Danuta Whetton

Danuta graduated from the International Development: Poverty, Conflict and Reconstruction Pathway in 2008 and is now employed as Business Development and Strategic Partnerships Manager at Alinea International.

On choosing my course

Danuta Whetton

While I was on an international exchange program in Hong Kong, a recruiter visited my campus and invited me to a reception to learn more about the University of Manchester. Manchester’s approach to recruiting international students, combined with its ambition to become one of the top 25 universities globally, really impressed me, so I decided to apply for the International Development degree.

I was also really attracted to several features of the program I ended up studying, namely that there were different pathways to choose from depending on your interests (gender, environment, post-conflict reconstruction) as well as a residential field-visit to a low-income country (Ghana, Malaysia, India) that offered practical application of the theoretical teachings.

On my career development

I always knew I wanted to work in international development. My time at UoM solidified my interest in the sector and reaffirmed my decision to pursue it as a career following graduation.

Following graduation, I worked for 2 years for the Government of Canada, first on Africa-Canada Relations at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development and then on Human Trafficking Policy at the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.

I then moved to the Canadian NGO sector where I spent 7.5 years working as a Program Manager/Technical Advisor, managing large-scale international development projects in Cambodia, Ghana, Ethiopia and South Sudan (combined budget of over $55M).

For the past 3.5 years I have been working for a private sector, international development consultancy with operations in 80+ countries around the world, where I’m responsible for driving new business with our primary institutional client, Global Affairs Canada.

On my student experience

The most surprising takeaway from my studies is that the friendships I made while at Manchester have continued to this day. I still keep in touch with many of my classmates and have visited several of them over the years.

Manchester is a wonderful city to live in as a student. It’s got a great nightlife, a vibrant music scene, and lots of low-cost food and entertainment options for a student budget. As an international student, I loved how well-connected it was to other parts of the UK and Europe which made travelling really affordable and easy.

On my advice for prospective students

My advice to students joining Manchester would be to take advantage of all of the services and extracurricular programs offered by the University – and remember to explore your surroundings!!