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Lola Yusuf

Lola studied BA Geography and is now a Programmes Manager for Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART), an organisation working with partners in conflict and post-conflict zones. Find out more about Lola's career.

About Lola

Current job: Programmes Manager at Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART)

Current location: UK

Degree studied: BA Geography

About Lola's career

Describe your current role

As part of a very small organisation working with partners in conflict and post-conflict zones, I support communities who have historically been oppressed, marginalised and left out of international media coverage.

As Programmes Manager, I work closely with our in-country partner NGOs to facilitate projects in education, healthcare, water & sanitation, refugee assistance and emergency relief.

Each year, we travel to our partner countries in Africa, Asia & Europe to meet with local communities and hear directly about their priorities for assistance.


Explain how you got this job after studying Geography at Newcastle

Upon returning from volunteering in Uganda after graduating, I applied for every entry-level role in international development that I could find.

The only application I heard back from was for an unpaid internship at my current organisation.

Whilst interning, I took every possible opportunity to take on more work, learn what my colleagues were doing and ask if I could get involved.

After interning for a year, I was lucky to be appointed Fundraising & Communications Manager.

Studying at Newcastle

In what ways was studying Geography at Newcastle important for getting this job?

The diverse modules available on the Geography course at Newcastle really helped me to refine my studies down to exactly what I was passionate about.

How do you employ skills learnt during your degree, in your current job?

Specialising in Human Geography at Newcastle, my studies around theories and post-colonial discourse in particular really helped shape my thinking about the world and how to approach my career in international development.  

What was the best thing about studying Geography at Newcastle?

The compulsory field trip module in second year is arguably the most underrated thing about studying Geography at Newcastle.

As part of the Development Geography module, I was immensely lucky to go on the trip to Borneo.

Equally, the flexible study abroad opportunities available were my deciding factor to study Geography at Newcastle. I was able to study in Montreal for half of my final (3rd) year and then return and graduate with my peers.