Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá Colombia
My love for the Organization began while I was a high school student in Bogotá, Colombia, when together with other students I was asked to represent Belgium in a model United Nations exercise. These model programmes encourage skills building in diplomacy, internationalism as well as leadership in young students. We studied and wrote about children’s rights, poverty, and modern slavery. Our research hub was the United Nations Library in Bogotá, and I vividly remember my first visit. Gazing up at the flags and perusing aisles of books, I knew that one day I would make positive change within the Organization.
I grew up in big, bustling, Bogotá, and attended the Universidad de los Andes where I took a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business. Before graduation, I worked with an accounting firm in the marketing and communication department doing market research, supporting the firm’s brand strategy, as well as planning and organizing events.
One of my dreams was to live abroad, particularly in New York City. I applied to the United Nations because I wanted to use my knowledge and potential to make the world a better place.
I began my career with the Office of Human Resources Management working in the Career Support and Performance Management section. I worked supporting a Mobility programme, which provides staff members with opportunities to grow and learn new skills by through transfer to different positions - both functionally and geographically - across the Organization. These lateral moves allow a Political Affairs Officer from the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) in New York, for example, to become a Political Affairs Officer in the Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA). The programme encourages learning, flexibility, adaptability, and empathy: all essential qualities of United Nations staff.
Currently, I am a Human Resources Assistant and my job is to provide advice and support to United Nations staff members and their families.. My typical day might include inducting a new staff member in their first day of work with the United Nations, helping a staff member with a college-going child apply for an education grant or I might counsel a staff member about benefits and appointments.
Working at the United Nations is unique; I am surrounded and supported by individuals from 192 Member States with different cultures, languages and nationalities. I enjoy the diversity.
My advice for prospective applicants is to be persistent and passionate. Invest time and effort when completing the application, and be sure to seek out job openings that complement your studies and work experience. Good luck.