Home>Annalisa Vallone, Development cooperation intern, ILO


Annalisa Vallone, Development cooperation intern, ILO

Coming from Italy, Annalisa Vallone has graduated in Human Right and Humanitarian Action, dual degree with LSE. She also holds a MSc in Development Management. Annalisa is currently working as a development cooperation intern at the UN International Labour Organisation in Brussels. Annalisa is also a former Schuman Trainee at the Committee on Development of the European Parliament.

What are your main responsibilities?

The ILO Brussels acts as EU liaison office between the EU institutions and the ILO Headquarters in Geneva and field offices across the 187 Member States. The team is of 5 people (I am the sixth!) and very dynamic, so I am learning quickly and much. Coming from an enriching experience in development cooperation at the European Parliament, I now support my supervisor with factsheets and briefings on the EU external agenda and propose new ILO projects to integrate under the EU programming. I also monitor and scrutinise EU funds disbursement for development cooperation projects, and I am fully involved in the monitoring and revision of the projects’ contract agreements signed between the ILO and the European Commission (main donor).

Key skills: intercultural communication and mediation; awareness of different working styles and environments; project monitoring & evaluation; always being “on the spot” on updates of your field, and ready to provide information. The most important though is to “embody” your organisation value-added and promote it.

How did you prepare for this job?

PSIA introduced me to the many working realities of human rights and development – I would ask questions to any person working in organisations of interest about the work ethics and tasks. Or else, simply listening to their own experiences and see how they reflected my career goals and attitude to work. I read through many job descriptions through the PSIA Excel file (very useful!!!) to better understand the tasks I wanted to learn or had learnt and used a similar language in my applications. 

What is the most fascinating part of your job?

Action is concrete and people are committed. All the tasks I have done so far have had an impact and there is a lot of monitoring in place. My colleagues do their job because they believe in it and transmit that. And finally, a personal sense of reward for getting this position through the “normal selection procedures”. In our field we feel demotivated on the number of applicants for each post and that often a call is more powerful than hours spent on an application. 

How did your PSIA experience contribute to the position you hold today?

The power of PSIA lies in its people, from faculty to students. I did my Master in full Covid online mode, and yet the professors were all able to go beyond their teaching task and establish good relationships. I was part of the first cohort of Master Representative and had the opportunity to speak up and share concerns with the Dean’s office. Key courses to recommend, “the role of NGOs in human rights protection” (A. Bernard) “demography and politics of global population” (C. Conrad & P. Rosental), “Documenting, Reporting and Campaigning on human rights” (S. Sagues), “Socio-economic rights and development” (J. Perelman) – as they all were very “hands-on” and way beyond the book. 

What advice would you give to current students?

Choose courses that have “strategic titles” and that passionate you – you want to land a job that remains interesting even when some tasks are boring, or you are having a bad day. Participate in workshops and talk to your PSIA peers – trust me, everyone is so valuable that there is no need to go search for new people. Do not follow the “I send whatever wherever as long as I have a job”, we have all been through that phase, but it is only frustrating and time-consuming. Do less applications and more tailored – I stayed 4 months without a job and it is this break that actually helped me be targeted! Good luck!!!