Forging a career in international development

Henry-Pacifique has only just finished his Masters in Global Politics at Birkbeck, but he has already secured his dream job in the humanitarian sector, currently working as an Information Manager at International NGO Safety Organisation in the Sahel region in Africa. 

Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Henry-Pacifique has embraced a career in international development. Before studying in the UK, he had worked for several international organisations including UN agencies for six years. In 2017, he was awarded the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, studying at CASE Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, which recognised his potential for leadership and excellence.  

Henry-Pacifique later came to Birkbeck as he was attracted by not only the research orientated approach, but also the reputation of the university. “The location too came into play,” he says, and that “studying Global Politics in London means you are exposed to many networking opportunities. Many of my classmates were mid and senior career level. We shared our own personal and professional experience beyond the usual academic aspects.” 

Whilst at Birkbeck, he also valued having the opportunity of participating on Mentoring Pathways, which helps to raise the employment aspirations of final-year students by pairing them up with an experienced mentor. For Henry-Pacifique, he “greatly benefited from being mentored, particularly as an international student whose English is not even their second language” and would recommend the programme to any prospective student. 

Now he has graduated from Birkbeck, Henry-Pacifique is looking forward to forging his career in the international development and soft diplomacy sector. By dedicating his life to improving those of others, he hopes to have a deeper sense of fulfilment and purpose in his career. Although he has only just started out, he has great ambitions to work alongside international thinktanks or agencies with provincial and national ministries of planning as a lobbyist or diplomat. At the heart of what he wants to achieve is his commitment to addressing issues of development in his home country and to fully realise that he can make a difference to his own community.