Career Opportunities in NGOs and the Non-Profit Sector

On the evening of Thursday, February 28th, the CBA welcomed Dr. Harald Meier, Head of the MBA Program in NGO-Management at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg and International Business Professor in LMU’s New Europe Program. The title of Dr. Meier’s timely presentation was “Exciting Global Developments in NGOs and the Non-Profit Sector: Important Implications for Your Future Career.”

An NGO (non-governmental organization) is created by private organizations or people with no participation or representation of any government. In his lecture, Dr. Meier examined current trends and developments in NGOs and the non-profit sector in Asia, the Americas and Europe. He discussed important implications for students considering a future career in the non-profit sector, including ideas for how one should begin to plan now for future involvement in this important global career arena.

According to Dr. Meier, the number of NGOs worldwide is increasing tremendously across all sectors. Examples of NGOs include the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, Goodwill, the Ford Foundation and Human Rights Watch. A common stereotype is that it’s difficult to find a job in the non-profit sector and that these types of jobs don’t pay well. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Dr. Meier said there is a strong increase in career opportunities in NGOs, particularly for social business entrepreneurs, management and expert staff.

If you’re considering a career in NGOs or the non-profit sector, some key qualifications that will enable you to do your job better include:

  • High level of academic graduates
  • Strong market orientation
  • Flexibility and mobility
  • Being a “motivator”
  • Intercultural orientation
  • Self-orientation

Dr. Meier has many years of work experience in both corporate and non-profit sectors, including World Aid Development work in Israel, Lebanon, and Egypt. He has several books and publications, and has served as a project manager and advisor for the European Union. He has been a visiting professor in the US, China, Korea, the Netherlands, Ireland, and France, and since 2001 has been a professor of International Management and Head of the MBA Program in NGO-Management, University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. For several years Dr. Meier also has taught international business in LMU’s New Europe Program in Bonn, Germany.