How to get a job in International Development

Finding a job after graduation can be a challenge in these difficult times of government and NGO cutbacks.  As a result, Robert David, one of our professors with a long experience as a development practitioner, put together his recommendations on “how to find a job in international development.”


Many of our graduates have found exiting opportunities in international organizations, government and non-governmental organizations.  Here, they describe their jobs and offer their insights into how to find a job in international development.

Alumni Profiles

Sepideh Soltaninia

Sepideh Soltaninia

Graduated 2013, Honours BA in Development and Globalization (Co-op option)

March 2011 was a telling month in Syria. The events of that month - and those of the months and years that have followed - have defined a generation, not only in the Middle East, but across communities around the world.  In March 2011, I had only reached the halfway point of my education at the University of Ottawa. Much of that time had been spent outside of campus, doing field research in South Africa, at co-op terms in Public Safety Canada and CIDA, in the bustling classrooms of Bangladesh’s BRAC University and, that spring, in Paris.

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Shantelle Binette

Shantelle Binette

Graduated 2014, Honours BA in Development and Globalization

I am currently working with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) as a Network Capacity Builder for partner organizations in Rwanda. In that capacity, I’m helping to strengthen the planning, reporting, monitoring and evaluation capacities of five organizations in Rwanda who are collaborating on a major food security/sustainable agriculture project funded by MCC and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. That work includes gathering input from stakeholders (participants, farmers, extension workers) to incorporate into the planning for the next phase of the project, and helping to design a monitoring system to capture and reflect all that is happening.

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Anca H. Paducel

Anca H. Paducel

Graduated 2011, Honours BA in Development and Globalization (Co-op option)

In 2011, I graduated from the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa with an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in International Development and Globalization (CO-OP). That same year, just shortly after my graduation, I moved to Geneva (Switzerland) to pursue a Masters in International Relations and Political Science at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, where I am now in my third-year of the PhD programme (same discipline). Aside from working on my dissertation, which looks at how structured intergroup narrative encounters can reduce competitive victimhood among victims of armed violence in Burundi, I am the head teaching assistant for the Department of International Relations and Political Science at the Institute.

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Ginette Gautreau

Ginette Gautreau

Graduated 2014, MA in Globalization and Development (Co-op option)

Like most students, when I was about to wrap up my MA degree, I started getting worried about my job prospects with every passing month (or maybe that’s just me, I am an obsessive planner!). I decided as I began writing my thesis in third year that I would start keeping an eye on job postings and apply here and there for those that appealed to me. I had completed all my coursework, and two co-op placements with DFATD and I wanted to set myself up for a smooth transition into my career.  The door opened for me in the form of an office manager position with the Humanitarian Coalition.

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Sarah D'Aoust

Sarah D'Aoust

Graduated 2012, MA in Globalization and Development; 2009 Honours BA in Development and Globalization (Co-op option)

When I decided to pursue my studies in International Development at the University of Ottawa I wasn’t sure where I would end up! I hoped that eventually I would land a job that was related to my field of study, where I could have a tangible, positive impact. After undergrad, the job prospects weren’t very promising, so I thought it would be a perfect time to do my MA. I was looking forward to learning more about development, and doing some original research of my own.

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