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Elena Ilina Nicklasson'06

Elena Nicklasson'06

Name: Elena Ilina Nicklasson

Class: 2006

Current Employer: Global Fund for Women 


Post-Beloit Human Rights Work: United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Center for Safe Energy (Berkley, CA), Global Fund for Women (San Francisco, CA), Fund for Peace Initiatives (Menlo Park, CA).

Beloit studies:  political science with goal of working for an international organization addressing international security and human rights.

Key Beloit College experiences:   Living and working/studying in a multi-cultural community (began her studies in Russia) and volunteering in the local community through the Duffy Community Partnership.

Concepts she learned at Beloit College that she continues to use today:  poverty cycles, personal ecology (being able to remove yourself from a situation while dealing with tough community issues), using a diary for self-reflection – all introduced to her by Carol Wickersham

Best time to engage with human rights:  When you are young and idealistic.  It opens many professional opportunities and gives diverse perspectives on the world.

Where to start in human rights:  the NGO world, as it provides hands-on experience and a wider range of opportunities to apply oneself than in government and academics.

Cautions:  "Go there not for glamour, but only if your heart calls for it." Human rights activists and experts do not make a lot of money;  NGO work is emotionally rewarding, but economically difficult.  Only choose it as a lifelong career after working in the field for at least five years.  

Advice for job seekers:   Make sure to do an internship and line up references from Beloit professors and on-campus jobs.   Take jobs – and jobs - that teach you to pay attention to detail, work independently, and use office equipment.  Know how to use a PC or MAC well, to blog and twitter, to use Word Press and other web-design tools.  Publish and present at conferences while at Beloit and after.  Write well:  if you work in an NGO, you will be writing a lot - reports, proposals, reviews, applications for grants and so on.Elena Nicklasson at work