2023 Secrets on How to Secure an Internship with the United Nations

Internship with the United Nations

Dozens of young people kickstarting their career are enthusiastic to secure an internship with the United Nations. The truth is, there is stiff competition. One can imagine in a world with more than 4 billion educated people, a prestigious internship with the United Nations or other international organizations attracts a lot of applications from highly qualified individuals. What makes it more competitive is that individuals compete with scholars from top universities. Does this mean one cannot qualify to secure a United Nations Internship? The tips below will help you secure an internship. At the end of this article you will find open internships to apply. Great reading

Internship with the United Nations

Internship with the United Nations

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Internship with the United Nations

Academic Qualifications alignment to UN’s work

Often questions centre around which academic qualifications will help me secure a United Nations Internship. Well the answer is the United Nations Internship is open to individuals from multidisciplinary backgrounds. Thus one can secure a position with an academic background in finance, statistics, journalism, food and nutrition, agriculture, veterinary sciences, security studies, peace, law, communications, political science, journalism, robotics, ICT, International Relations, marketing, strategic studies, business administration, human resources, education, energy, water, environment, climate , biology, chemistry among others

Networking and familiarizing yourself with existing projects and programmes ; Internship with the United Nations

It is also important that a candidate should network with professionals in the United Nations through LinkedIn, networking events and familiarise themselves with projects and programmes being implemented or intended to be implemented. This will help a candidate to already prepare policy oriented or solution based thesis that help the United Nations , its partners and other International organisations .This also increases a chance for one to be considered for a United Nations internship if the academic work aligns to the UN’s work.

Application documents: CV and Motivational Letters, Internship with the United Nations

The best CV and motivational letters for a United Nations Internship should capture essential key words in the job description. This will aid in responding to the advertised positions. Now let’s focus on an example of how one can structure a motivational letter.

Internship with the United Nations

Cover letter in response to an internship advert

Check the advert below . The sample cover letter comes after the internship advert.

Terms of Reference for Two (2) Internship Opportunities (2021)

UNDP Namibia -Energy and Environment

A. Background:Internship with the United Nations
The SEMER component of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is looking for two
upcoming young professionals (national and international) to serve in the capacity of UNDP Interns for a
six-months period who are fully committed and passionate about the wise utilization, protection and
sustainable management of Namibia’s environment, considering the global, regional and national
environmental challenges.

Overall, they should aspire to contribute to Namibia’s long-term economic
progression, social transformation, environmental sustainability and good governance.
Namibia is amongst the best African conservation successes; 44% of the land mass is under conservation
management, and community participation in the management of natural resources has led to an increase of communal conservancies from 66 in 2012 to 92 in 2016; creating about 5,808 jobs in 2014 and
generating approximately USD 7.7 million towards local communities’ benefits.

Yet, utilization of other
natural resources continues to be unsustainable owing to higher demands for such services; expansion of
mining; increased volumes of waste and pollution, notably in ecologically sensitive areas. Further, illegal
wildlife trade and human wildlife conflict are growing challenges. Weak institutional capacity and
inadequate coordination amongst institutions, evidenced in limited implementation and enforcement of
existing legislation and compliance with environmental regulations, remain critical challenges.

About 20%
of urban households cook on fire, and 50% of population relies on daily use of woody biomass for thermal power leading to air pollution and deforestation. Therefore, alternative and diversified renewable energy sources (biomass, solar, wind and hydro) need to be enhanced to improve domestic and economic use of energy in Namibia.

Improved harmonization of environmental policies, including through availability of credible data, will
ensure sustainable management of natural resources. Though sparsely populated, the majority of the
Namibian population is rural and vulnerable to economic and weather-related shocks, highlighting the
need for increased resilience and enhanced ecosystem services.

Namibia’s economy is overly dependent
on the extractive industry with inadequate investments in economic diversification activities. Jobs and skills mismatch have resulted from limited investment in technical and vocational training perpetuating high unemployment impacting particularly women, youth, persons with disabilities and the marginalized. Weak implementation capacity for inclusive growth strategies is impeding pro-poor income and livelihood activities.

