Master of Business and Administration in e-Business, L-Università ta' Malta, Msida, Malta
Bachelor of Science in Business and Computing,
L-Università ta' Malta, Msida, Malta
Maltese, English, Italian, French
Being from Malta, I was always interested in the plight of small island developing states and the effect climate change had on them. I knew that an organization such as the United Nations would provide the perfect opportunity to work towards global solutions such as sustainable energy development. After working in the private technology sector for many years, I felt that something was missing. I needed to work for a greater purpose beyond money, work for a cause I believed in. I came across an advertisement for the United Nations National Competitive Recruitment Examination (now the Young Professionals Programme) and decided to take my chances and sign up. After the exam and a round of interviews, I was assigned to my first post: Ethiopia.
Until then I had only seen the country on the television, so you could say I was a bit nervous. I had never been to Africa before; the poverty struck me immediately as I entered the airport. My new job quickly erased any apprehensions that I may have felt initially. I was assigned to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Science and Technology Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa working towards leveraging technology for development in Africa. Within that brief amount of time, I knew that I had made the right decision.
While my first job with the United Nations was in IT, I was eventually transferred to the United Nations Office at Nairobi where I worked as a Human Resources Officer. It may seem like a strange transition, but the opportunity to branch out of my specific field is one of my favorite things about the Organization. I was able to use my technology background in human resources while learning many things outside of my area of expertise. I was not limited to just one job; as an IT person, I was able to fit into various functions. It is never solely a square peg in a square hole with the roles that you fulfill here.
In my current job as Information Systems Officer, I have many different roles, as does my unit. With a steady stream of simultaneous projects at various stages of completion, we have to design and implement systems, negotiate funding, see projects through procurement, recruit consultants, conduct training, perform evaluations, and support users. Hundreds of meetings are held every year at the Nairobi duty station, with thousands of delegates passing through our doors, and we have to make sure that all of our systems are functioning properly for them to conduct their meetings.
Recently we serviced the very first United Nations Environment Assembly in which about 1,200 people from 163 Member States, including the Secretary-General, came to our duty station for a seven-day conference. My unit was tasked with ensuring that all the technology, from web-streaming to interpretation systems, was functioning and stable. There was a major security threat hanging over the conference because of the attack in Nairobi the previous year, but I am happy to say that the assembly was successful. Providing a platform for this conference was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career here. It was landmark event in which sixteen resolutions were passed, most of which I knew would directly impact my home, Malta.
Meeting the Secretary-General face-to-face inspires one to take forward the work of the United Nations. Even though your job might not appear to be a distinguished role, your contribution is important. Whichever office you work in, you are still promoting the ideas that are in the Charter of the United Nations. As employees of this organization, we are creating a platform where universal problems can be discussed at the table, rather than on the battlefield. If you keep the Charter in mind, it keeps you motivated to work towards the common good.