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Transitioning from logistics to humanitarian work.

October 26, 2015

Q. Hi Nick, Thanks so much for the info on this website.

I’m interested in working in logistics for an international refugee agency. My background isn’t one in Humanitarian work, but it is in logistics and operations management.

I graduated from a top business school with a degree in Supply Chain Management and Spanish and have worked 2 years as a operations consultant and 2 years as a logistics officer for a global car manufacturer. I specialize in rebuilding supply chains after disruptions due to political instability and natural disasters.

My concern is I wouldn’t be considered due to lack of professional experience in humanitarian work (although I have years of volunteer experience). Do you have any advice for someone in my position?


A. Hi Austin,

Thanks for your question, it sounds like you have some really relevant experience and skills. For any career transition there are a couple of things that are really important. First of all, I think you will need to spend some time looking at how you communicate your transferable skills in terms of the language that humanitarian aid organizations are using in their job postings. You’ll want to re-write your resume to reflect the priorities and language that they use.

Secondly, I think networking is really important for career transitions. You’ll want to build professional networks with people who do the kinds of jobs you’re looking for.

Good luck, and let us know how you do,


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