Thus, the UNDP EE Programme focuses on building and catalysing nature-based solutions for economic,
social and environmental resilience so that Namibia (the State, the People, and the Institutions) can
safeguard its developmental gains and pathways towards sustainable development as articulated in
Agenda 2030; Agenda 2063; Vision 2030; fifth National Development Plans; and policies, strategies and action plans for water, land, environment, forestry and energy management.

The current Programme 2019-2023 is geared towards supporting Namibia to better manage
environmental risks and enhance capacities (systems, institutions and individuals) required to advance
resilience building as outlined in the national development frameworks, with particular emphasis on
strengthening national ownership; governance and leadership of institutional mechanisms needed to
implement the Environmental Management Act (2007), National Climate Change Policy (2011), Tourism
Bill and Strategy; Parks and Protected Areas Management Bill; and the Multilateral Environmental
Agreements (i.e. the UNCBD, UNCCD and UNFCCC).

UNDP Current Programme: 2019 -2023 is structured along three streams, i.e. (A) Sustainable, Inclusive
and Green Growth (SIGG Portfolio) focusing on Diversified employment, pro-poor income and sustainable
livelihoods for women, youth, persons with disabilities and marginalized population; (B) Sustainable
environmental management and enhanced resilience to shocks and crises (SEMER Portfolio); and (C)
Improved Governance for accountable, Responsive Institutions and Civic Engagement, (i.e. GRICE

The specific call in question is for two (2) National Interns for the SEMER Portfolio to be hosted and seated
at the UNDP office, Windhoek, Namibia. This will aid the two to enhance, improve and build practical
skills and collective national-international intelligence to enhance nature-based solutions. This is strictly an
internship programme and carries no expectations of remunerations but more skills development.
B. General Duties, Responsibilities and Tasks:Internship with the United Nations
The general tasks of the Internship include Concept development, Research and Publication, and Advocacy
and Communication. Explicitly, the intern/s will:

  1. Aid with researching and analyzing key development trends in Namibia
  2. Conduct timely desk top research, analysis, and organizational publication on energy and
  3. Provide support to the initiation of new innovative programmes and projects;
  4. Provide support with the electronic filing system for administrative and operational management
    of environmental interventions information;
  5. Monitor and keep abreast of developments (socio-economic, population dynamics, trends, etc.)
    and broad issues related to environmental management in Namibia, and their linkages to
    development processes in Namibia (using articles, newspapers, and other media sources);
  6. Participate in meetings and workshops and prepare reports (edited minutes, concept notes, issue
    papers, and proposals);
  7. Draft human development interest stories in the areas of work that are supported by or with
    UNDP’ resources;
  8. Monitor newspaper clippings, issues and provide weekly assessments on key issues raised w.r.t
    environmental themes; and
  9. Maintain regular communication with key internal (UN) and external stakeholders (covering the
    public, academia, thin tanks, civil society, and private sector) in the environment, social and
    economic sectors, and;
  10. Ensure exchange of information on planned and on-going activities.
    The specific tasks of the Internship include:
    • Support research and development of energy and environmental initiatives;

3Internship with the United Nations

• Support research and development for environmental financing strategies esp. on climate
financing, renewable energy, and SDGs 13, 14 and 15;
• Establish, build relationship with NGOs, CBOs, Academia, government, and development
partners active in the fields of energy and environment and development financing;
• Formulate project profiles, manage project information, and create project profile databases;
• Monitoring of environmental issues in various media platforms;
• Learn about at least two existing project initiatives, in-depth, applying the knowledge during the
internship period;
• Learn and grow on the project management requirements;
• Seek opportunities for studying further at MA levels, in line with the environmental field; and
• Organize workshops, provide administrative and logistical support.
C. Criteria for selection:Internship with the United Nations
In addition to the Education, prospective Intern Applicants must fulfill and meet the following first five
1) Recent BA or MA graduates (2019-2020) or registered MA students majoring in either environmental
studies, water resource management, climate change or any other international development related
2) Excellent academic performance (attach a copy of your most recent/latest grading report with your
application) or Thesis topic;
3) Outstanding performance on practical or applied assignment/s or most relevant Thesis topic;
4) Fluent in written and spoken English with excellent communication skills;
5) A reference and or supporting letter from one of your University Professors or holiday working
experiences); in addition;

