Zoia Michelle Parvez
MA Humanitarianism and Conflict Response. Graduated 2015.
What inspired you to study this course?
I visited the Philippines a few weeks after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Up until then I had worked and volunteered in various capacities with local and international NGOs, but this motivated me to peruse more formal higher education (I went to business school for my Undergraduate), so that I could feel better equipped to be a resource to others.
How has your career progressed since completing your course?
I have challenged myself in various roles since graduating in 2015. I visited Nepal in 2016, for a few months as a Research Consultant to study the implementation on aid by various partners in the aftermath of the Gorkha Earthquake. Shortly after, I moved to New York for an Internship with the International Organisation for Migration office to the United Nations.
How have the skills and knowledge gained on the course helped you in your current role/career progression?
I have had to maintain my go-getter attitude, which is something that my experience at the HCRI deeply instilled in me.
What is your current role and what do you enjoy the most about it?
I have continued to be proactive since then as an independent Humanitarian Consultant (specialising in organisational aditing, marketing and donor management) and more recently exploring opportunities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I live now. I have loved the exprience of being my own boss and being able to travel and learnt a great deal in this capacity. I am keen to take this experience to an organisation in this city and be of service.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Working in this sector will be very hard work. If at any point you have to explore opportunities outside what you saw yourself doing, it is abolutely ok. You will always find yourself back to your calling and passion. You will always find the good in any work you do, no matter where you are.
What did you enjoy most about HCRI?
I would say that our cohort was very much like a family, even if our programs within the Institute were different. In fact, despite being spread out across the UK, Europe and USA many of us continue to remain close friends and I don’t mean just the students, but also with the lecturers and professors we had.
What advice would you give someone considering undertaking a Master’s at HCRI?
It is so much than the classes. Work your hardest and explore the professional and personal growth you will begin to notice from day one.