“Emerging leaders need mentors to guide them, but they also need a network of peers to reassure them that they are not on the path alone.”

– Alyse Nelson, President & CEO of Vital Voices

Anyone graduating high school or university knows the feeling best: what comes next?

It’s often a daunting question; one that many of us will try to avoid. And if we’re not being plagued by the question from family and friends, chances are we’re stressing ourselves out by thinking about it each moment of every day.

When I was in high school, I was fortunate enough to know exactly what I wanted to do with my life: journalism. The trouble was that I had no way to know how to do this.

With the help of people I met during work experience placements, I managed to secure a place at journalism school. But while at university, I quickly became conflicted about my career path once again. This time I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go into the charity sector or continue with journalism.

Career advice was available from all the usual places: the guidance counsellor, professors, career websites, etc. But none of these were able to give me any real insight into whether I should go in one direction or another. It wasn’t that these resources didn’t have useful information – they did. It was just that the advice wasn’t tailored to my situation. Guidance counsellors and career websites provided some information on taking the next step, but most of their information was far too generic, preventing me from taking away anything concrete. 

Meanwhile, professors and bosses at internships were able to offer some help – but where they were in their careers seemed so far off and alien to me that I could never relate to them. It wasn’t until after I graduated university and started my first job that I realised the one thing missing from career counselling: peer-to-peer advice.

The IPF’s focus has always been young people. Over the four years that we have been doing this, we have come across some truly incredible and inspiring millennials who have gone on to do great things since working alongside us. Whether it’s through empowering the youth or providing them with opportunities to empower themselves, the IPF strives to do what we can to help young people fight for the things they care most about and get their message across through the media.

And that’s why we want to see more young people in the journalism and charity sectors. We want to see more young people combining their passion and their skills to create something great. And we want to help them get to where they want to get in their lives.

So launching the IPF Careers section seemed like the logical next step.

Through IPF Careers, our contributors from around the world will have access to relevant and genuinely useful information for young people looking to break into any fields relating to journalism, the charity sector and development.

We will aim to do this through four sub projects, the first two of which we are excited to announce today: Spotlight On… and the IPF Mentorship Scheme.

Spotlight On…

Spotlight On… will feature young professionals in the media, charity and development sectors, offering IPF readers a realistic insight into how to break into the industry – from someone who did it not long before them.

Taking into account the gap in peer-to-peer career advice, Spotlight On… will turn the spotlight on young people in the early years of their careers in these fields. 

Through the series, we hope that people in high school and university will be able to develop an insight into what their lives might look like in a few years time, as well as learn more about some of the challenges that could arise along their path.

We believe that hearing about other young people’s journeys into a desired role will show aspiring journalists and humanitarians the reality of that role, as well as give them some practical tips on how to get to where they want to be.

As the world rapidly develops, and jobs in journalism and the charity sector evolve every day, the information young people get through the IPF‘s Spotlight On… section will be up-to-date, timely and relevant. 

The IPF Mentorship Scheme

Launching soon, the IPF’s Mentorship Scheme offers young people a chance to be mentored by a young professional working in the media, charity or development sectors.

All our mentors will be in their 20s, which means that they are in the early stages of their careers and able to offer mentees useful advice on how to break into the industry.

We also hope that mentors and mentees will be able to relate to each other and engage in more than just a career-based relationship, but instead, go on to become friends. In this way, we aim to see more young people developing contacts in their desired industry before they graduate.

IPF Careers

For more information, advice, suggestions or questions, email our Careers Manager, Anjuli Borgonha, at careers@the-ipf.com.