Working for any organization during a global pandemic was never going to be easy. As a team that relies on personal connections between universities and the United Nations, fulfilling that aspect of the United Nations Academic Impact’s work was a challenge. However, it was a challenge that I felt prepared to tackle when I was onboarded in January 2021. During my time there, I participated in 27 weekly team meetings remotely, before finally meeting my team in New York. Being at the UN headquarters in person made the internship experience even better, as I was able to see the culmination of my work first-hand.
As a graduate student in Development Practice, I was intrigued by the prospect of working within the UN system and seeing up close how one of the largest developmental organizations operated. I have a keen interest in the role young people can play in development, having done previous work on the topic. When I saw that UNAI was looking for an intern, I jumped at the chance to be part of this close-knit, unique team within the Department of Global Communications.
During my time with UNAI, I worked closely with my fellow intern on social media, the weekly newsletter, webinar summaries and content production. Although I had day-to-day tasks, there were always new and exciting opportunities to learn, whether that was through lectures on interesting topics, or looking for content to disseminate to our audience.
My proudest moment during the internship was when I organized and moderated a webinar titled ‘COVID-19 and Youth Employment’, which looked at the impact of the pandemic on young people’s career and education pathways. This webinar was accompanied by an article series on a similar topic, which took a deep dive into what young people experience today looking for jobs or pursuing higher education.
I was also lucky enough to be involved in the annual Committee on Information, which presented me with an opportunity to assist in drafting a section of the Report of the Committee on Information. Being part of such an important and interesting part of the Department’s work made me incredibly proud to be an intern there and opened my eyes to the ways in which the international community comes together to tackle global issues.
Looking forward, the experience at UNAI has given me confidence in my communication skills, and has furthered my passion for working in the international development sphere. I can only hope to continue supporting young people in academia in whatever capacity I can.