How to get to work for the United Nations? What study?

Updated on : December 6, 2021 by Joshua Lewis



How to get to work for the United Nations? What study?

there are so many internships available on your website. You should try for the same.
Once you go through the internship, it will add a lot of value to your knowledge, experience accordingly, in the future you can decide whether to work for UNO or not. their young professionals program is good too.

Have you visited their website and seen opportunities available across the country? I think you will have many internship opportunities to work in India itself for UNO. This will also add a lot of weight to your portfolio.

If you just want to apply for a job, I think your portfolio should be extraordinary to work for UNO.

I hope this helps you.

It depends a lot on what kind of job, in which part of the United Nations. But I will do my best to give some general impressions of the job in a policy job in a large UN office (such as the headquarters in New York or the offices in Geneva and Vienna).

First and most surprising, if you come from the private sector, you will find almost everything in the UN incredibly slow, outdated and cumbersome. It may be a little less shocking if you come from a very large, long-established bureaucratic corporation, but in reality, even those with experience in national government bureaucracies find that

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It depends a lot on what kind of job, in which part of the United Nations. But I will do my best to give some general impressions of the job in a policy job in a large UN office (such as the headquarters in New York or the offices in Geneva and Vienna).

First and most surprising, if you come from the private sector, you will find almost everything in the UN incredibly slow, outdated and cumbersome. It may be a little less shocking if you come from a very large, long-established bureaucratic corporation, but in reality, even those with experience in national government bureaucracies find that the UN version is over again. Get started with your hiring: filling a vacancy at the UN generally takes many months and often more than a year. One year! The process is incredibly complex and time consuming, and it's totally infuriating for both those who are recruiting and those who are being recruited.

But once you're in, you're in, and it's hard to get you out. At first, this may seem like a good thing to you. The pay is good, the leave provisions are generous, as is the pension plan. Who would want to leave? It's almost impossible to fire someone (firing procedures make recruiting procedures seem efficient and simplified in comparison), so you won't be fired. Excellent! But gradually you will notice that the place is full of people who (a) really don't want to be there, but are hooked on money, and / or (b) are hopelessly lazy or incompetent and should be fired.

This will frustrate you, but because you are fresh, conscientious and energetic, you will undertake your tasks with impetus and enthusiasm, and you will find ways to get around the various bureaucratic hurdles and obstructive and useless people that come your way. In the course of doing this, you will find yourself, hidden amongst the masses who don't do much more than stand in your way, very few dedicated, knowledgeable, highly competent and overworked employees who somehow keep the whole place running. . Treat these people well; listen to their stories, follow their advice, learn everything you can from them. They come from all countries and cultures, and working with them is one of the few real benefits of a job at the UN.

For a while, once you've found your way and are getting things done, the work can be great. The job can be challenging and stimulating, you may be working with diplomats, officials and technical experts from many different countries on issues of genuine global importance. But you start to notice things: political interference, lack of leadership (no one is really in charge at the UN), lack of accountability. And always, always, bureaucracy, inefficiency and waste. It begins to weigh on you. While you once prided yourself on finding a smart way to get around some bureaucratic hurdle, now you start to resent the time and effort you have to put into solving problems that shouldn't be there. You start to let things fall (too hard, it takes too long,

And then you go.

That's what it was for me, anyway.

I'm not going to give you false hope. In fact, it is very difficult to get an internship at the United Nations. The selection rates are extremely low. However, it is still possible. :)

Speaking from personal experience, I can only tell you what worked for me:

  1. I have always had a certain inclination towards economics, politics and the fields related to law. (I did choose to study finance professionally though, but that's a completely different story.) Do you know the smart kid who prefers to lick newspapers and devour books? Well that's me. So when a friend told me he came across a vacancy for UN interns
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I'm not going to give you false hope. In fact, it is very difficult to get an internship at the United Nations. The selection rates are extremely low. However, it is still possible. :)

Speaking from personal experience, I can only tell you what worked for me:

