My Summer at the U.N.: How an internship became a ‘forever treasure’
During summer 2019, I had the opportunity to intern at the New York Office of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). I also had the honor to work under the supervision of Marco Suazo, head of the New York Office and the former Deputy Permanent Representative of Honduras to the United Nations, along with Pelayo Alvarez, program coordinator.
What an amazing experience!
Both Mr. Suazo and Mr. Pelayo — I am being formal, but I also consider them my friends — served as invaluable mentors during this journey. Plus, I worked with remarkable young professionals, who I was happy to call my colleagues.
The New York Office of UNITAR is a training arm of the United Nations, with a mission of developing capacities to enhance global decision making and supporting country-level action for shaping a better future. The organization provides training and development projects primarily to assist members of the world’s least-developed countries.
In my time there, I gained experience in finance and multilateral diplomacy, and so much more.
UNITAR allowed me to work in tasks that enhanced my two areas of study at Stetson: finance and world languages and cultures. I was able to hone my financial skills by presenting project and budget proposals to members of the Permanent Missions to the United Nations and other organizations. Likewise, I was able to strengthen my technical skills by establishing the finance and statistics sections of the Midterm Summary Report, among other duties.
I also assisted the office by supporting the logistics and program management involving representatives such as ambassadors and diplomats. Further, I supported projects that equipped members of the diplomatic community with the ability to contribute to the United Nations’ deliberative process and policy-making.
The most remarkable aspects of my internship were the guidance and encouragement I received from both supervisors and colleagues, and the opportunities for education.
The UNITAR-New York Office team promoted collaboration and professionalism. As part of that approach, we were continually incentivized to learn more about the United Nations and its projects. For example, I had the opportunity to attend the elections of the 74th President of the General Assembly, as well as meetings of the Security Council.
I was allowed to participate in the organization and implementation of the UNITAR Economic and Social Council resolution. I was invited to attend bilateral meetings with high-ranking officials of the United Nations. Additionally, I was able to help manage and develop capacity-building events that were co-organized with other offices, including the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Division for Sustainable Development Goals.
In reality, the experience was more than amazing.
The professional background I acquired in UNITAR was exceptional, but the unique opportunity to be directly exposed to the inner workings of the U.N. and UNITAR was immeasurable.
As a person who loves to study finance, I can truly say this was a chapter in my life I will forever treasure.
Camila Morales has dual majors at Stetson: world languages and culture with concentrations in French and Spanish, and finance. Also, Morales is a security analyst in Stetson’s Roland George Investments Program at the School of Business Administration. She expects to graduate in May 2020.