• Graduates with a keen interest or focus on development/environmental financing, nature-
based solutions, climate change adaptation and resilience, renewable energy will get

preferences; and
• Advanced Graduates who are pursuing MA in the field of environmental economics,
development financing or climate financing will get preferences.

Education:Internship with the United Nations
• Student currently enrolled in a Master’s Degree in environmental studies or any other
international development related field/s;
• Student who have attained Bachelors in the above-mentioned fields in 2019 or 2020.
Language: Fluency in oral and written English. Working knowledge of another local and or UN
language is an asset.

D. Required Competencies:Internship with the United Nations
• Excellent communication skills;
• Excellent organizational skills;
• Excellent research and analytical skills;

4Internship with the United Nations

• Attention to details;Internship with the United Nations
• Ability to work in a team: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals
and keep focus on results;
• Good self-management, hardworking, commitment and diligence;
• Maintain confidentiality and principled manners.
• Pleasant personality will serve as advantage.
E. Submissions:Internship with the United Nations
• Candidates should submit 1) a brief, clear and articulate CV and 2) letter of motivation,
• Evidence that they will be committed for at least a period of four-six months will be needed; and
• Endorsement letter or letter of reference from a faculty member or work experience, if
• Valid Contact email address and mobile/cell phone number
F. Reporting:Internship with the United Nations
The Interns will be reporting on a day-to-day to the Programme Specialist/ Head of SEMER Portfolio,
while interacting with and working in collaborations with entire UNDP Programme and Operation
Teams, and other UN Agencies in Namibia.
• INTERNSHIP CONDITIONS Internship with the United Nations

• UNDP will provide a stipend in the amount of N$3,588.56 monthly in accordance with the
provisions of the UNDP Internship policy. All expenses connected with the internship will be
borne by the intern or her/his sponsoring entity.
• UNDP accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness or death incurred
during the internship;
• Interns are responsible for obtaining necessary visas and arranging travel to and from the duty
station where the internship will be performed;
• Interns are not eligible to apply for, or be appointed to, any post in UNDP during the period of
the internship;
• Interns must provide proof of enrolment in health insurance plan;
• Interns are not staff members and may not represent UNDP in any official capacity;
• Interns are expected to work full time, but flexibility is allowed for education programmes;
• Interns need to obtain financing for subsistence and make own arrangements for internship,
travel, visa, accommodation, etc.

Internship with the United Nations

Internship with the United Nations

Date: 01 March 2021

32 Promenaden Street

Otjari House, Eros

Windhoek, Namibia  

24 February 2020

The Programme Specialist/Head of SEMER Portfolio

UNDP, Namibia

38-44 Stein Street

Klein Windhoek, Namibia        

Dear Programme Specialist/ Head of SEMER Portfolio



Based on the intersection of my passion for an International development career, academic background and a multidisciplinary research experience in conservation management, sustainable development, climate action, circular/green economy, food, water/energy nexus, good governance, I am convinced that I am a competent candidate to fill the Energy and Environment Internship position focusing on Sustainable environmental management and enhanced resilience to shocks and crisis (SEMER Portfolio)

