UN Internship in the Middle East
Tell me if:
– You’ve been looking for a chance to jump ship from your job, but still want to land somewhere
– You’re willing to do an unpaid internship to get your foot in the door
– You’re ready to live in a conservative, Muslim country, and also totally okay with limited to no alcohol for six months or longer.
– You’re passionate about humanitarian work, and ready to commit NOW.
The UN in the Middle East has an opening for an intern, to start in August 2019. And if you said yes to all of the above, then maybe it’s just the right opportunity for you.
Before you get caught up in thoughts like, “But I need something PAID!”, my dear, just hang on for a second.
Like my friend Genevieve said, doing an internship at the UN is one of the BEST, if not THE best way to get familiar with how such a large, famous, and famously bureaucratic organisation operates.
And once you know how that bureacracy works (and who they hire), you can easily and quickly go about being or becoming the kind of profile they accept for consultant and P3+ roles in field offices around the world.
That’s the topic of this post: What’s the back door, easy way to walk into a P-3 Job?
Here it is: a communications internship in a relatively affordable city (even if the residents disagree) with warm, hospitable locals and great food you can get even well past midnight on a Tuesday. Anyone can apply (whether or not you’re a student) and any nationality is welcome (even if you’re Israeli).
Plus, you can visit places like the ruins of Petra (Middle Eastern version of Macchu Picchu) on a weekend, or go to a hammam on Thursday night with your friends and come out feeling like a million bucks.
And, the locals are super friendly:
“… [the locals] are unbelievably welcoming, and the tradition of hospitality is so embedded in the culture. Inviting someone into your home — even a stranger — is basically the same as saying “hi” here,” says Kelly, who moved to a smaller town from the US with her husband.
“Almost every day, I would walk through the market with my son in his baby carrier, and we would buy things we needed and get to know shop owners. Often, women would approach us, love on my little guy and invite us to their homes. Plenty of times, I would take them up on it and we’d sit, drink tea and chat. I have made such lovely friends this way, and it has made our time here so special. I’d only had a bit of formal Arabic training, so I basically learned the language through the kindness of strangers.”
You don’t need to claw your way into a gig in an expensive city like Geneva or New York City, even if, in the long run, you’d prefer to be based somewhere calm and stable like Western Europe, or you want to stay close to home in South America or Eastern Canada. Instead, UN insiders know that, when you invest your time into roles like these – where you’ll learn a lot working in a field office and have the chance to learn a UN language like Arabic after work – you reap the benefits for years afterward, and build a network that translates into a life working at headquarters because of a connection you made that year you lived in the Middle East.