I jumped up and down in a stairwell when I heard that I had got a policy assistant role at Amnesty International in 2010. I had been desperate to work in the field of human rights, and entry-level positions are so hard to come by.
I have a degree in international relations and taught in China for six months before doing an MA in conflict, development and security. After graduating in September 2008, I moved to London to give myself a better chance of getting a job in the sector. I got a job temping as a programme manager for the NHS while I applied for positions. It is assumed that you need to do a charity internship to break into the sector, so I saved up and took a month out to work at EveryChild and gain experience of child rights.
I worked for the NHS for more than a year and it gave me many of the skills I needed for the Amnesty job. It was great finally to work in an area I was passionate about. I got the opportunity to work in Kenya for four months and was promoted to the role of policy coordinator.
Unfortunately, Amnesty was restructuring – I anticipated that I would be made redundant, so I applied for another job. I got the policy manager position at Women for Women International in July 2013.
It gave me a step up into a managerial role, and working for a smaller organisation has enabled me to gain wider experience and have lots of input. I'm involved in exciting projects and won't be leaving any time soon.
Carron Mann is policy manager at Women for Women International