatize temporary unemployment that happens naturally as we try to step up or change careers into the path we want.
Here are some of the highlights from our discussion:
Q: What have been the biggest frustrations in your job search process? We discussed why it is incredibly difficult for recent grads with 0–3 years of experience to find an entry-level job in the field of International Development, regardless of how well-known their schools can be for the industry. The major shared pain points we identified are:
Lack of relevant experience in the development sector
Visa, citizenship requirement, rights to work
Lack of pragmatic training from Universities
Affordability of unpaid internships
Lack of a clear path of breaking into the international development industries, and it is network-based
Q. How have you coped with frustrations and feelings of insecurity during the job search process? We all had our frustrations with the job searching process. The trick is to don’t reach too far outside your ability, keep trying, and see this as a window to prepare yourself for opportunities.
Q. What kind of career support you wish you’ve had, during your Master’s education?
To know what skills are valuable in the workplace before choosing our classes
Explore beyond our own campus
Have more networking sessions that are specifically for International development
1 :1 mentorship with real-world professionals
Q. Do you have any advice for current students? and what do you want to say to other fellow job searchers? For current students:
Start your job search early, understand the employment cycle
Reach out to younger mentors who have a similar experience as you
For fellow job seekers:
Don’t be too hard on yourself, give yourself some time.
Keep in touch with your cohort and help each other out.
In the meantime, take the free time to do something you love, something that you have been postponing for a long time! But do it in a planned manner.
Be creative! Start your own career path! (more content on RE:Project on this soon!)
Q. What are your plans for the next couple months? We are all going to keep looking but meanwhile, we will also be spending some quality time with families, doing part-time projects for ourselves or as freelancers.
Here is a timeline of our video so you can skip to the parts you want!:
[00:02] — Introducing the RE:Project
[01:13] — Meet the panelists — Introducing Julian and Innocent
[04:06] — Frustration of job searching — why it is so hard to get a job in international development?
[08:46] — Mental Health and Job Search — How to keep the spirit up in frustrating times
[16:18] — Career Support — What career support we wish we’d had during grad school?
[21:22] — Future plans — What are the plans that you have for the upcoming year?
[24:06] — Advice — What do you want to say to other fellow job searchers and current students?
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Why should you join the RE:Project Community?
Our mission is to re-think, re-skill, and re-imagine the future of work for those in social science-related fields, with a focus on International Affairs and Development. We believe that technological changes have radically altered the way we work by disrupting skills requirements, creating challenges for young social scientists who largely rely on soft skills. Therefore, those pursuing generalist or qualitative disciplines will have to re-skill in an oversaturated job market favoring STEM and tech.
However, most universities’ career services do not yet offer such robust training for students. At RE: Project, we seek to help millennials and Gen Zs not only find a job, but build dynamic, “future proof” careers. We offer an active platform that demystifies career possibilities, helps build professional networks, and supports re-skilling for a changing job market.
At our core, we seek to reduce growing unemployment among young social scientists in an increasingly technologised job market. Our cutting-edge content allows our community members to stay current and learn from experts at the forefront of their industry.
In the short-run, we offer tailored career support by creating curated real-life, authentic content generated by real people of the millennial generation working the industries. Practitioners with 4–7 years of experience can offer as many insights (or more!) as 50-year-old CEOs and Directors about how to break into the industry.
This way, young job seekers can interact with mentors using social media live (visit our Linkedin page, Instagram coming soon), and blog posts.
User-generated blog posts, interviews, and tips will also be very welcome.
In the long run, the ultimate goal of this platform is to grow into the forefront community for the Future of Work for social scientists.