I’m now an United Nations Intern

If you’ve come here from Google and are looking for general UN Internship information, I’ve written up a post detailing some information about the selection process and what the internship is all about. View the UN Internship FAQ.

Annoying Australian allowed into the UN general assembly

It has been a hectic few days for me in the Big Apple. I’ve started my internship with the United Nations and I’m already in the thick of it. I’m working in Peacekeeping with some awesome people and I’m glad my meager skills can contribute to something that is of worldwide importance. I’m also glad that I have plenty to do because there is no risk I’ll get bored. I’m not at the secretariat building (you know the famous one that everyone knows about) but closer to Grand Central station in midtown east. I believe my section might be near the security or disarmament guys. I note a lot of example landmines on display, which is quite interesting.

My UQ colleague Fanney (also a UN intern) and myself at our orientation session

I’ve only been in the internship a few days, but we’ve done an orientation session, organised some intern activity committees and had a few social outings with my fellow interns. Orientation was interesting – we were addressed by Gillian Sorenson, senior advisor to the United Nations foundations and former assistant secretary general for external relations during Kofi Annan’s tenure as Secretary-General, as well as Anita Sharma, the North American coordinator for the UN Millennium Campaign. I’ve joined the newsletter and sports committees (naturally) and there looks to be some great little activities being organised. There are about 200 of us, so there is always something interesting planned.

Today I got my free tour of the UN secretariat building which also took in a walk through the general assembly and other interesting little exhibits.


I’ve sorted my accommodation. After a brief stint in Long Island City with the awesome Gabe and Jade, I’ve moved ever so slightly closer to the UN building. I’ll be moving to midtown in a few weeks but for the meantime I’m staying in a Catholic German Men’s Guesthouse in the Upper East Side. The rent is affordable and I get a free meal a day. Sure, it might be operated by some people who may or may not have inspired the character of Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers, but overall, I’m pretty happy here.

Managed to grab a shot with Ban-Ki inside the UN Secretariat.

I’m thinking of hitting up some central park ice skating this weekend, followed by a gig in Brooklyn. I note White Rabbits are playing, which is a band I’d be interested in checking out. Helps that it only cost $15!!



15 responses to “I’m now an United Nations Intern”

  1. Kathleen Avatar

    Daz, it sounds like you are having an awesome time. I love the photos (specially the guitar gun…)


    1. Cheers for commenting. Yeah, I’m having a ball!

  2. Hey you
    For a while I was trying to work out if Ban – Ki was a) a cardboard cut out you are standing next to b) is a photo of him with your head superimposed on his colleague.
    Random – then read your blog.
    The mystery is revealed – a)


  3. Haha, yes Katey Daley, it was all a setup 🙂 I do get to get a picture with the real Ban-ki later in the program

  4. Anupam Dabral Avatar
    Anupam Dabral

    I am a third year law student from India am tired of the corporate tranquilizers that we ve all been darted with, i wanna work in UN or atleast once intern there , could u tell me the right way to go abt.

    1. Hello there Anupam. When applying you have to make sure your Personal History Profile is good – this is the application you fill out when you apply for the UN internship program. The system works, like many large job sites, on key words. Match your application to the selection criteria and this should help you out. I redrafted my application several times before submitting. Get a friend to read through it asking them to compare your application and skills to the selection criteria.

      Generally, you have to be in a postgraduate degree program (i.e. a masters) but I’m told that rule isn’t always mandatory. It depends on the needs of the organisation.

      Of course, I’m not privy to the selection process, but this is what I’ve learned through my experience. I will write an article soon about applying and what I know. Generally, there are no hard and fast rules. As I’ve said, it depends on which departments want interns.

  5. Adekunle OPAWALE Avatar
    Adekunle OPAWALE

    Hi, murray. I will realy appreciate if you can contact me on my email (adekunleopawale@spemail.org). I will like to make some enquiries from you as regards UN internship.

    Adekunle OPAWALE.

  6. Carolina Wit Avatar
    Carolina Wit

    Hey there… Wow, you must be stoked about this great opportunity.
    I was just there, at the Un New York headquarters visiting, my life long dream is to work there one day and make some difference in this unfair world. I was born in South America, Brazil, so I grew up face to face with the sad reality of poverty and hunger. Well, anyways, I would love to chat a lil with you. I wanna know more about the application process and everything else. Im probably gonna pursue sociology or political science but Im not really sure, maybe you can help me out.
    Good luck
    my email: krol_frias@hotmail.com

  7. Hi Daz,

    Have written the article about the application process?
    If so, can you please send me the link? Much appreciated!


  8. Dear Darragh

    My name is Mina and I am a student from Denmark. I study international business comunication and would love to do an internship with UN. I was wondering if you might help me with the process? It is especially my application I need help for. Do you have any tips or advices for me?

    That you in advance and best regards


  9. Paria Rad Avatar
    Paria Rad

    Hi Darragh,

    My name is Paria. I have always wanted to apply for the UN internship, I was thinking of applying for the summer 2011. Do you think maybe you can get in touch with me when you have time at Paria.rad@hotmail.com
    Can you give me some tips regarding the application process and your experience so far. Thanks so much and wishing you all the best!

  10. Alice Thomas Avatar
    Alice Thomas

    Hi Darragh,

    I found your website from a google search on interns in peacekeeping at the UN – I just applied for exactly that! If you don’t mind me asking, how did you find it? Were you able to get any outside funding?

    Kind regards,
    Alice Thomas

  11. Hi all. I’ve kind of been slack the past year regarding my interns post. I’ll write up a detailed post on my experience as a UN intern to help y’all out.

  12. Paria Erfanirad Avatar
    Paria Erfanirad

    Hi Darragh,

    I have heard contradictory comments about this internship, can you tell me about your
    experience if you get some free time. You can email me at paria.rad@hotmail.com.

    Kind regards,
    Paria Erfanirad

    1. Hi Paria. It’s probably best if you just ask your questions here so all can benefit. Keep in mind that I interned nearly two years ago and things may have changed since then.

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