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Global Development Institute

Yoko Honda

Yoko graduated from the University with an MA in Development and Economics. She now works as the Regional Operational Information Management Officer for the UN World Food Programme in Cairo, Egypt.

On choosing my master's degree

I was always interested in Rural Development and Economics, and The University of Manchester had a strong MA course in this area. I also had a plan to apply for a JPO (Junior Programme Officer) Programme, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan.

On my career

After graduating, I became a Research Assistant at the Development Bank of Japan, then I moved into a Programme Officer role at the World Food Programme in Mozambique (sponsored by the Japanese government).

On working at the United Nations

Yoko Honda

I am in charge of the operational information management for 18 countries, from North Africa to Central Asia. My core work is to prepare various corporate documents and briefs - both for external audiences, such as donors and partners, and internal senior management.

I also take care of emergency dashboards and info graphs for some of the emergencies operations in the regions such as Yemen and Syria.

On my advice for future students

I recommend pursuing subjects that interest you most. I receive many questions from students asking which subjects have better opportunities to be entering into the UN system - there is no one subject as such!

It is always good to pursue your own academic interest. Also, I’d highly recommend students to have internship opportunities while they are still at school.