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Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G Working in Development Cooperation Founder and Mentor of the Mentes Empreendedoras Project Nova School.

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Presentation on theme: "Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G Working in Development Cooperation Founder and Mentor of the Mentes Empreendedoras Project Nova School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G Working in Development Cooperation Founder and Mentor of the Mentes Empreendedoras Project Nova School of Business and Economics (NovaSBE) Lisbon, September 2012 Afonso Mendonça Reis

2 International Labour Office CG&G 2 Presentation Roadmap Why think about international organisations? –Who are they? –What do they do? –What opportunities do they present to you? My experience: –Joining FEUNL (2001) –Erasmus in Lausanne (04/05) –Back to Portugal - now what? –Joining and working at the OECD –Next, joining and working at the ILO - Skills department Some lessons learned

3 Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G 3 What do they do? Bilateral and Multilateral organisations: –USAID, CIDA, SIDA, NORAD, IPAD –UN, OECD, EC Different mandates: –Research & Knowledge production - OECD –Regulation - WTO/ILO... –Carrying out projects in the field - WB/UNDP/ILO... What do we learn in these organisations?

4 Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G 4 The importance of setting standards – recalling Dean Neves Adelinos welcome speech: students in top schools will: –Seek Internships - an average of 3.5 by time of graduation –Do voluntary work – give back to society –Establish contacts at university (beyond core technical skills) that are essential for future career development Exploring GAFE and FORTUNA -» Pedro Freire Novactiva – Successes and Failures -» Experience –Youth Programme -» International Experience Joining FEUNL

5 Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G 5 Erasmus Lausanne /2005 What did I take from my exchange? –Started in Finance and ended in Development Meeting people with different experiences -» other perspectives –Soft skills - (Theatre, Languages, 1st Research Project, inter- disciplinary seminar, and lastly Career Vocation) –Larry Weiss - Look for Portuguese Goal: practice + research skills = AKF + CG&G –More demanding but less risky FEUNL -» needs to improve campus culture -» Challenge –Core skills (economics) Vs Soft skills (campus)

6 Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G 6 Back to Portugal – now what? IMVF, IPAD, NORAD, CIDA, SIDA, KEPA, DANIDA… Aga Khan Foundation Projects in Education and Social Exclusion Center for Globalization & Governance Initiative – Carry out research on development issues Working with Experienced Researchers on a win-win basis Learning how to do and dealing with responsibility – Mentoring and autonomy Presented (AfDB & UNECA, Ethiopia) and published Paper Measuring EMP across five African Countries in Open Economics Review -» Output + Signaling

7 Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G 7 How did I join the OECD? When googling for masters... OECD sound nice but: –Is it relevant? Do we match? Jose worked on a Macroeconomic Analysis on Chile –I have a paper -» Good match -» Apply Jose offered an intership on an Education Indicator –AKF (education) + master in econometrics -» Good match I took an internship in Statistics/Education (2 nd best) Moreover OECD has DAC and DEV (working in Development) But other directorates too: ECO, DAF, TRADE, ELS

8 Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G 8 OECD – Experience Exposed to high quality people -» learning opportunities Good mentoring + building on colleagues experience The untouchables myth -» Focus on quality Right for me? -» No field work and only rich countries While working for EDU found a potential match in the ILO –Vladimir Grasskov ILO Skills Department - Good match? -» Apply Before leaving what did I learn? –Sharper analytical skills –Improved Education and VET background –Wider knowledge and experience network –Excluding possibilities -» OECDs DAC and DEV directorates

9 Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G 9 ILO – United Nations - Skills I applied for: –a project financed by Portugal on PALOP countries –Skills department -» The best match worked Since at the ILO what did I learn up to now? –Training on Rural Economic Empowerment –Employment Services - International Financial Crisis –Informal Apprenticeship in Africa –Additional Soft Skills Fluent in Spanish + progressing German Poorer countries experience + potential field access Wider knowledge and experience network

10 Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G 10 Some Lessons Learned Initiative – Do it and do it well, covering unexplored niches Output - Show visible work and/or experience Coherent profile – Flexibility with some degree of field specialisation on a topic you like (moreover PhD approach) Always do your homework -» M ake professional offers Be humble but sharp -» e.g. secretaries are the key figures Learning and Improving -» use every opportunity! Develop and work within your network – Alumni, Portuguese, Lusophone, Latin… Long term institutional network – connect back with Portugal Your competition is not other Portuguese... but the World

11 Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G 11 Some Lessons Learned Barack Obama: You will be judged by what you can build

12 Afonso Mendonça Reis International Labour Office CG&G 12 Thanks for your attention More information: Websites: Swisscontact – CG&G –


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