CAREERS: How I Got Here - Euan Wilmshurst, director, Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA)

What was your first job? After delivering pizzas and working in an off-licence, I worked in France for three years for a travel company called Eurocamp, first as a campsite courier and then as an overseas training officer.

What does your current role involve? As director of ACTSA, I am responsible for the overall strategic direction as well as ensuring that the organisation continues to work towards its goals of peace, democracy and development in Southern Africa.

Roughly outline your career path? After my time with Eurocamp, I worked at the University College London Union as student activities co-ordinator before moving to the National Union of Students. I spent three years there as a national training officer and then as a regional officer. Next, I became deputy general manager at the University of London Union (ULU), where I was responsible for campaigns, training and fundraising. At ULU, I developed a pilot tourism development initiative with partners in South Africa, aimed at British trade unionists and student union leaders. I moved to ACTSA as director last month to focus more on campaigning.

What training course has most enhanced your career? I have spent the past couple of years learning development studies at Birkbeck College. I am now planning on completing a MSc in the subject.

What has been your greatest career achievement? Probably surviving seven years working in the student movement.

What is your advice to people starting out in the sector?

The key is realising that we are here to work with, and take our direction from, people and organisations within the developing world.

Are there any charities you support financially or with time? As well as being a member of ACTSA, I am a "friend

of Student Action for Refugees.

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