In November 2019, I received an email from the United Nations Academic Impact team that would change my path. I don’t mean to sound cliché, but since I heard I was selected for the internship programme at United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), I knew everything would be different for me. 

I studied journalism with a specialization in Human Rights in my home country of Brazil and I recently completed a master’s degree in Education in Germany and Egypt. I've always dreamed of becoming a communications specialist for an international humanitarian institution, and opportunity at the UN would set me miles ahead towards reaching my goal. That is why I got so excited about this new chapter in my career. 

My internship started in February 2020 and ended in August. It was very challenging to handle my responsibilities as an intern and completing my master courses and thesis deadlines, while the whole world was coping with an unexpected pandemic that kept everyone quarantined. However, the truth is that this atypical scenario made me learn a lot about my limits, my strengths, and my capacity of being resilient and flexible when needed. This only happened because I had an extremely supportive team who believed in me. 

I will never forget how proud I felt when I supported the "75 for UN75" webinars, which are a series of online dialogues with globally renowned scholars and experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon. I have also played a leading role in organizing and served as the moderator of a webinar held in Portuguese. The “75 for UN75: A Conversation on Technology and Higher Education” brought together education experts from Brazil, Cabo Verde and Portugal, and discussed themes including the contribution of academia in achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the humanization of education during this unprecedented pandemic time, and the challenges faced by developing countries in keeping up with the technological updates that virtual education requires. It was definitely a rich experience and a big achievement worth highlighting.

Besides the “75 For UN75”, I had a key role in the UNAI interview series about the impact of COVID-19 on higher education, by conducting interviews in Spanish and English, and producing articles, podcasts and visuals. This is probably the most interesting part of being a UNAI intern - you feel important and respected as a professional. Your ideas, opinions and suggestions really matter. 

After completing my studies and the internship, I am ready to pursue new dreams and meet new challenges. I cannot wait to see what the future will be like for me, and I am beyond happy and thankful to know that UNAI will always be part of this story.