5 things I've learned at UNDP


I first learned about the UN internship in the third year of my studies at the university. After annual student debates, UN held an open house day, toured us around its building and introduced to different agencies. Our guide, an intern at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), shared her impressions of the internship. However, I thought that I would not fit this role, as I was studying economics and internship was provided wiht communication department.

Two years later, I saw an announcement for recruitment of interns and decided to test my luck. I wanted to gain some work experience after graduation and I was curious to learn how the international organization works and functions from the inside. I read about the UN and visited the website many times, but I had a vague understanding of the specific actions carried out by UN agencies.

Today, I am a part of the UNDP team, and this experience has changed my perspective of many things.

I work as communication intern for UNDP, and my duties cover all UNDP projects, which helps me better understand the mandate of the organization and its partners.

Creating and managing content on social media, writing articles, conducting interviews - all of these actions were new to me. Gradually, I mastered these skills and received positive feedback from my supervisor. It encouraged me and gave me an incentive for new ideas. I now understand that communications is not a journalism. Working for UNDP requires various knowledge and skills, and my economic education came in handy as it helped me to uncover aspects of economic and social growth. At the same time, I began to better understand what development is and how multifaceted this concept is.

For myself, I highlighted several skills that I've learned during the internship:

1.      I've learned how to create an online content that provides brief information about the work done. The easiest way to deliver information is a post on social media, a more advanced one is a newsletter. It is very important to correctly collect and document the information without distorting the essence and without losing its meaning.

2.      I've learned to explain complex topics in easy and comprehensive way, highlighting the most interesting part. In the process of preparing the text, I read a lot of useful information. Also, while researching the topic, I found many websites of government organizations that are periodically updated and may be useful in my work.

3.      I've learned how to create infographics. A bright, visualized image with brief information is always well-perceived by the audience. Since the work of an economist is associated with numerous numbers, I will definitely use this in my future work.

4.      I've learned to conduct interviews to get detailed information about the project. At UNDP, I met very interesting and experienced people and experts who were ready to talk about their work and answer all the questions that I had. This helped me learn about their work, but also was a good exercise on how to prepare for interview with an expert. 

5.      I've mastered the skills of quality translation. Since our goal is to reach a wide audience, I prepare all my texts in three languages. Even though I am fluent in Turkmen, at times, I had to think and make an effort in translatation. Currently, all international contracts and legal documents are prepared in three languages. I believe this skill will be a good addition to my education of an economist.

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