I want to change the world – why should I be interested in business or finance?

This is a completely understandable comment we hear from a lot of students at SOAS, and it is not surprising – a lot of our alumni have gone on to do just that and  hold positions of responsibility in charities and NGOs.

However, is it worth taking a moment to consider that if you know where you want to get to, what is the most sensible way to get there? Sometimes the seemingly most direct route to a goal is not the most sensible one.

So, take the case of a student wanting to work in a charity. It is entirely possible to follow the usual route – get lots of voluntary experience, move on to vacation work or internships, and eventually graduate and move into an entry level role before working up to a senior position, and a great many SOAS students do just that.

An alternative might be to consider taking a more indirect route to your goal. A lot of students now take a slightly sideways step into (say) accountancy, get qualified with a commercial firm, and then are able to find themselves a role at a more senior level in the charity or NGO of their choice.

Worth a thought maybe? If you’d like to explore options around this area, come and see the Careers team and a selection of interesting organisations at the Business & Finance Fair tomorrow in the Cloisters, Paul Webley Wing from 1-4.


Philippa Hewett


About soascareers

We are the dedicated provider of careers advice, events and information services for current SOAS students, staff and GradClub members.

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