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How can students get involved within UN Work?

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How can students get involved within UN Work?

July 21, 2022

How can students get involved within UN Work?


Harold Takooshian of Fordham University is part of the team consisting of six members representing APA in the UN. Fred Campano of Fordham University was a full-time economist at the UN Secretariat for 30 years between 1967 and 1997.

Students who are resourceful often have the question, “How can I best find an internship at the United Nations in New York City?” For college students looking to build a solid career, it’s the savvy student who is looking for the “edge” with international experience – through studying abroad, internships or research projects, a language, or any other means (Russo & Takooshian, 2002; Takooshian & Stambaugh, 2007).

Many students are offered international experiences through UN interns during the course of a semester or during the summer. Despite the fact that the UN generally does not pay salaries, such positions are extremely competitive because the number of applicants significantly exceeds the incredibly small amount of “badges” needed to enter UN premises.

What is the best way for students to take up a position with the UN? It’s a difficult task. However, there are many resources accessible, and a full year of preparation is necessary. Many useful articles on this topic can be found on StudyCrumb.

un work

1. Secretariat

The most difficult path is to get an internship at the Secretariat, the department which is the political arm of the UN. These are strictly limited to graduate students only and generally go through the Department of Human Resources.

2. Agencies

A simpler path is to use the 25 organizations that have specific roles in the UN. They include areas such as kids, healthcare, women, work, and each has its own website and intern procedures.

3. NGOs

The simplest route is through “civil society,” the network of 3,000 non-governmental organizations that work within the UN. These are nonprofit organizations or corporations. Organizations that are registered with the UN and receive at least six badges as its members. Students in Greater New York can check the website of the Committee on NGOs, to see the places where these 22 committees are scheduled to meet at and then go to meet with current NGO representatives.

With the help of CONGO, the NGO may designate a handful of students for the position of “associates” with a 3-month UN pass, provided that they are involved in a specific project. APA has an intern program that was launched in the year 2008. Applications for the program will be regularly advertised on their website.

4. Missions

Another UN work possibility is to look for a position among the 192 nations that are represented at the UN. While most missions are managed by citizens of the country, some missions specifically seek skilled US interns to help with their local tasks.

Students are more successful when they speak many languages, especially in the five “official” languages of the UN: English, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Russian, and Spanish. Also, students can take advantage of the several special activities for youth at the UN, such as the 5th Youth Assembly in August 2008.

Generally, students are able to search for useful updates from the APA on their official website, and their departments of international psychology page.


Want to find opportunities at the UN? Check out the United Nations Jobs Finder tool!

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