CAREERS: HOW I GOT HERE - Rob White, head of operations, MAG

What was your first job? After leaving university, I washed up in a restaurant in Norwich while thinking about what to do next. I tried not to take my work home with me.

What does your current role involve? As head of operations, I support the overseas programmes at the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and help ensure that resources are available to meet our obligations and targets. This involves donor co-ordination, reporting, managing the operations team, supporting the directorate in new initiatives and helping people to understand that humanitarian mine action is an integral part of the development jigsaw in many countries.

Roughly outline your career path? After spending a couple of years working for HM Treasury, I joined the British Council. I took a variety of posts working in education, health, governance and training development projects from the UK headquarters in London and Manchester. As part of my job I spent periods working in Uganda and Bangladesh. For five years I managed a range of projects from the British Council's office in Jakarta, Indonesia. I joined MAG in February this year.

What training course has most enhanced your career? It is always difficult finding time to study, particularly when working overseas. But I have found various Open University modules in development studies to be the most accessible and useful in relation to my work.

What has been your greatest career achievement? The work to establish a monitoring system relating to the social safety net introduced in Indonesia after the 1997 economic collapse.

Are there any charities you support financially or with time? I make a monthly donation to Oxfam through a covenant and I provided help and support to a number of charities in Indonesia.

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