Recent student graduate Elise Webster shared the following about being an Intern at the United Nations…
What did you do as an intern at this organization?
As an intern in the United Nations Department of Global Communications, Civil Society Unit, I complete various different tasks that range from speech writing to data analysis. Towards the beginning of my internship, I often worked with my fellow DGC interns to create speech notes for our supervisors and other UN staff on topics like nuclear disarmament and youth engagement in politics.
I moved on to working closely with the NGLS (Non-Governmental Liaison Service) department in the following weeks, and analyzed data on the participation, special accreditation, and engagement of outside entities with the UN. After running the data, I presented it in over 20 infographics. As of right now I’m designing and writing the NGLS 2022 Annual Review with all of this material!
How did you find this internship?
I learned about this internship through Kelly Roberts! She is the Tufts Career Advisor for International Government, International Affairs, and Policy. She’s more than helpful and a great resource to reach out to if you’re looking for next steps in your career.
What did you enjoy most about your internship?
What I enjoy most about my internship is the people I’ve met and the events I’ve been able to attend. I really like graphic design and gaining familiarity and skill with Excel has actually been quite fun too. But for me the real best part has been getting to know the other staff members. They are all so supportive and have been lovely to work with.
In September, I was lucky enough to be around NYC during the Transforming Education Summit at the UN Headquarters. Brushing shoulders with international Ministers of Education, youth activists, and political leaders on the way to events filled with incredible speakers from all around the world was inspiring and so so exciting! I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity.
What did you find challenging?
In September I also moved to Bordeaux, France to be an English language assistant. I had already been doing the internship for a few months, but navigating the time difference with meetings and the responsibilities of work and the internship after the summer was a bit challenging at first, but I’m so grateful that the remote option of the internship made this all possible.
What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours? Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and to share your interests and talents with the team! I personally have always been very interested in NGO work, and since I voiced that early on, I was assigned to work directly with the NGLS staff as their only intern. Also, if an assignment is confusing you, don’t hesitate to reach out to your supervisors and set up a brief meeting to talk it out. They’re always open to that and the extra coordination helps a ton, especially while remote.
Definitely take all the opportunities possible to attend events and go to the office in person if you’re not already. That has been by far the biggest highlight of my internship and such a great way to connect more deeply with the other staff as well!
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