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How I Got the Best Job in the World by Nicola Love, Philanthropy Manager at Save the Children

Tell us a little bit about the organisation you represent

I recently started working for Save the Children in the Philanthropy Team so everything is all new and exciting; we support children around the world in 120 countries ensuring they don’t die from preventable diseases before their 5th birthday, are protected from conflict and have access to a quality education.


What does a typical month look like (if such a thing exists)?

A typical month includes a lot of donor meetings with cups of tea, a lot of emails on our latest appeals or campaigns and a lot of phone calls to donors whilst trying to keep up to date on the latest initiative or programme.


Describe your career path and how you got to where you are now

After graduating from university, I took an unpaid internship with Addaction in their small Fundraising and Comms team; from there I was able to accept a job with the NSPCC and progressed from an Assistant up to an Event Manager in the Special Events Team.  I had always wanted to work for an international organisation and asked so many different recruiters and people in the sector who said I must go and get experience on the ground and in the field to be able to understand international development from the beneficiary angle.  So I proceeded to apply for a sabbatical from the NSPCC and was granted a year off – then the challenge came with finding a job in a low income country and after several applications I landed myself a voluntary role in South India working for a couple who run a local human rights NGO up in the tea hills of Tamil Nadu – ACCORD.


I had one of the most fantastic and valuable experiences of my life living and working amongst such an inspiring community – I gained experience in the programme side of development, practised my fundraising skills and worked alongside local leaders fighting for their land rights as a tribal community.  I returned to the UK (after a little backpacking around India!) and started working for WSUP (an international urban WASH organisation) where I was able to develop a huge amount personally and after organising their conferences (I took a step down and a pay cut to work for an INGO which was a brave move), I moved back into fundraising and developed their corporate partners and major giving income streams.  This put me in good stead for my next challenge – Save the Children.


What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is knowing that every day I am making a difference for children around the world, whether they be caught up in conflict, live in the middle of the amazon with no access to healthcare or live in a remote part of Africa and as a girl isn’t allowed to attend school.  I love interacting and building relationships with high net worth individuals to understand their philanthropic motivations ensuring they get the most out of giving to Save the Children.


What advice would you offer to someone interested in working in the highly competitive international development field?

Unfortunately, it’s such a competitive world out there in the job market and international development particularly, but I have to say that living and working abroad was the best thing I ever did (even if I missed everyone back at home!)  I’ve always been envious of my peers who have done Masters degrees but on the ground experience has given me an entirely different perspective and experience to take to my career than a Masters would ever have done.


To find out more about the work of Save the Children and to get involved go to https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/.


What is I Am all about? 

What do we do? We love connecting people in charities, social enterprises and not-for-profits to learn, share knowledge, make meaningful connections and find jobs!  We organise regular social networking and learning events and help people find jobs through our recruitment services.

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