This careers event was held at the University of Leeds, and was hosted by John Ericson, Chief of the Outreach Unit of the UN, who had travelled from the UN Secretariat in New York. The talk was focused on the wide range of jobs at the UN available to graduates and young people, and also the requirements and routes you need to take in order to apply.John explained the process of application, and gave advice on how to structure a cover letter for jobs at the UN, and described other elements such as the Personal History Profile (PHP) that is part of the application. Each job has a variety of different requirements, including work experience. An example of the jobs that were presented are the Young Professionals Programme (YPP) and Junior Professional Officer (JPO). The former does not require work experience and has an examination process. The JPO positions are sponsored by the government of the applicant’s home country.
The talk explained how many branches there are of the UN that have jobs available, including the IMF and World Bank, the UN Secretariat among many others, covering locations such as Beirut, Washington DC, New York and Geneva. Areas include project management, security, humanitarian affairs, human rights and social affairs. Competition is extremely high, so it was advised that participants have at least a Master’s degree, and would benefit from, but it is not essential, having proficiency in at least two languages. Due to the range of jobs available, the degree held by an applicant can be from a wide variety of disciplines including law, finance, information technology, economics and languages to name a few.
The UN also offer unpaid internships of 2-6 months for people who are in their first year of graduating. It was explained that this was an ideal opportunity for those who want to explore the options of working for the UN, and to get an idea of what the UN does and how they operate.
Overall, the lecture was extremely informative, giving all the information you would need prior to applying for a job anywhere within the United Nations.
For more information on the jobs available and their descriptions: careers.un.org