We talked to our mentor, Diego Battistessa:
“When 10 years ago I started my journey in International Cooperation, for the first time I entered a world and a profession full of complexity: a universe of organisations, technical terms, protocols, acronyms which represent a real jungle. In 2014, I started a blog trying to explain my life as an aid worker and to orient people who – like me – wanted to undertake this profession, which is also a lifestyle. Over the years, speaking with hundreds of wannabe aid workers, I have understood that the doubts gripping those who want to approach this sector, are very similar. For this reason, in 2018, I published a book (here available in Italian) willing to be an agile and updated guide for those who want to get a detailed and complete idea of the challenges that they will face along the path of the aid worker. On the other hand, if it is true that the doubts are similar, it is equally true that the answers are very different from each other. The personal story of everyone creates a mix of potential that can be exploited differently in the heterogeneous world of International Cooperation.
For this reason, a personalized mentoring session can – and must – not only answer specific doubts but is aimed at identifying and enhancing the peculiarities of different backgrounds, different life experiences, different ambitions, expectations, passions and dreams.
The sector offers thousands of opportunities, sometimes very different from each other. It is easy to use the term International Cooperation: it is less easy to disentangle in its multiple meanings, in its various aspects, in its professional and career opportunities. State Cooperation Agencies, Multilateral Organisations, International NGOs, Local NGOs, Foundations, Private Companies, Universities: all these actors are part of International Cooperation. Engineering, Economics, International and Political Studies, Social Sciences, Communication, Architecture, History, Geography, Computer Science, Medicine, Chemistry: none of these studies precludes the road to International Cooperation. In fact, each of them offers a different range of opportunities to analyse and research, in order to have a real knowledge of the skills necessary to be able to access the various professional roles offered by the sector.
In short, the possible paths are many, but to take a path it will be necessary to learn reading the compass and find your way around this complex but fascinating horizon”.