Vicky Brotherton, Coordinator, Anti-Trafficking Monitoring, Anti-Slavery International

I work as the Coordinator for the Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group, a coalition of ten leading UK anti-human trafficking organisations, which is hosted by Anti-Slavery International. I began the role in November 2013, around the time that the Home Secretary introduced a draft Modern Slavery Bill, so my work to date has focused on coordinating the lobbying activities of the coalition, drafting submissions for parliamentary committees and working with legal professionals to draft an ‘alternative’ Bill to assist MPs in the scrutiny process and provide a template for amendments. Prior to this role, immediately after I graduated from the MA, I worked for Anti-Slavery International on a European project which focused specifically on human trafficking for the purpose of criminal exploitation. I carried out desk-based research, wrote briefings and reports, and organised and facilitated training in the partner countries.

My interest in human trafficking started in my teenage years when I first read a harrowing report about how young girls were being trafficked across Europe for sexual exploitation. After my undergraduate degree, I went to work voluntarily for an anti-trafficking organisation in Northern Thailand for six months and whilst there applied to do the MA course. The course was undoubtedly the catalyst for getting my first job in the sector. The research for my dissertation included undertaking interviews with several anti-trafficking experts, some of whom are now my colleagues. For my placement, I volunteered for ECPAT UK, helping to run their youth group for girls who had been trafficked into the UK. My colleagues at ECPAT notified me of job opportunities and provided me with invaluable contacts.

I would highly recommend the MA course, both for professional and personal reasons. The teaching on the course is of the highest standards; the lecturers are all recognised experts in their fields, and a well-chosen placement can provide the stepping stone into the sector. The course attracts a wide-range of people, some of whom will no doubt become your life-long friends.

Laila Sumpton, Youth Engagement Coordinator, Plan UK and Poet, Keats House

After graduating from ICOM in 2012 I continued working part-time for youth homelessness charity Depaul UK, as their fundraising communications assistant. I had worked in this role whilst studying part-time, and had decided by the end of my masters that I really wanted to stay in the field of child rights. A few weeks after handing in my dissertation on the right to rehabilitation for child refugees, I was delighted to get the part-time role of Youth Engagement Assistant at international children's charity Plan UK.

I combined these two part-time charity jobs with working as a self employed poet, with a focus on human rights themes. I had worked with SAS on a series of human rights poetry events at the 2012 Bloomsbury Festival and I left my job at Depaul UK to work with the Human Rights Consortium and the Keats House Poets to co-edit and launch an anthology titled 'In Protest- 150 poems for human rights.' We had over 640 entries from all around the world, and I organised a series of performances and workshops to explore human rights poetry and promote the publication.

I currently work both as a poet and for Plan UK- where I support young advocates who campaign and advise the charity. My work with Plan has taken me to Malawi to support youth groups campaigning for girls rights, and to the UN in New York where I helped youth delegates advocate for disability rights. In both of my poetry and NGO I particularly enjoy engaging young people on human rights issues and helping them raise their voice.

Denis Flavius, Assistant Director - Foundation Relations, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York

During the MA and with support from the lecturers, I undertook an extremely fulfilling internship with Amnesty International where I provided research support to the America’s Program on counter-terrorism, juvenile justice, and police accountability issues. Since then, I have had experience working at Integrity House as the Development Specialist, securing significant funding to support programs that included supportive housing for women and juvenile justice-related substance abuse treatment. I also worked with The Trevor Project, the leader in the US for providing suicide prevention and crisis intervention support to LGBTQ youth, as their Foundation and Corporate Relations Manager. At The Trevor Project, I was instrumental in expanding its lifesaving programs, and as a member of the design team tasked with creating the organization’s new Southern Initiative to support LGBTQ youth in the U.S South. I have also been the Senior Associate for Foundation Relations at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) where I was responsible for advancing relationships with donors like the Ford Foundation and OSF and bringing new philanthropic support to ICTJ’s work on issues such as the crisis in Syria and the Colombia peace agreement. Currently, I work for a major hospital centre in the U.S. that provides a range of medical and community support services to New Yorkers. This includes creating and funding programs for those less fortunate, and providing medical, mental health, social, and legal services for refugees who are survivors of torture.

The multidisciplinary nature of the MA allowed me to gain insight into the various career paths I could follow while still having an impact on the human rights field. The Securing Human Rights module’s funding proposal project contributed significantly to my decision to focus on development and fundraising for important causes. I appreciated my work on the funding proposal/presentation and with my project having been focused on LGBT advocacy; it was rather gratifying that I have since been able to contribute to the advancement of LGBT rights.  In addition to enjoying my work on the funding proposal and the entire MA, I gained a newfound appreciation for grant writing to support human rights and humanitarian efforts and discovered talents that I otherwise wouldn’t have known existed. I am forever grateful to the MA for helping to inspire my career.

Simon Bennett, Assessment and Reconnection Worker at No Second Night Out

I was able to find work quickly after graduating, starting my previous role in October of the year that I finished the course. I had an impressive CV due to the emphasis on putting study in to practice through placements, as well as by taking up one of the internships offered within the institute, at the Human Rights Consortium.

For the last year I have been working at No Second Night Out (NSNO). NSNO provides a quick exit from the streets to new rough sleepers. My role consists of assessing the needs of an extremely wide range of people, from those who are fully capable of living independently, to those who require accommodation with 24/7 staff support due to drug, alcohol, mental health, or behavioural issues. The job is very satisfying as I have the privilege of getting to know a large number of fascinating and inspiring people, and of making highly meaningful interventions in to their lives.