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Personal Profile BSC Marine Biology and Fisheries Sep 1991-Jul 1996 University of Asmara, Eritrea MSc NGO & Development Management ( Sep 2011- Sep 2012)

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Presentation on theme: "Personal Profile BSC Marine Biology and Fisheries Sep 1991-Jul 1996 University of Asmara, Eritrea MSc NGO & Development Management ( Sep 2011- Sep 2012)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Personal Profile BSC Marine Biology and Fisheries Sep 1991-Jul 1996 University of Asmara, Eritrea MSc NGO & Development Management ( Sep 2011- Sep 2012) University of East London, UK Over 15 years experience as a researcher and manager in commercial and environmental ventures in the Fishing industry and coastal environmental projects. In UK since Nov 2010. Currently working as Project worker supporting young people (aged 16-18+) leaving care in transition to independent life.

2 Agenda I. Employment/professional development route Overseas and UK II. Problems for overseas candidates & how to address some of them (personal experience) tips for effective professional job search Thoughts about internships and volunteering

3 Back ground Born, raised and educated in Asmara, Eritrea

4 Education and Career Milestones 1991 -1996 BSC Marine Biology & Fisheries University of Asmara, Eritrea 1996 – 1998 Research Biologist and supervisor Manzanar project- Ministry of Fisheries of Eritrea low-tech Mari-culture and mangrove forest rehabilitation and afforestation Algae and Artemia culture to grow fish  feed people; Mangrove afforestation  poverty alleviation and Environmental solutions Manzanar P. (Dr. Sato)- Winner of : 2002 Rolex Award for Enterprise and 2005 Blue Planet award--often called the Nobel Prize for the environment

5 Manzanar project Mangrove nursery & plating

6 Professional Training and Career Milestones Sept-Nov 1998 Training in USA and Mexico Integrated Seawater Agriculture Systems™ Sustainable Aquaculture, Salicornia farming, wetlands & Mangrove afforestation; Nov 1998- 2004 Project Coordinator/Assistant mgr., joint venture of Seaphire International (USA) & Eritrean Gov. the world's first commercial-scale integrated seawater farm 600-ha integrated seawater farm, employing 400+ staff, including 20+ expat professionals from 5 continents Multicultural, Multidisciplinary and complex

7 Career Millstones : Seawater Farms Eritrea Juvenile shrimp from nursery ponds Shrimp Harvest from a grow out pond

8 Seawater farms Eritrea Shrimp Harvest Salicornia Farm (60 ha)

9 Career Millstones 2004 – Feb 2010 National Fisheries Corporation, NFC NFC: commercial & operational aspects of fishing, processing & marketing of the fishery sector GM of Fish Processing Plants Enterprise Oversaw 7 fish establishments of NFC engaged in fish purchase, processing and marketing; Fresh, frozen and dry products Engaged at the grass roots level (artisanal fishermen) and with a wide range of Stakeholders Participated as member of various steering committees and task forces Came to UK in Nov 2010 Career Summary: Manager and researcher in Commercial, environmental and development ventures  Fishing Industry and Coastal environment (mangrove ecosystem)

10 UK experience: (Jan 2011 –Sep 2012)…Present Job search and professional development experience Job Search : Jan 2011- Sep 2012 Little matching jobs to my experience/expertise Applied for several Paid and volunteering jobs by Identifying Transferrable skills/experiences commercial sector  Environmental, Humanitarian and development organisations No positive outcome

11 Problems/ Barriers Lack of local knowledge Lack of UK job experience, UK reference Lack of UK education Employment Gap, No feedback on applications Insufficient knowledge/ preparation vis-à-vis tailoring CV, Cover letters and Interviews Cultural difference Relevant unpaid jobs equally hard to get JCP Pressure and Lack of appropriate support Undervaluing overseas education (Naric) Limitations of immigration (overseas jobs not an option)

12 Reflections and Steps Taken Finding a Job Is a Job in Itself. In fact, it can be tougher Impact: Dwindling expectations, Psychological, lowering of self esteem Continuous contemplation and exploration Which way to go (on which experience to capitalise) Job vs. Education (what field, Fulltime vs Part time) Steps Taken Used Service of relevant organisations Opted to prioritise Education Worked part time job (casual) Volunteered Networked better

13 Support from Relevant organisations Transitions (since June 2011) One to one meetings Workshops; Guidance and resources on CV, applications etc. Provided Internship Opportunity Refugee and Migrant Network Sutton (June 2011) Support in applications for Funding Prisoners of Conscience (POC) Provided Bursary Grant (Tuition fee) Migrants Resources Centre- MRC Various short courses and CV support Women’s Health and Family Services – WHFS (Nov 2012) Training in Participatory Appraisal (PA) 6 month Volunteering opportunity using PA

14 UK Education and benefits gained Education University of East London, Sep 2011- Sep 201 MSc NGO & Development Management Boosted Confidence and Knowledge Opportunities to network and build relationships UK referees, enhanced CV Successful Research Internship with Blue Ventures through Transitions: A cost benefit analysis of mangrove forest based carbon markets (REDD+) scheme (Blue carbon) – A Case study of Ambaro Bay, Madagascar

15 Internship Opportunity to Capitalize on my previous experience Benefited from the guidance of BV PhD expert Win-Win : Distinction and useful work for BV Comments from Blue Ventures On Dissertation: “I thought that your MSc (dissertation) was very useful and well done, particularly considering the limited help you received” On a PhD plan : “Obviously we'd support this in anyway we can”

16 Volunteering Blue Planet Prize Laureates Conference, IIED London Personal Assistant, Manzanar Project February 2012 PLANET UNDER PRESSURE Conference, London UK Conference Assistant, March 2012 Met late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom WHFS, Nov 2012- April 2013 Community Researcher, Investigating communities’ perspectives on css, barriers and solutions using Participatory Appraisal (PA)


18 Volunteering Boosted confidence (including that I was giving back) Gained and improved new/ existing skills Experience the UK workplace atmosphere Opportunities to network and build relationships UK reference

19 Overall Outcome Improved Local Knowledge UK Education and work experience At least 5 willing UK reference Improved interview skills, CVs and applications Got a Job! Better communication skills (UK context) (e.g. assertiveness and dealing with challenging people) Peace of mind The journey …continues with less stress

20 Tips and thoughts Persevere and Develop reflective practice (analysing past actions and plan for improvement) “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ― Henry Ford Establish close relationship with some organisations E.g. Transitions (Job search and internships) Don’t burn bridges (…patience and maintaining relationships with relevant entities even if a lot of downs) Present/ Sell yourself well Spend a good time to produce good applications, tailoring your CV and preparing for interview My applications to Uni, POC and current job

21 Tips and thoughts When you are down look back and remember past accomplishments  self esteem Nervousness and isolation exacerbates language fluency, avoid them Use Networking and informal alternatives effectively: Get the word out …tell friends and relatives to keep their eyes and ears open for any opportunity

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