Over 150 graduates approached the UNRISD stand at Connexion
, the Graduate Institute’s annual careers forum, held in Geneva on 19-21 March 2014. They were greeted with information flyers about the Institute, a newly developed careers flyers and an open ear for their questions. Some were specifically interested in UNRISD and how their own work and interests might fit into the UNRISD research agenda and employment structures. Others were passing by and intrigued enough to stop and find out more.
The UNRISD stand attracted a wide range of students from backgrounds in development studies, international relations, anthropology and international law. Students were impressed with the breadth of our research and many were eager to engage with us, either through our newsletters, social media, publications, or by attending UNRISD seminars and applying for internships.
The forum provided an opportunity for over 70 potential future employers to present themselves and their employment opportunities to several hundred talented young people who are just completing Masters degrees or PhDs. International organizations and NGOs were strongly represented, but the private sector was also present, whether banking and finance, multinationals or recruitment agencies.
Today’s graduate students are tomorrow’s policy makers, development practitioners and academics. By reaching out to them at the beginning of their careers, UNRISD has a chance to shape their outlook and potentially influence future development debates and decisions.
Jenifer Freedman, herself an alumna of The Graduate Institute and now head of UNRISD's Communications and Outreach Unit, said, "We collaborate with some faculty members on specific research topics, and with small groups of students—for example, through Applied Research Seminars or through internships. Connexion
was a great opportunity for UNRISD to reach out institutionally to the high-calibre postgraduate students just down the road from us, and to explore areas of mutual interest and engagement. It was 'International Geneva' in action."
Photo: Jordi Vaque