Julia Gorlovetskaya describes her experience as an intern for United Nations Academic Impact and her journey developing the #Work4UN interview series:
A New York City native, I often walked by the UN Headquarters, marveling at the massiveness of the structure, trying to imagine what went on within its concrete walls. My perception of the UN, as mysterious as it had been, was turned on its head when I traveled to Nepal, Jordan, and Chile to study human rights. Through research and field visits to UN sites, I realized that the UN’s scope of work spanned much broader than the conferences and high-level events that it is most known for. From community building, to peacekeeping, to connecting global institutions around shared ideals – the UN touched the lives of all and had a job for everyone.
Inspired to find my own niche at the UN, I was beyond thrilled when I received an internship offer at the UN Headquarters in NYC. I felt particularly grateful for the opportunity to work with UNAI, as its mission to unite universities around the world struck a chord with my own interests in youth empowerment and education. Serving as a “youth spokesperson” for UNAI, I liaised with many of UNAI’s member institutions in order to learn about their sustainability efforts and draft articles and social media posts to publicize their work.
Perhaps the most invaluable experience of my internship was the opportunity to pursue an independent project of my choice. Since I am passionate about strategic communications in social advocacy, I decided to complete a comprehensive digital marketing plan for UNAI. This project allowed me to delve deep into analytics, learning first-hand what goes into successful social campaigns and messaging. Through my research, I discovered that our youthful audience was very interested in working for the UN, but found the UN system confusing. I related strongly to this sentiment, as I, like many other UN interns, have found it difficult to navigate the UN system and all its many entry points for career development. Motivated by my desire to strengthen youth involvement, I set out to produce, film, and edit a series interviewing different UN professionals about their journey joining the UN and the kind of advice they can offer young professionals. The resulting #Work4UN series was a great success, receiving the highest engagements of the year on UNAI’s social platforms and reaching the audiences of international NGOs and universities. This series was not only a beneficial, evergreen resource for international youth and UN interns, but also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to build relationships with so many career professionals across different departments. The mentorship I received from these leading experts has deeply influenced my career aspirations and set me on the path I am on today.
My experience interning at UNAI was unlike any other internship at the UN. This is largely due to the trust the UNAI family enlisted in me. Providing me with the resources and guidance to pursue my passions and deeply believing in my vision, the team inspired me to take initiative, tap into my diverse talents, and create work with long lasting impact. The UN no longer feels as daunting and “mysterious” as it once did; to the contrary, it feels a bit like home.