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Career Story: Senior Technical Officer For A Healthcare Charity

Senior Technical Officer For A Healthcare Charity

Job Title: Senior Technical Officer

Type of Company: My organization carries out health projects in developing countries.

Education: BA, History, Princeton •• Masters of Public Health, Harvard

Previous Experience: Peace Corps volunteer

Job Tasks: I provide technical and management expertise to programs and projects devoted to child health, malaria, TB, HIV, reproductive health or other technical areas, focusing on project design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation in collaboration with Global Technical Leads and/or Project Directors. Basically, I do whatever I have to to lend support, guidance, perspective, and assistance. I also play a large role in developing proposals for the New Business department.

My responsibilities, though vague, are still numerous but what they boil down to is ensuring a project's success, making sure it gets completed both on time and on budget and that we stick to regulations in the process. I'm encouraged, in the meantime, to develop amiable relationships with the donor, the prime contractor and our partner organizations and attend technical and administrative meetings in Washington and in the field, when required. From time to time I also furnish technical assistance and management support to projects that I haven't been in charge of.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is getting to travel, when I get to interact with the local staff and learn about a new culture. It is great to get to see how your project is affecting people at a local level.

Doing the project administration is the least enjoyable part.

Job Tips: It would be very helpful to learn or improve upon your knowledge of a foreign language. Often, people are selected for an assignment based on what language they speak. For this field, I would recommend French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Swahili, or Russian. Also, I would try to get any type of work experience in a developing country, even if it is volunteer work.

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