CC 3.0 Basil D Soufi United Nations General Assembly Hall in the UN Headquarters, New York, NY

Four Ways to Enter the United Nations

Many people vie for a job at the United Nations, but just as many of them have no idea about how to go about getting in. It is not like a standard career where it comes down to how you’re dressed; instead, the main problem with getting into the United Nations is that people think that, because of their respect for the organization, they have a decreased likelihood of getting to join something so prestigious and do not apply. Also, jobs are not recruited at job fairs on college campuses. This makes young graduates unsure how to get in contact with UN representatives and don’t get exposed to the true array of opportunities available.

To get a job, one of the most important things to consider is previous work experience. Applicants’ professional experience is imperative as their experience depends on the job that can apply for. P1 positions will not require work experience, but these hardly even exist. P2 positions will need at least two years of experience; P3 requires  a minimum of 5 years; P4 requires a minimum of seven years; and P5 requires a whopping 10 years of minimum experience. So where do you start?

The UN Internship Programme

With all UN programs considered, the Internship program is going to want to least number of requirements for entry. There are over 4,000 interns in New York alone, and the number of United Nations interns continues to grow and grow. The basic requirements for an intern position is a PhD or Master’s degree, or for the applicant to be in their final Bachelor program year. The internship will usually go on for two to six months.

United Nations Volunteers

There is another entry opportunity that is similar to an internship. This is the United Nations Volunteers program. This program currently has activity in 86 countries with over 7,700 United Nations volunteers being mobilized both internationally and nationally every year. They work in assisting development projects, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. Eighty percent of these volunteers come from developing nations. The program aims to give you a plenty of knowledge that will give you a greater idea of how to translate it to the field.

The Junior Professional Officer Programme

The Junior Professional Officer Programme gives yet another chance to get into the United Nations, but it is much more competitive than the other two options already mentioned. These positions are only given by a handful of United Nations organizations, and those participating will be primarily serving in one of the country offices in organizations of a country in development. These positions are also sponsored by your national government which means that you are only able to apply if your government has or is offering a position that is relevant.

The Young Professionals Programme

Finally, working with the UN Secretariat, the Young Professionals Programme is an recuirtment initiative for for young professionals that want to begin their career as a civil servant in an international setting. This procedure includes an entrance exam held annually along with professional programs for development once the candidate has begun their career with the UN.

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