Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How to Get an Internship with the UN + 2 Internship Offers

Getting an Internship Abroad and With the UN


Hey, so one of the main questions eager new graduates (especially in my field, international relations) ask is how can one score a ballin' internship with the UN. I'm writing this because well, I've seen in the NY Times that kids are PAYING agents to find unpaid internships (read article, here). As a povo graduate with student loans past my face I say eff that noize.

Anyways, I've seen several ways and I know what worked for me so I'm going to share it with you and uh.. I'm also going to post 2 offers for internships. I'm posting it here because if you are reading this blog, chances are you an intelligent student or young adult with a love of life and gets thrills from discovery of other cultures. You are also into social media to some extent which is important for one of the internships.

I mean, I know doing an unpaid internship is the opposite of helping you pay off school loans and stuff, but seriously besides an exchange, it's one of the best things you can do for your career, life experience, social life and assuaging your affinity for adventure.


The day we all wore stripes to office by accident. Obviously needed a picture. #workinghard

I'll keep it short because I'm kind of at my UN internship now (last week, ahh what next, omg, but seriously, what next etc.).


1. Email every country office you can. This is what my fellow intern colleagues did and they got several responses. It's easy, you go on the website of the UN agency and the country you're interested in, find the email address and tell them you are interested in internship opportunities. Trust me, these UN agencies are dying for your brain. Someone will reply.

2. Email specific people. This is what I recommended to my school mates to do and it worked. They went to the country specific office 's website of the agency they liked, then found the project that interested them most. Most UN websites have this information about projects displayed (I think) and then you can find the name of the person who is the CTA (Chief technical adviser) of the project. With your honed research skills you'll be able to dig up their email. When you've done that, impress the pants off of them saying you are interested in their project and that you have done work in their field before, or have written papers, volunteered etc. It's your chance to show your specific knowledge and puts you directly in contact with the person who has the power to take you on.

3. Network, network, network! Take business cards like mad and email them up when you are looking for an internship. I was with the IOM in Bangkok last summer and just by chance I met the director from the office I'm at now at a conference. I emailed him after I graduated and he put me in contact with the CTA of the project I'm with now. So voila, there's the story of how I ended up in Jakarta. I love business cards and you should too. Attend conferences at your university or put on in your city and go talk to the guest speakers, people attending etc. after.

4. Word of mouth. Hanging around UN people in positions of power, you'll find out how many opportunities there are and they'll be completely useless because you are already being exploited at your current internship. If I hadn't sworn off this current thing as my last internship EVER I would be mega interested in another one. Anyways, I'm making that whole word of mouth thing accessible to you. Check out below for the offers. Good luck and please let me know how it goes! I hope I've done my duty of inputting into the eternal circle of internship.

Also, please pass on to your ambitious, smart friends!


Offers for Internship
ps. In a nutshell, they want native English speakers and starting very very soon.


Position:        Communications and Outreach Intern
Duration:      no less than six weeks and no more than six months
Dates:             As soon as possible
Salary:           Unpaid
Location:       Jakarta, Indonesia
Supervisor:   UNV/UNDP Programme Officer




Background

UNDP Office has organised internship programme to provide a framework by which students from diverse academic backgrounds may be assigned to UNDP offices, where their educational experience can be enhanced through practical work assignments as well providing an opportunity to make substantive contributions to an office’s work. The current internship will provide opportunity for student to learn and gain practical experience in the field of communication and outreach.

Tasks

·      Researching and writing communication material
·      Assisting in developing partnerships with mass media to generate and maintain public interest and advocate for further promotion of volunteerism
·      Assisting in planning and updating content for UNV Indonesia social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter
·      Supporting the UNV COT with events and campaigns
·      Maintaining and updating UNV website
·      Gathering information for journalists
·      Other tasks assigned

Outputs
·      Effective support to UNV programme in increasing visibility of volunteerism contribution towards peace and development tin Indonesia
·      Effective support in developing and maintaining partnership with media


Qualifications
·      Enrolment in a graduate-level degree programme in business administration, or other related field. Not have graduated prior to the beginning of the internship.
·      Strong communication skills, especially writing skills
·      Fluency in English. Knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia considered to be an advantage
·      Ability to gather information quickly, and prepare in various written formats
·      Experience working in with media
·      Computer literate in standard software applications
·      Demonstrated keen interest in the work of the UN, and of UNV and UNDP in particular, and have a personal commitment to UNDP's Statement of Purpose  and to the ideals of the UN Charter
·      Demonstrated the ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views. Strong interpersonal skills
·      An interest in global mobility; adaptability to varied physical and other environments; a desire to work with and gain the confidence and respect of people with different language, national and cultural backgrounds.

