Career Profile: Project Management Officer / Project Stream Lead

Project Management Officer / Project Stream Lead

One of our alumni IRIO works at an IT company with a presence in more than 40 countries. This company provides and delivers consulting and technology services, high technology transactional services, as well as managed services and systems integration to numerous clients globally.While you might not immediately relate an IT company to the degree programme International Relations, the top layer of a company like this is very international. Companies like these are also looking for employees with different backgrounds, and in the field of communication, presentation and negotiation it is very interesting for companies to have employees with a different educational background. 


As a Project Management Officer, is it one of your tasks to keep an overview in major projects, to discuss various solutions for problems that arise during a project with other teams, and to give each other advice. Because of a background in International Relations you will often work on international projects, which also means working in an international team with colleagues from all over the world. Often you will have meetings through videoconferences, but since they have projects in different countries you also have to travel from one country to the other. Projects are often related to changes in a company’s internal environment, a merger or an acquisition.

There are lots of opportunities within this international company. The advantage for working here is first of all the scope for responsibility. In addition, there is a lot to learn. Unfortunately, in business there is no room for the social and political aspect as we know it in International Relations. Business is more focused on efficiency.


• Language skills are very important, the fact that you learn a third language within IRIO is very valuable.
• In addition, it is important to be flexible. In general, as a consultant you work for other companies, which are clients of the company. Every six or twelve months you are working in another company, with its own business culture. Being flexible is something you really learn within the IRIO programme.
• The competence to find and analyse information quickly is important. You often get just little information, you have to find it out yourself and do your own research.
• Negotiation and communication skills in the IT world are not very developed. The presentation and debating skills you have learned during your studies and are helpful for this work.
• The benefit you might have as an IRIO student it to be able to switch between different fields of studies, certain problems have multiple intersections. Just as the degree in International Relations, it is multidisciplinary.


It is recommended to do an internship abroad, because it is important these days towork with people from different countries. You learn about the differences in the way of working and how they interact with each other. This gives you a lot of benefits.

When you start working as a Junior Project Management Officer, you will have very little responsibility. As an experienced Project Management Officer / Junior Project Stream Lead you may get tasks for which you are fully responsible or even become responsible for parts of the whole project when you become more experienced. You will be working towards leadership, and towards the major projects. The bigger the projects, the bigger the responsibility. Of course, you start within your own team, and in the end you can become the manager of a team.


The Master’s degree in IRIO is related in the sense that you also have to switch between different fields of studies and connect various aspects. However, content wise it is not that related at all. Probably the economical courses and the language courses have been the most useful. But in the end,you learn the most once you start working. In consulting there are people working with different academic degrees, it is more about your competencies, your interests and your personality.

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