Meet Our People
Every one of our people has an interesting story – both personally and professionally. We employ people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to enhance our team because this rich life experience adds value to the work we do. Find out about some of our people, why they joined us and why they find their time at Adam Smith International rewarding.
Joined us from an MSc at the School of Oriental and African Studies
Having just completed a Masters in Development Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, I was keen to start my career in an organisation which enabled me to apply what I had studied and the Adam Smith International Professional Development Scheme provided the perfect platform to do this. Adam Smith International is one of the few organisations in the sector that appreciates that coming straight out of university, you may not have much experience working on the ground in developing countries.
During my first six months of the scheme, I have been exposed to many aspects of proposal writing and project management and have progressively been given more responsibility. I am currently supporting a senior project manager on our flagship Nepal Centre for Inclusive Growth project, which is implementing poverty reduction projects throughout Nepal.
I have found the professional development scheme to be a fantastic start to my career; I love working on meaningful development projects alongside dynamic and ambitious people from a range of backgrounds. I have also had the opportunity to work in Nepal and India, an experience that is rare in your first job!
Joined us from an MSc at the London School of Economics
Joining Adam Smith International was a natural choice for me. In my previous career I had the opportunity to visit, live and work in a number of developing countries, ranging from Afghanistan and Nigeria to Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya. I also spent some time in a leading management consultancy during a summer internship which confirmed my interest in finding a role in a company that combines development with management.
After completing a MSc in Management at the London School of Economics I joined Adam Smith International in 2013 as an Assistant Manager working initially with the management team on corporate initiatives. In 2014, I moved to the Private Sector Development team where I am now supporting a senior project manager in one of our projects in Nepal focused on making markets work for the poor (M4P) in the agribusiness and tourism sectors.
From the start, I was given a lot of responsibility. I sunk my teeth into helping to manage every aspect of complex projects, from recruiting experienced consultants to managing the projects’ finances and communicating with our client. In short, my role combines the rigour of professional management with the fascinating topics of development and allows me to work with like-minded smart people. Not always easy but always a lot of fun.
Joined us from a business association in South Sudan
I joined Adam Smith International in January 2014 after two years in South Sudan, where I set up the South Sudan Business Association with the support of the South Sudanese government. The association encouraged private sector development and assisted a number of companies across a variety of sectors.
Whilst in South Sudan I came across various projects Adam Smith International were implementing to assist in the state-building process and found the way the company operated in a difficult environment really impressive.
As the political situation deteriorated I decided it would best to move back to London and wanted to join Adam Smith International in order to widen my experience in frontier markets within the international development sector. I am currently assisting in the running of projects the company is implementing in South Sudan and am gaining valuable experience in helping to write and submit proposals for projects across the globe.
I am really enjoying from being part of a team with an excellent leadership structure and a supportive environment.
Joined us from an MPhil at the University of Cambridge
Having worked for Amnesty International in the past, and spent the year prior to joining Adam Smith International studying International Relations at the University of Cambridge, I was keen to join an organisation that would provide me with some hands on experience in international development.
Since joining Adam Smith International I have been working as an assistant manager on a community driven development programme in Syria. I am now based in southeast Turkey, where I provide full time management support to the programme.
Through taking part in the Professional Development Scheme, I have learnt a great deal about the design and implementation of development programmes and have significantly enhanced my understanding of the Syrian conflict.
After studying Turkish at university, it has been great to be back in Turkey once again and to be able to put my language skills to use. I have also had the opportunity to take Arabic classes, which are challenging but great fun.
Alongside gaining practical experience in the field, the scheme has also enabled me to meet with a wide variety of inspiring and ambitious people. It is difficult to think of any other organisations where a graduate would be given such high levels of responsibility so early on in their career.
Joined us from a BA at the University of Oxford
Before joining Adam Smith International I was interning at a venture capital firm focusing on sub-Saharan Africa. Having graduated from university that year, I was looking for a meaningful career that would be professionally and personally enriching. As such, Adam Smith International seemed like a logical choice because it focuses on achieving results in tough and challenging environments.
Adam Smith International’s reputation and the qualities that attracted me to it were on open display when I was offered a full time posting in Nigeria through the Professional Development Scheme. Very few companies offer new employees the chance to join the field on their second day, and the level of trust and responsibility Adam Smith International placed in me was inspiring.
One of the greatest joys of working at Adam Smith International is that there is no typical day. My work varies from negotiating contracts, reviewing reports and updating systems to managing internal and external relationships depending on programme priorities. The diversity of tasks, and the willingness of my colleagues to give additional responsibilities, means that I am constantly challenged.