  1. I have always had a certain inclination towards economics, politics and the fields related to law. (I did choose to study finance professionally though, but that's a completely different story.) Do you know the smart kid who prefers to lick newspapers and devour books? Well that's me. So when a friend told me that he came across a vacancy for the UN internship program, I applied almost instinctively. It wasn't on my planned schedule, but I thought it would be nice to give it a try once. I had already dabbled in rural marketing, public policy research, and content creation before running for the UN.
  2. I completed my graduation from the best business school in the country. So I guess that was taken into account, to some extent, in my application. But my internship partner from China was from a pretty normal university. (The reason I know this is because he told me so himself!) Individual brilliance definitely takes precedence over a college brand.
  3. I speak French, as well as Hindi and English. But again, I don't think it's a filter criteria. It all depends on the country and the functional area to which you apply.
  4. Since it is unpaid, it deters people who cannot afford accommodation, food and travel. Obviously, this was not a problem for me, because I anticipated all the costs in advance and therefore I only applied for the internship position in my city of residence.
  5. Contrary to popular perception, there is absolutely no need to network to obtain an internship. I applied online, through their website. The selection process is very objective and scientifically programmed. Just trust your own worth.
  6. Before completing the form, think about it. Why UN? WHY? Articulate it well. Prepare a crisp cover letter and CV, limit it to one page. Then submit the request. Choose positions based on your area of ​​interest, but it should also suit your profile. Look for specific requirements and show how you meet them.
  7. Now prepare for a long waiting period. You will receive an email from the UN office in case you are shortlisted, depending on the needs of the project. I applied in May and received the email in September. 3.5 to 4 months is the usual time to process your application.
  8. The interview is extremely deep, detailed, and intense. It is very project specific. I was given a wealth of research papers, ongoing projects, and case studies, as well as proposals to read, for the purpose of analytical discussion in the interview. Read. Read. Read. Show that you are really interested. Go that extra mile. Share your knowledge and propose innovative solutions.
  9. Would you fit into the UN's work culture and values? Can you work to extreme deadlines, in a multiculturally diverse environment? Show them how. Tell them about this. Can you show your passion in action on the ground? Because that's what really counts. If you can't translate your dream into the realm of reality, you're probably in the wrong place.

And finally, hear what Nora Roberts has to say:

“If you don't go after what you want, you will never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't take a step forward, you're always in the same place. "

As I work within the UN system, I prefer to remain anonymous.

There are two types of staff in my UN agency: general service staff (“G staff”) and professional staff (“P staff”). The first step will be to decide what kind of staff you want to be.

G's staff are basically the people who keep the system running, usually secretaries, technicians, handymen, but also warehouse packers, cooks, etc. They are only hired locally at the destination.

Some examples (not exhaustive):

A typical secretary would be a G-4. These days, they are known as "team assistants", covering a wide

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As I work within the UN system, I prefer to remain anonymous.

There are two types of staff in my UN agency: general service staff (“G staff”) and professional staff (“P staff”). The first step will be to decide what kind of staff you want to be.

G's staff are basically the people who keep the system running, usually secretaries, technicians, handymen, but also warehouse packers, cooks, etc. They are only hired locally at the destination.

Some examples (not exhaustive):

A typical secretary would be a G-4. These days, they are known as "team assistants", covering a wide range of administrative tasks, including travel arrangements, filing, organizing workshops, and so on. In more technical areas, a lab technician or electrician would also be around G-3 or G -4. With experience, they can become G-5.

A G-5 is usually an assistant director rather than a section chief (the director is usually the chief of 3-5 section chiefs within a division), or their job is somewhat more specific and / or technical. A G-6 will be a highly experienced technician or administrative assistant who will take care of important division matters such as hiring, budgeting and finances, resource planning, etc.

At the low end, a G-1 would be, for example, a warehouse packer, a G-2 would be a lab assistant (mainly cleaning the lab), and a G-3 would be a cook, mail messenger, junior lab technician. and often a ticket. grade for newcomers placed in G-4 jobs.

The other category is the P staff:

Most of the time they will be senior scientists or technicians, engineers, translators or senior managers of entities that involve hundreds of people. P staff are hired from around the world and are paid much more than G staff; however, their tenure in the UN agency is generally limited to several years (with exceptions). Almost all managers are at the P-4 or P-5 level, division directors D-1 or D-2. "D staff" is rarely used, directors "count as P staff".

Young graduates with the proper scientific training often start out as P-1 (really fresh out of school, no experience). P-2 is, for example, a junior scientist with some experience, and P-3 a fairly broad category of established personnel with usual experience. Senior scientists are typically P-4, equivalent to junior managers (eg, Team Leaders).

So from the above your first question is: G or P? Personally, I am fortunate to live in a city with a UN agency and be employed there as G staff, which already pays very well.

Yes. The pay is good. That is one of the reasons why it is not easy to enter the United Nations system. Many people want to enter. And the vacancies are almost always distributed among the people who are already there.

Now you understand why I was anonymous. It is almost impossible to get in without a "door opener", either G or P level. Recruitment processes between staff categories differ considerably, and since I am a general service staff member, my additional lines will be more from the perspective of category G staff.

