Junior Professionals Program for West African Women
The Junior Professionals Program is an opportunity for qualified, professional women in West Africa to transform their passion for international relief and development work into a career with Catholic Relief Services. Over a 12-month period, each Junior Professional will build core skills while working alongside experienced staff and supporting critical programs. Junior Professionals will benefit from strong mentoring and regional networking as they prepare for positions of greater responsibility with CRS.
Unique Program Offerings
Learning & Professional Development
Practical training: Through hands-on experience and extensive training, Junior Professionals will grow and develop their skills in project design; program management; monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning; partnership building; and operations.
Mentorship: Each Junior Professional will be paired with a mentor who will be actively involved in providing guidance, feedback and career coaching.
Customized professional experience: In addition to the core training, Junior Professionals will build their skills in a specific area related to their professional development goals, and strategically position themselves for onward positions with CRS.
Regional networking: All Junior Professionals will be part of the regional community of practice that will share successes, challenges, and lessons learned from their work.
Make a Difference
Working together, CRS and the Junior Professionals will make great strides to end poverty and promote peace and self-reliance in West Africa. Junior Professionals will contribute to strategic and sustainable development projects in sectors like health, agriculture, education, emergency response, and peacebuilding.
Junior Professionals will help strengthen local governments’ and organizations’ ability to address the challenges in their communities and countries while advancing their learning objectives. This includes:
- Participating in project design
- Supporting real-time project assessments and data collection
- Developing and implementing monitoring and accountability frameworks
- Writing reports and proposals
- Organizing learning events
- Supporting operations (Human Resources, Finance, Supply Chain)
Learn more about our holistic approach and programming areas.
The Junior Professionals Program is currently available in Senegal, Liberia, Gambia, Guinea, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and Sierra Leone. Follow the links below to learn about CRS’ history and current work in each location.
We seek diverse and aligned candidates and welcome people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.
- Master's degree in related field (e.g. Economic Development, Agriculture, Health, Business, Administration, Finance, Human Resources, Supply Chain)
- Received Master's degree within 24 months of program start date (Oct. 2022)
- Six months of relevant work experience (e.g. internship, practicum, volunteer or paid work)
- Excellent speaking and writing skills in the official business language of the country (French or English)
- Citizen of a participating country (see above)
- Excels in collaborative multicultural environment
- Willingness to travel (up to 10-15% of the time)
- Strong analytical, problem-solving and research skills
- Agile, proactive, resourceful, and results-oriented
- Strong presentation and facilitation skills
Application & Selection
All applicants to the Junior Professionals Program must apply online, following the three simple steps outlined below. Before completing the online application, candidates should review the eligibility requirements and prepare a motivation letter that addresses factors influencing sustainable development in Africa. Please visit the FAQs for additional information and instructions.
Prepare a motivation letter
Prepare your resume or CV
Complete the online application
We will welcome applications for the next class of Junior Professionals in April 2023. Please revisit our webpage at that time to apply.
Timing & Selection Process
We are reviewing applications received for the 2022 program.
Strong candidates will be contacted in August for an in-person interview. We will extend offers to the finalists in September 2022, after conducting background and reference checks. The 2022 Junior Professionals Program will begin in October.
Due to the high volume of applications and rolling basis of the review, candidates will only be contacted if and when they advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Advance Your Career
CRS prides itself on growing and supporting female professionals. The Junior Professionals Program, with its emphasis on training, mentorship and hands-on experience, is an extension of that commitment. Participants who successfully complete the program will be equipped to apply for onward positions in program management, program quality, business development, monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning, or operations. Hover over the pictures below to hear from some of the talented women who advance CRS’ mission each day.
Meet the Junior Professionals
The Class of 2021
Driven, passionate, ready to affect positive change in the world. Get to know some of the talented Junior Professionals below.
Janet Keneah had great admiration for accountants, so she decided to study accounting in college in “the department where everybody counts.” Janet carries this attitude into her work as a Junior Professional where she has been strengthening her operations, monitoring & evaluation, and business development skills. She aims to land a position that will bolster her managerial capabilities as she is passionate about changing the narrative around women in management. Janet believes that if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. She’s accepted the challenge.
Advocate. Activist. These are just two of the words that describe Aminata Camara and her commitment to promoting issues of equality. A member of women’s organizations and youth associations, Aminata is passionate about the rights of girls, their access to education, and civic engagement. Her community - focused work led her to CRS where she leverages her educational background in geography and policy development to build her skillset in emergency program management.
Aichatou Ranaou Maiguero
Aichatou Ranaou Maiguero’s focus lies within the nexus between technology and agriculture. She went to school to study industrial computer science, but her true passion is youth and agriculture, specifically agricultural entrepreneurship to tackle food insecurity. Aichatou hopes to spark innovation in the youth employability space by working alongside communities on agriculture related projects with CRS. She is most excited to bring out the best version of herself through strong mentorship and practical learning.
Mariama Lamarana Diallo
Mariama Lamarana Diallo has always felt the call to public service. Her dreams of becoming a doctor carried her through her university studies in medicine, where she learned of another path to serve others. Mariama is passionate about supporting just and peaceful environments and is developing her project management skills to do just that. She is also keen to support CRS’ efforts to expand the Junior Professionals Program to continue providing her peers with the opportunity to work in humanitarian and development programming.
Engage With Us
We encourage you to join us for a webinar on the Junior Professionals Program. Our webinars are an opportunity for you to informally exchange with our team—learn more about CRS and the Junior Professionals Program, ask your questions on the application, etc. We offer webinars on the dates and times listed below. Choose a session that works for you and join by simply clicking on this link or calling +1 443-290-6516, conference ID: 660 694 948#
March 18, 2022
April 4, 2022
April 20, 2022
May 12, 2022
June 14, 2022
Frequently Asked Questions
We are glad you are interested in learning more about the Junior Professionals Program. In our FAQs, we strive to answer questions you may have around the application and selection process, career opportunities, and more. For additional information, please join an information session or email us at [email protected].
Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer
CRS is proud to be an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Selection and hiring decisions are made without regard to sex, gender identity, race, age, disability, religion, national origin, color, veteran status or any other protected area.
We are committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If, due to a medical condition or disability, you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please email [email protected].