Friday, October 24, 2014

What I Did Over the Summer: Sirtaj K

Today we have a student blog post by Sirtaj K.  Enjoy!

What did you do over the summer?
I spent the summer in Bonn, Germany, working for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) for the Awareness Raising, Communications and Education department. It was by a stroke of luck that I chanced upon this internship. I had applied to the Capacity Building Marketplace at the UNCCD but did not get the internship. A couple of days later I was contacted by the Awareness Raising, Communications and Education department telling me that the Capacity Building Marketplace had forwarded my resume to them and asking me whether I would like to intern with them. It turns out that my experience was better suited for a communications internship.
Of course I was very excited to be working at the UN, also because I have been passionate about environmental issues since I was a teenager. At the UNCCD, I worked under various media experts and drafted opinion and editorial pieces for the UNCCD, drafted and published their web content and assisted in the drafting of an information brochure on a Rights Based Approach to Adaptation to climate change. I was pleasantly surprised by how much trust and faith the UNCCD puts in their interns. We were given many different kinds of responsibilities and during meetings we sat at the same table as all other employees of the UN.
The experience gave me an insight into what the aims and objectives of the UN environmental agencies are and how they function. In addition to that, Bonn is a lovely city to spend the summer in. It is centrally located between Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin and Brussels and I had an excellent summer consisting of work and travel.​
–Sirtaj K., SAIS Admissions Student Blogger