In my case, it was an old friend of my dad's within the system who told me exactly what to write on the online personal history form (UN slang for CV), how to write it, and where exactly to send it (yes, at that time still I sent it by post!). He or she told me what to wear, what questions to expect, etc. With the help of this person (and he / she "supporting" me internally), I was able to secure a short-term G-3 contract for three months. A humble assistant secretary job with a lot of photocopying and really quite mundane administrative tasks. But he paid me over $ 2,000 p / m - NET! (2005)

I continued for almost five years with short-term contracts. I was never "too good" at photocopying thick documents or packing boxes if office needs called for it. You must show will and dedication, and endure fear about the next extension of your contract, possibly for years. You also learn a lot of cool things, you learn what is needed here, and you can apply that knowledge. In general, you have to be willing to eat a humble cake, which does not mean that you allow people to screw you. But don't consider any mundane tasks "under you" at first.

You should also prepare to change jobs frequently initially. In the beginning, I was always the stand-in for this maternity leave secretary, that sick lady, this guy on a career development reassignment. That's great. You quickly learn a lot of different things.

But once you've managed to get into the system and prove yourself for a while, the most important step is to land a fixed-term contract. The hiring process for short-term contracts is comparatively unbureaucratic, designed to quickly obtain replacements for staff on sick leave / other assignments / retired, etc.

However, for a fixed period, you must formally apply for the job officially advertised on the UN agency website. You will compete against dozens of insiders and hundreds of outsiders (whose chances are negligible). You must "fear" more internal competitors ...

Often times, you will have done a great job on your temporary post, but now the time has come for it to be officially announced. Maybe the guy he's been replacing (because he himself was temporary at a higher grade level) now got the "highest job for real", and now he can do the same. Apply for your own job! To really get it.

You'll be faced with the fact that other 360s want that job too. But since you've already kept the hot chair on the desk for a while, your chances of getting it are very, very high if you've done a good job. However, they are never 100%.

And you will face a wait.

Getting a fixed term as a general service staff (less professional) rewards you with a very strong contract and very high job security. But between clicking the submit button and actually being interviewed (either for the job you're already sitting in, or another, if you're invited for an interview) three months can easily go by. When you walk out of the interview feeling pretty confident, you still need to prepare to wait two and a half to four months for that precious email informing you that you got the job. Seriously. Be patient.

You may also know in advance that your current job has a timestamp (maternity leave, she will come back), so you will apply for many jobs in addition to your current one, the ones that have already been advertised in the system. Be prepared to submit about 25 job applications and attend 7 interviews before you get the "Yes, baby!" Message. (my experience)

Wow ... not sure how focused this article was ... I am writing it today because I was privileged to be recently promoted to a higher G staff level. And I have a secure long-term contract. It has been a great battle within the UN system to get to where I am now. And I can still go further, but I'll let it rest for a while.

Good luck applicants! Maybe my information above will give you some useful ideas ...

From UN Racing:

Professionals and higher categories:
Typically, a higher college degree is required for professional and director level positions. However, it is often accepted that if you have a top-notch college degree, combined with qualified work experience, you meet the educational requirements.
Positions in certain work families, including military, civil police, medical, conference services may have different standards for minimum educational requirements, which are consequently reflected in their respective vacancies. Work family positions

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From UN Racing:

Professionals and higher categories:
Typically, a higher college degree is required for professional and director level positions. However, it is often accepted that if you have a top-notch college degree, combined with qualified work experience, you meet the educational requirements.
Positions in certain work families, including military, civil police, medical, conference services may have different standards for minimum educational requirements, which are consequently reflected in their respective vacancies. Jobs from working families that require specialized studies, for example medical, require an advanced university degree, which cannot be substituted by a combination of a first-level university degree and experience. Positions in some other areas, primarily language positions, may require only a first-level college degree for minimum educational requirements.


General Services and Related Categories:
High School Diploma or Equivalent; work experience to the job position at your level.
General service staff and related categories are generally recruited locally in the area in which the particular office is located, but can be of any nationality. As a result, these officers are generally not expected to move between duty stations. Jobs in selected language positions in the general service category, such as editing and desktop publishing assistants, can be hired internationally if candidates with special language requirements are not available locally.
Entry-level jobs in General Service and related categories are generally advertised locally, which means you won't see those jobs listed on this website. You should contact local offices directly to inquire about their entry-level job openings. Contact details for the main United Nations offices can be found in the "Where we are" section.
At the Organization's headquarters in New York, jobs such as drivers, electricians, building management and printing personnel fall under a related category called Trades and Trades (TC). Similarly, Security Officer jobs in New York are advertised as a separate category called Security (S), and tour guides in New York as Public Information Assistants (PIA). Another related category is Language Teachers (LT), for whom positions can only be found in New York and Geneva. In all other duty stations, these jobs are included and listed in the general service chart.
You can go from the general services and related categories table to the professional category only by passing a special contest subject to certain conditions.

