Students and Young Professionals
Most professional posts in the UN and other international organizations require several years of experience and advanced degrees; however, there are a few programs in place to help highly qualified students and young professionals get their foot in the door.
If your background does not fit the ideal description for these programs, consider gaining field experience by working for a relevant non-governmental organization, non-profit, or applying to volunteer with the Peace Corps. You will gain technical and language skills, along with international experience, that will make your application for a position with an international organization more competitive.
There are many different internship programs across the UN System and in other international organizations. Review the links below to get detailed information about these programs and their respective application processes, as the requirements vary.
Keep in mind the following tips when applying for internships:
- The application process is very competitive, You should review the requirements carefully and devote enough time to completing your application.
- Not all international organizations advertise internship opportunities. If there is an organization you’re interested in but you can’t find a publicly available list of internships, reach out to the organization directly to ask.
- Regional offices tend to be less competitive than headquarters positions. You should apply for a variety of positions both at the headquarters and in the field to improve your chances.
- Some organization, such as the UN Secretariat, impose a "cooling off period" between the end of the internship and an offer of full full-time employment. If you’re looking to transition from an internship into a permanent position, you should research the policies of the organization you’re applying to.
UN Secretariat Internship Program
Internships in the UN Secretariat are usually full-time, between three to six months in duration, and may take place during certain periods of the year. Be vigilant about application procedures and deadlines as they vary depending on the vacant position. Please visit the UN Secretariat’s website for more information.
UN and other international organization internship programs
Junior Professional Officer Program
The United Nations Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Program is a two-year developmental program for young professionals that provides a pathway to a career within the UN system. During the program, JPOs gain experience in the field of multilateral cooperation through on-the-job learning under the supervision of experienced UN staff.
JPO candidates must:
- be a U.S. citizen
- have a master’s degree and 3+ years of experience or a bachelor’s degree and 5+ years of experience
- be no older than 32 years of age as of December 31 of the year of application
How to Apply
Visit https://www.un.org/development/desa/jpo/how-to-apply-faq/ for more information on how to apply.
Current JPO vacancies
Young Professionals Programs
Young Professionals Programs serve as a pipeline for early career professionals to become employees of international organizations. Young professionals programs typically consist of two-year contracts in which the respective international organizations incorporate a variety of training opportunities for a career in multilateral affairs. The organizations below have their own unique programs and eligibility requirements. Please visit the individual international organization websites for more information and application procedures
- African Development Bank Young Professionals Program
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Young Professional Programme
- Inter-American Development Bank Young Professionals Program
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Young Aviation Professionals Program
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Young Professionals Program
- UN Young Professional Program
- UNESCO Young Professional Program
- World Bank Young Professionals Program
- World Health Organization (WHO) Young Professional Programme