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Internship with the United Nations Information Service at Geneva

About the United Nations Information Service
The Information Service is the voice of the United Nations Office at Geneva. As such, it informs Switzerland and the world about Geneva’s unique role in international relations and disseminates information on the Geneva-based activities of the United Nations relating to human rights, humanitarian affairs, peace and security/disarmament, as well as environmental protection and economic and social development.

Description of Duties Performed by Interns
Interns will contribute to the work of the three sections of the Service by, inter alia,

In the Press and External Relations Section:
  • organizing information programmes by liaising with United Nations officials and groups of students, diplomats and NGOs;
  • contributing to the daily review of international newspapers (in English and French);
  • identifying articles on the United Nations and its activities in the Swiss press and drafting English summaries for the Secretary-General's spokesman in New York and other United Nations officials;
  • helping organize the yearly Graduate Study Programme (every July);
  • contributing to the organization of commemorative events.

In the TV and Radio Section:
  • assisting in radio and TV coverage and production by researching story ideas, transcribing news cuts, preparing briefing summaries, accompanying visiting TV crews and photographers, preparing shot lists, carrying out interviews and helping to prepare news reports.

In the Visitors' Service:
  • assisting the dispatcher in logistical management at the welcome desk of the Visitors' Service;
  • assisting the back office with-the preparation of the daily morning briefing (monitor news, get latest press releases and United Nations news),
    - the implementation of administrative tasks (filing, faxing and sorting documents)
    - the reorganization of publications and information leaflets
    - the production of new public outreach material.

The intern will also conduct any other tasks in line with his/her background, including work related to information technology, graphic design, translation, etc.

Guide for Interns

Administrative instruction: United Nations internship programme

Learning Elements
Internships offer qualified young people a hands-on experience to gain special insight into the information work of the United Nations in Geneva. Interns can:
  • familiarize themselves with the communications services and outreach efforts of the Information Service, including press conferences/briefings, news releases, television and radio coverage, guided tours, public presentations, information programmes and the annual Graduate Study Programme;
  • observe and practice official communication, in French and English, with various internal and external stakeholders such as journalists, students, NGO representatives, visitors and civil servants;
  • learn about the tools and skills needed for media monitoring;
  • acquire knowledge of the administrative and logistics procedures and systems within the United Nations Secretariat in Geneva;
  • get acquainted with the work of the Radio and TV Section and gain experience in the preparation and production of TV and radio coverage;
  • familiarize themselves with the activities of the Visitors' Service and learn how to contribute to the smooth functioning of guided tours;
  • deepen and broaden their knowledge of human rights, humanitarian affairs, peace and security/disarmament, as well as environmental protection and economic and social development by contributing to the organization of and participating as observers in the Service's press conferences/briefings, roundtables, commemorative events and conferences and the annual Graduate Study Programme.

Internships last from two to six months and take place at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. Applications can be made at any time of the year.

Interns are not paid. The acquisition of visas, the arrangements and costs of travel and accommodation are the responsibility of the interns or of their sponsoring institutions.

The internship programme is in no way connected with employment with the United Nations. Interns wishing to be considered for employment with the United Nations, even if otherwise fully qualified, are not eligible for employment either during their internship or within the six-month period immediately following the end of their internship.

Required Skills and Qualifications
The internship is open to students enrolled in postgraduate institutions, or to students having successfully completed at least four years of full-time studies towards the completion of a degree at a university or equivalent institution in countries where higher education is not divided into undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Successful candidates will have studied media and communications, journalism, public relations, information management or a related subject, or demonstrate a very strong interest in these fields.

Interested students should have a very good knowledge of either French or English and a working knowledge of the other. Knowledge of another United Nations language, or of German, is an asset. Interns should be computer-literate in Microsoft Office and internet browsers.

Applicants must be dynamic and well-organized, open-minded and able to work in a multicultural environment, as well as oriented towards teamwork and information-sharing.

Application Procedure
Interested students should read the general conditions governing internships at UNOG, and send the complete application form, a CV, a letter of motivation, and, if possible, an academic or professional reference letter to Ms. Sylvie Bletry, either by email (unisintern@unog.ch) or by post at the address:

Ms. Sylvie Bletry, Information Assistant
United Nations Information Service
Palais des Nations
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

The United Nations Office at Geneva also offers internships in many other fields. Applications in fields other than public information should be sent to internship@unog.ch.