National Professional Officers: National Professional Officers
are normally recruited locally and perform functions at the professional level. The qualifications of the National Professional Officers are the same as those of the Professional category and require at least a first-level university degree. Jobs for National Professional Officers can only be found at duty stations away from headquarters.
National Professional Officers are nationals of the country in which they serve and their functions must have a national context, that is, functions that require national experience or knowledge of the national language, culture, institutions and systems. Examples of these positions include human rights officers, political affairs officers, legal officers, medical officers, child protection officers, humanitarian affairs officers, interpreters, and civil engineers.
There are five levels of National Professional Officers, from A to E. The higher the level, the more responsibilities the job requires and the more work experience is required.

National Professional Officers are normally recruited locally and perform functions at the professional level. The qualifications of the National Professional Officers are the same as those of the Professional category and require at least a first-level university degree. Jobs for National Professional Officers can only be found at duty stations away from headquarters.
National Professional Officers are nationals of the country in which they serve and their functions must have a national context, that is, functions that require national experience or knowledge of the national language, culture, institutions and systems. Examples of these positions include human rights officers, political affairs officers, legal officers, medical officers, child protection officers, humanitarian affairs officers, interpreters, and civil engineers.
There are five levels of National Professional Officers, from A to E. The higher the level, the more responsibilities the job requires and the more work experience is required.

The
staff in the Field Service category of the Mobile Service is usually contracted internationally to serve in field missions. You are expected to be highly mobile and to serve in different locations during your career.
Field Service officers provide administrative, technical, logistical and other services to United Nations missions in the field. You are required to have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent; some positions may require a technical or vocational certificate.
There are four levels of the field service category: FS-4 through FS-7. As you gain more relevant work experience, you can progressively apply for higher positions.

Senior Appointments
As is the practice in many other international institutions, one rises to the highest positions in the Secretariat, either by appointing the legislative bodies of the Organization or the Chief Administrative Officer.

These positions include:
Secretary General: appointed by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the
Assistant Secretary General of the Security Council, appointed by the Secretary General after consultation with the Assistant Secretary General of the Member States
(USG) A Head of Department, appointed by the Secretary General
Assistant Secretary General (ASG)
A Head of Office, appointed by the Secretary General


The Secretary General has broad authority to appoint senior personnel at the ASG and USG levels, as well as special envoys at all levels. However, the appointment of various senior officials is subject to specific requirements set forth in General Assembly resolutions or related legislative documents. For instance:

  • The Assistant Secretary General of the Office of Internal Oversight Services is appointed by the Secretary General after consulting with the Member States and receiving approval from the General Assembly.
  • Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and Force Commanders in peacekeeping missions are appointed in accordance with a long-standing practice that the Secretary-General informs the Security Council of his intention to appoint such officials prior to a decision is made.
  • A Special Representative or Special Envoy is a highly respected expert who has been appointed by the Secretary-General to represent him on a number of critical issues. Typically this involves ongoing negotiations with governments at the highest level on issues such as human rights, peacebuilding and maintenance, conflict resolution and post-conflict recovery, as well as post-conflict recovery. emergency. A Force Commander is the head of the United Nations peacekeeping troops where they are deployed.

A title is a requirement, it's just something you check a box. Get the best grades. Get a master's degree if you can. Meet people who already work within the UN system. Network. If you want to know how important that is: sometimes UN staff members ask the question "does the front door still exist?" joke. Also, it is an advantage if you have a nationality that is currently underrepresented in the current staff number. So if you are American and would like to work at the Registry in New York, if you are Dutch and want to work in The Hague in one of the judicial institutions, or if you are Swiss and it is

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A title is a requirement, it's just something you check a box. Get the best grades. Get a master's degree if you can. Meet people who already work within the UN system. Network. If you want to know how important that is: sometimes UN staff members ask the question "does the front door still exist?" joke. Also, it is an advantage if you have a nationality that is currently underrepresented in the current staff number. So if you are American and would like to work at the Secretariat in New York, if you are Dutch and want to work in The Hague at one of the judicial institutions, or if you are Swiss and are looking to apply for a job at UNOG in Geneva, you will have less likely to get in than, say, someone from Benin or Brazil.

UNjobfinder, UNjobs, etc. they are excellent tools: I'm with Magnus here.

Also, don't do unpaid internships incessantly. If you do, people may start to think that you believe your work is worthless. A few, preferably geared to your interest, unpaid internships are fine, but no more than two years of unpaid internships as many people do.

