Creating highest communication standards in the humanitarian sector.


Mathilde Michel, Associate in the Communication and Information Management


1.      Hello Mathilde, can you introduce yourself in a few words?

I started my studies with a bachelor’s in international relations at Geneva University, because I’ve always been captivated by international events and global challenges. Through different extracurricular projects, in which I discovered and worked in communication, I learned the power and attraction of this discipline, especially in humanitarian action. That’s why I went on to do a master’s in communication and project management and undertook several internships in different NGOs. All this reinforced my passion for innovation, digital communication, information management, humanitarian action, and information and communication technologies, and how these different fields interconnect.

2.      Let’s go back to the beginning – when did you join the ICRC? Which team?

I joined the ICRC in February 2019 (almost one year ago; it goes by so fast!), and am working for two different units within the Department of Communication and Information Management (CIM): the Office of the Director of CIM and the Archives and Information Management Division.

3.      Why did you decide to do a traineeship at the ICRC?

From the moment I started my studies (and even before), I knew that I wanted to work in the humanitarian sector. Of course, the ICRC is one of the leading organizations in this field, and is known by everyone in Geneva, especially those studying international relations. So it was one of my dreams to work here, and a traineeship is a great opportunity to start in this sector right after the end of your studies!

4.      As an associate, can you describe the scope of your responsibilities? What projects did you work on?

I had the chance to carry out very varied projects and tasks, mainly because I was working in two different teams! For example, I contributed to the new Access to Information Policy, which encourages greater transparency and has brought a lot of changes to the way we share information.

I also had the opportunity to be part of the cyber-security awareness team and organize a month of activities around the theme of cyber security, to inform staff about the issue and boost their commitment to it.


"At the beginning of my traineeship this was a completely new field for me, and now I have even led workshops and training sessions on it."


I was involved in other very interesting projects, for instance on information management and digitalization, and even one on workspace. My tasks included change management and internal communication, as well as holding workshops to collect user needs, producing documents and coordinating between different teams. I also had a chance to see the other side of project management, by helping the ICRC’s Project Management Office in supporting projects and making sure that those running them had the proper tools to do so well.

5.      Do you have any special memories or anecdotes to share with us?

One day, several of my colleagues presented me with an ICRC limited edition Caran D’Ache pen, to thank me for my work! It was a total surprise, which helped me realize that my contribution was truly appreciated and that I could count on the kindness of my ICRC teammates. This pen now represents for me everything that I’ve done and learned at the organization.

6.      What are your future plans?

I’m not sure yet what my next step is. I would love to stay in Geneva and possibly at the ICRC! Of course, I see myself going to the field one day, but just a little bit later in life.

7.      Any advice for future associates?

Don’t be scared to take initiatives – the ICRC likes go-getters! And don’t forget to take the time to explore what the organization has to offer.