Financial Issues
Interns are not financially remunerated by UNDP.

All costs connected with an intern's participation in the Programme must be borne by:
a)     the nominating institution, related institution or government, which may provide the required financial assistance to its students;
b)    the student, who will have to obtain financing for subsistence and make his/her own arrangements for travel (including to and from the office), visas, accommodation, etc.


Application procedure
Interested applicants are advised to follow application instructions as detailed on http://www.undp.or.id/internships/.






Position:        Research and Policy Analysis Intern
Duration:      no less than six weeks and no more than six months
Dates:             As soon as possible
Salary:           Unpaid
Location:       Jakarta, Indonesia
Supervisor:   UNV/UNDP Programme Officer




Background

UNDP Office has organised internship programme to provide a framework by which students from diverse academic backgrounds may be assigned to UNDP offices, where their educational experience can be enhanced through practical work assignments as well providing an opportunity to make substantive contributions to an office’s work.

Tasks
·      Conduct background research on state of volunteerism in Indonesia
·      Assist in conducting background research on volunteerism-related policy framework in Indonesia
·      Compile research findings and drafting reports
Conduct research and propos feasible concepts for diversification of volunteer modalities (e.g. corporate volunteerism, online volunteering) and development of new joint initiatives with academia, private sector, civil society etc
·      Other tasks assigned

Outputs
·      Effective support to UNV programme in its policy and research-related efforts.
·      Effective support in developing new joint projects


Qualifications
·      Enrolment in a graduate-level degree programme in business administration, or other related field. Not have graduated prior to the beginning of the internship.
·      Strong communication skills, especially writing skills
·      Fluency in English. Knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia considered to be an advantage
·      Ability to gather information quickly, and prepare in various written formats
·      Strong experience in conducting background research
·      Computer literate in standard software applications
·      Demonstrated keen interest in the work of the UN, and of UNV and UNDP in particular, and have a personal commitment to UNDP's Statement of Purpose  and to the ideals of the UN Charter
·      Demonstrated the ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views. Strong interpersonal skills
·      An interest in global mobility; adaptability to varied physical and other environments; a desire to work with and gain the confidence and respect of people with different language, national and cultural backgrounds.

Financial Issues
Interns are not financially remunerated by UNDP.

All costs connected with an intern's participation in the Programme must be borne by:
a)     the nominating institution, related institution or government, which may provide the required financial assistance to its students;
b)    the student, who will have to obtain financing for subsistence and make his/her own arrangements for travel (including to and from the office), visas, accommodation, etc.


Application procedure
Interested applicants are advised to follow application instructions as detailed on http://www.undp.or.id/internships/.

Intern Music
The interns and I found ourselves singing this song constantly as we walked down Rat Alley, ate on the dirty streets, and had to talk our way into expensive clubs. But we knew it was all worth it and that one day we'd be.. Dedicated to J, A, C-bro, Clara, Saki, Hani.







If you find yourself interning in Jakarta, (congrats) check out also..




9 comments:

  1. How do you get over the enrollment bit? I'm graduating this year & am hesitant to apply to UN internships just because it seems like alllllll of them want you to be enrolled in a university!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It does say that but don't let it deter you. All the people in my office are graduates, and although this is for another office in Jakarta I know they are willing to hire graduated students. good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm really interested in working with the IOM in Bangkok this summer. Do you have any suggestions on the best people to contact regarding internships there?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great Tips! A few questions? do you think that super grades play a large part in the internship acceptance process? I have done a lot of volunteer work and written many papers (published) but in my masters I worked full-time as well as studying and my marks have not been brilliant....do you think that would matter?? I am extremely interested in UNICEF....

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