Did you have any experience in humanitarian work before applying to MSF?
I first started working overseas teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), and it was during that time that I realised I wanted to work in the humanitarian world. I therefore went on to study for a master's in international development.
After that, I travelled to Swaziland with Australia’s Volunteers International (AVI) where I worked in health and community development programs to support people with HIV. I then went on to do a master's in public health (MPH) at Flinders University in Adelaide, which drove me to my career now.
I would have loved to study medicine, but by the time I figured that out I didn’t want to spend another seven years studying, so I thought about how I could work in an area that would still connect me to something medical in international development.
You started with MSF in admin HR, how did this prepare you for a career with MSF?
When I was recruited to work for MSF, the career manager said I was suitable to work in project coordination, but first we’re going to place you in HR and finance roles. I had never done that before, so I went on a training course to learn the tools and systems for this role.
Working in HR/finance was a good way to start, as it allowed me to learn how MSF works, how projects are set up, and how to deal with local staff and international staff. All of that experience helped me gain the knowledge and communication skills needed to run a project as a project coordinator (PC).