IEE Newsletter No. 26

AlumnIEE: Re-Connecting in Rio

At the DAAD Alumni workshop in Rio, MADM alumna Anna Nascimiento reflected on her experiences during the MADM and how the programme left a lasting impression.

Working with social development wasn´t always my career plan. When I decided to study International Relations, I envisioned myself working in the private sector, with international business and trade. However, right after my first internship experience in the area, I realized I needed something different.

With that in mind, I grabbed the first opportunity that was presented to me and started to work for World Vision, an international NGO focused on the protection of children’s rights. I worked there for over 2 years in international cooperation for social development. After that, I had the opportunity to complete an internship for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. Both experiences were very enriching and made me certain that working with social development was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I have always had a strong connection to Germany. It could either be because of my blood heritage (my Grandmother is part German, granddaughter of a German immigrant to Brazil); or because of the special bond I developed with German friends during my teenage years. So it only felt natural for me to look for a Master’s program in Germany.

The Development Management program offered by the Ruhr University Bochum seemed the perfect fit for me. The aspects that I particularly appreciated were its practical approach to development, the opportunity to take an internship in an agency for international development (I went to InWent), and its exchange program with the University of Western Cape, South Africa. The program was unique and I was thrilled to be awarded the DAAD scholarship for it.

There was, however, another very positive aspect that I could not have foreseen before boarding my plane to Germany: the amazing chance to learn from colleagues from all over the world. My colleagues came from different countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America; as well as from Germany. They brought many insights from their realities and added a great value for the entire study program. I feel privileged to have met all of them, and will always carry their stories in my mind.

Completing the Master’s Program opened many doors for me and was a life-changing experience. Immediately after I returned to Brazil, I started working for UNESCO as a project officer. After that, I went to Haiti for another international experience. Upon returning to Brazil, I started working for UNICEF, where I stayed for over 3 years.

I am currently working for a private institute as coordinator of the education area, implementing an educational program in over 50 municipalities in the country. I have acquired a lot of experience since studying in Bochum, and still have a lot to learn; but I believe that the Development Management Master’s Programme gave me the tools I needed to move forward in my career and opened my mind to many different perspectives.

Alumniee final

Anna Nascimiento (MADM intake 2006-2008), conference organizer Robin Pass, Gabriele Bäcker, and Isabel Farah Schwartzman (MADM intake 2002-04) at the conference in Rio de Janeiro (photo: private)

Considering the positive memories I have from my studies, I was delighted to receive an invitation to join other DAAD Alumni in a workshop in Rio, held in September this year. After 9 years since completing my studies, it was a great pleasure to meet Dr. Gabriele Baecker again, and to remember some of these moments.

I hope that someday I will meet all my former colleagues again. In the meantime, I would like to use this opportunity to thank them for the great experience and for allowing me to learn so much from them. It was truly a remarkable time!

by Anna Nascimiento

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