This question comes up a lot. My .02 below. If you have questions, let me know.

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Some people train for it. Others stumble upon it. Being a good humanitarian means understanding humanitarian principles and practice. You need to know international humanitarian law (that doesn't mean a law degree, just in-depth knowledge) and then understand the tools that humanitarian workers use. Get started with the Sphere Handbook. You can get into it with one skill: health, shelter, protection, water / sanitation / hygiene, site planning, education, logistics, nutrition / food safety or something else. Or maybe you come int

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This question comes up a lot. My .02 below. If you have questions, let me know.

———

Some people train for it. Others stumble upon it. Being a good humanitarian means understanding humanitarian principles and practice. You need to know international humanitarian law (that doesn't mean a law degree, just in-depth knowledge) and then understand the tools that humanitarian workers use. Get started with the Sphere Handbook. You can get into it with one skill: health, shelter, protection, water / sanitation / hygiene, site planning, education, logistics, nutrition / food safety or something else. Or maybe you become a generalist, which is fine too; In that case, you may be writing proposals for a while, supporting and collaborating when necessary. In any case, You need experience in the field 1) to see if this job is really for you 2) to learn and 3) to establish your credibility. Most people start with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It is relatively rare to start with the UN and other multilateral organizations from scratch. So see where NGOs have the hardest time finding good people and apply. Maybe it's a six-month contract in Chad, but that will turn into another contract, and then another, and before you know it, you have a good experience. Learning languages ​​opens doors. Personal opinion. It is relatively rare to start with the UN and other multilateral organizations from scratch. So see where NGOs have the hardest time finding good people and apply. Maybe it's a six-month contract in Chad, but that will turn into another contract, and then another, and before you know it, you have a good experience. Learning languages ​​opens doors. Personal opinion. It is relatively rare to start with the UN and other multilateral organizations from scratch. So see where NGOs have the hardest time finding good people and apply. Maybe it's a six-month contract in Chad, but that will turn into another contract, and then another, and before you know it, you have a good experience. Learning languages ​​opens doors. Personal opinion.

First of all, I am a UN retiree having been an employee of the UN and other international organizations for over fifteen years as a professional in social development affairs. I can only refer to my experience and what I have seen during the performance of my job. Maybe. A specialized employee of the UN agency or department issuing these documents can expand on these comments.

You can only obtain a UN passport if you are a formal employee hired by the organization and / or are on a mission in a foreign country where this identification is needed to fulfill your duties. Often

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First of all, I am a UN retiree having been an employee of the UN and other international organizations for over fifteen years as a professional in social development affairs. I can only refer to my experience and what I have seen during the performance of my job. Maybe. A specialized employee of the UN agency or department issuing these documents can expand on these comments.

You can only obtain a UN passport if you are a formal employee hired by the organization and / or on a mission in a foreign country where this identification is needed to fulfill your duties. Often times, the latter also depends on how long the job will last. Also, if you are a close relative of a UN staff member, the UN office in charge may request a passport from you and issue the document. Generally, the latter covers close relatives such as wife and children or other special situations when this relative belongs to the immediate family and / or lives with them in the same residence.

"To get a job at the United Nations"?

If that's all you want then give it up. Competition is fierce and internal contacts are between very important and essential.

If you are looking for a specific and useful job, follow JC's advice below.

I am constantly amazed and disgusted by the number of people whose sole goal is to get a comfortable, safe and tax-free job at the UN, without even considering what they might actually contribute.

And, from my experience after 3 years in the field with the UN, the headquarters are full of useless, idle, bureaucratic

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"To get a job at the United Nations"?

If that's all you want then give it up. Competition is fierce and internal contacts are between very important and essential.

If you are looking for a specific and useful job, follow JC's advice below.

I am constantly amazed and disgusted by the number of people whose sole goal is to get a comfortable, safe and tax-free job at the UN, without even considering what they might actually contribute.

And, in my experience after 3 years in the field with the UN, the headquarters are full of those bureaucratic, useless and idle nullities, which only serve to fatten the already heavy procedures of the UN.

I am not suggesting that OP is necessarily one of them. But the way the question is phrased undoubtedly raises suspicions. . . . .

A degree that represents HARD skills such as urban planning, water and sanitation engineering, public health education, information technology, etc. The UN, OSCE, various NGOs, etc. want people with hard skills, not general things like "international relations". - That is a good title to complement a title that represents hard skills. See also: How to pursue a career at the United Nations or other international humanitarian organizations

You could do honors in political science with international relations. But there are no such criteria for working with the UN. You could work for WHO if you are in the health sector. You just have to be really good at what you're doing and of course the right contacts in the right places are always the icing on the cake!

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