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Where to start  

Working for the UN, World Bank or other international organisation is usually a mid-career option. Options for new graduates include internships, many of which are unpaid, and some early entry schemes such as the UN’s Young Professionals Programme for underrepresented nations.

 

 

How to know if you’re suited to this sector

These careers are for you if you are committed to being an international civil servant, and have the ability to work alongside colleagues from many nations.

How to get the experience to be credible

Try UN Online Volunteers and UN Volunteers to get field experience. Do an internship - find these on the individual agency websites and at careers.un.org.

International organisations tend to want specialists rather than generalists so developing a transferable skill in an NGO or the public or corporate sector is highly valuable.

Further study or certification required

For experienced hires you are very likely to need a master’s relevant to the job you are applying for. Internships within UN organisations do not require a master’s. You can intern within one year of graduating from an undergraduate or postgraduate course.

How to find employers or training courses
Tips for succeeding in the application or selection process

You must tailor your experience very explicitly to the specific organisation, team and role. Hard evidence to back up your claim that you have the skills is essential as you need to be able to prove that you are the best candidate - globally.

What Cambridge offers to help with this career

Cambridge Global Health and Human Rights Internship

Annual briefing ‘Interning with the UN’ - see our 'catch up on past talks' page

Postgraduate students can attend the LSE International Organisations Week, which takes place during the sixth week of Michaelmas term.

Other things you should know

The secret is to find a niche - think laterally and find a few options of where your specific interests, skills and experience might fit in these vast organisations.