Last week the interns of ICTJ had the amazing and unique opportunity to sit down with the organization's deputy program directors to discuss the field of international human rights and the many ways to navigate the field. Our deputy program directors Myriam and Fernando are dedicated, passionate and inspiring experts in the field and it was an honor to be able to sit down and speak with them for an afternoon.
Myriam Roccatello is an Italian lawyer who has considerable internaitonal experience in judicial reform and the strengthening of judicial institutions through her work in the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Myriam has doene extensive work in Kosovo, Afghanistan and has served as the senior legal advisor of the United National Office for West Africa. During the meeting, Myriam briefly described her career starting with her work at a general practice law firm upon completing her law degree. She then discussed her work with the UN and how she became a deputy director at ICTJ. Myriam then gave us all invaluable advice on how to navigate the field of international human rights. Having worked extensively for the UN, she was able to provide amazing insight of the hiring proces for the UN including what the UN looks for in good candidates. After Myriam spoke Fernando gave us a brief background of his career and also provided some career advice.
Fernando Travesi, a spanish lawyer, has extensive international experience in transitional justice, working with the UN, the Red Cross Movement and NGOs. He has worked in Colombia, Tunisia, Nepal, Sierra Leone. He has worked on numerous issues such as justice sector reform, protection of civilian populations, rehabilitation of children affected by the war and cross border program on access to justice for refugees, displaced persons and returnees. Fernando provided an very interesting and fresh look on navigating the field. He stated that every person navigates the field differently and if you have an end game that great but that it is okay if you don't. He stated that you can build your professional step-by-step but that it does not need to be a logical progression. He also said that one of the most important things that you can show employers is your passion for the field and your desire to change the world and make it a better place.
At a time when I am overwhelemed trying to make plans for after graduation and take the next step of my career in the field of international human rights this talk with our program directors was inspiring and helped to alleviate and ease my fears. Myriam and Fernando provided invaluable insight into the field and amazing advice not only for a career in international human rights but for a career in any field. Words cannot express my gratitude for this wonderful opportunity to speak with some of the most influential and inspiring experts in this field and it was an honor that they would take the time to speak with all the interns in a very open, laid back and casual manner. It was an amazing experience and is further proof of the greatness of ICTJ and the people that work there.