Emerging Practitioner: Build your Humanitarian career  Online course

7 Tips For Successfully Completing The Aspiring Humanitarian Program

Monday, Jun 12, 2017
by Humanitarian Institute


Unapologetically intense. Cognitively exhausting. Emotionally challenging.

You will be tested.

It’s our job to prepare you to succeed. We focus on skills acquisition over credentialing. You need the rights skillsets to generate sustainable solutions. Good intentions are not enough.

We now have alternatives to the multi-year University degree. We understand vocational humanitarian programs aren’t for everyone - depending on your career goals and the nature of your experience, a University degree may be the best option for you. For those wanting to take the Certificate route, it’s important for you to know that it’s not easy.

Successfully completing and thriving at a Certificate in Humanitarian Foundations program requires commitment and a whole lot of hard work. Keep these seven tips in mind, and you’ll be better equipped to take on the challenges coming your way.

We prepare you to change the world… are you ready?

1. Goal Setting

Going into the humanitarian program without a clear goal is like aimlessly venturing through the Central Asian desert without a clear destination; you will just end up lost and wasting a lot of time.

Having an idea of the sector and sub-sectors in international development you would like to specialise or the sort of organization you would like to work with will allow you to channel your time and energy during the course.

Importantly, having that clear goal in mind will keep you motivated and enable you to keep track of your progress along the way!

2. Learning Mentality

Have the mentality that you joined the humanitarian program to learn as much as possible. You have the opportunity to learn not only from your Trainers but also from your classmates.

The class will be a mix of people from different professional and personal backgrounds and life stages - you can learn something from everyone. It’s not every day you are in a room full of driven people with similar humanitarian aspirations - see what you can learn from their knowledge, networks and experiences.

Be humble. Learn from those around you. Ask questions and be coachable. Remember to take on board constructive criticism and put everything you learn into action. Opportunities don’t just happen… you make them!

3. Commitment

It’s critical you stay committed and put in effort throughout the program. Indeed, you may need to do extra work outside of class. We recommend you develop a schedule and allocate your time between the Certificate and your professional and personal lives during the course.

And stick to it! Overwork and you will burn out, underwork and you will disappointment yourself.

4. Answers

Upon starting the Certificate in Humanitarian Foundations many expect to encounter a teaching style similar to that of high school or university. It’s far from it. International development is a profession that involves thinking on your feet and facilitating the answers collaboratively; you can be sure that the Certificate will prepare you for this.

Don’t expect the Trainers to hand you all the answers - exhaust all your resources before going to the Trainer to solve your challenge. This will build your initiative and better equip you for your global humanitarian career.

You are 100% accountable for your failure or success. Do what is necessary not just what is required; just turning up is not enough.

We owe the world more than that.


5. Don’t Compare

Some of our students arrive with prior international or community sector experience whereas others are new to the space. Thus it’s critical that you don’t compare yourself with anyone else in the course.

If you find people are “ahead” of you, you will only be discouraged. Alternatively, if you find you are ahead of the class, you may find yourself justifying average effort. Focus on your progress and learning. As long as you know more now than you did the day before, you are on the right track.

6. Openness

If you find yourself struggling with the intensity or volume of information, it’s important you let your Trainer know. They’ll be more than happy to give you some resources or spend some time with you to revise the module or other content.

7. Break Time

The Certificate involves a lot of effort, so remember to take breaks!

Otherwise, you’ll burn out. If you find yourself stuck on a problem, clear your mind and do something else; you’ll find that the answer will come to you with greater ease when you get back to the problem.

Despite the emotional rollercoaster that comes with being introduced so intensely to the humanitarian sector, it’s a very rewarding experience - you will emerge out of it a capable and resilient global development professional. Not only will you be learning essential humanitarian skills, but you will also be meeting some incredible people and making lifelong connections.

Your time at the Humanitarian Certificate will come and go unbelievably fast, so be sure you make the most of every single day and don’t forget to have some fun!

When building a successful humanitarian career… opportunities don’t happen, you create them.

Why are our world’s biggest challenges getting worse?

What if…

Talent was mobilised to work on humanity’s greatest threats?

People mastered the skills required to create sustainable change?

You could direct your passion and skills toward positive global development?

What if…

We gave you the skills to meet your humanitarian potential?

We raised your hidden talents and untapped knowledge?

We were deliberate about preparing you for the rigours of development work?

We facilitated your journey into a humanitarian career?

What if…

You became a 21st century humanitarian?

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