Given the offer to do the internship with the UNDP, I would like to contribute my in-depth research of the socio-economic, political and environmental status of Namibia, that l gained through the opportunity to work with the Namibia Energy Institute and the Hanns Seidel Foundation Namibia Office. I have exhibited and improved my organizational skills through assisting the project’s manager at Hanns Seidel Foundation, engaging high profile organizations and development partners for a successful National Conference on Natural Resource management in Namibia: unlocking its bio-economy potential. Resultantly, I aim to utilize the attained organizational skills to strengthen the exisiting partnerships with development partners, NGOs inorder to achieve sustainable environment, manage environment risks and enable resilience in line with the 5th Namibia’s National Development Plan. I possess research as well as analytical skills. I have enhanced these skills through writing articles and publications on natural resource management, forestry, fisheries, environment management and climate action. I intend to transfer my knowledge gained through research, drafting and advising the Ministry of Mines and Energy to adopt an energy efficiency strategy to address inadequate access to energy.

 In addition, I have built a background and plan to support research and development for environment financing strategies through two aspects. Firstly, my thesis research findings on an Ex-post evaluation to determine and enhance the sustainability of international development partner’s funded renewable energy projects in Namibia. Secondly, my participation in the validation meetings to discuss findings from the KOIS and Differ on the feasibility and the next steps for the proposed implementation of the S4H project /Public-Private Platform.As part of my work experience with the Hanns Seidel Foundation Namibia Office, I conducted daily/ weekly press reviews focusing on natural resource management in Namibia, environmental sustainability, good governance and democracy. This background has prepared me with the capacity to monitor media resources to keep abreast of socio-economic developments and environmental management issues in Namibia. Therefore, I believe this gives me the legitimacy to contribute to the Energy and Environment internship with the UNDPNamibia as well as to advance my multidisciplinary skills in international development space.

I have learnt to work collaboratively in team work to achieve set goals through assisting in organizing and implementation of programmes in good governance, promoting renewable energy and raising awareness on biodiversity conservation for social economic transformation, high level profile dialogues and meetings as well as my participation in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Regional Forum Sustainable Development in Morocco. In 2018, I contributed to the consultative meeting on UNDP Human Development report. Contributing to the UN High Level Political Forum, focusing on SDGs, gave me a better understanding of Nationally Determined Contributions; Voluntary National Review and I have confidence through the internship opportunity l will be able to share the learnt skills and knowledge to Sustainable environmental management and enhanced resilience to shocks and crises (SEMER Portfolio).

Apart from this, participating in the United Nations Graduate Study Programme in Geneva Switzerland gave me an experiential understanding, appreciation and immersion into the United Nations System. I bring with me experience in climate change mitigation and adaptation through the Climate Digital Mapper position (2018) with UNICEF, Zimbabwe and serving as an Executive Member of SADC/ SAYoF Climate Change Committee (2020-2021). The backbone of my motivation to apply for the environment and energy position is embedded in my desire to contribute to the UNDP’s role in balancing the ecological, economic and social needs as well as enhance their sustainability in Namibia. Working in International development space, I see the UNDP internship position as a breakthrough for steps to develop programme management skills and learn implementation of projects, while addressing the development needs in Namibia taking into consideration biodiversity conservations. I am fully confident that l will be able to utilize my proximity to stakeholders that l had the opportunity to work with previously such as NEI, GIZ, Hanns Seidel Foundation and Ministry of Tourism and Environment among others to fulfill the needs of the internship position.

Thank you very much in anticipation of your consideration of my application.

Yours sincerely,

Emmanuel Bernard

Internship with the United Nations

Internship with the United Nations

Internship with the United Nations

Work Experience  Internship with the United Nations

Work experience is not mandatory to secure an internship with the United Nations. It can however be advantageous to possess work experience inorder to get an internship position. One’s modules, courses, training, skills acquired should actually assist the United Nations. Thus securing an internship enables one to be innovative.

Skills and Competencies Internship with the United Nations

The United Nations requires one to possess various competencies. Chief among others range from effective communication, organisational skills, teamwork, client orientation and innovation. With regards to communication, eligible candidates should be able to speak and write clearly as well as effectively. Team work , candidates should be willing to collaborate, accommodate and value other workmate’s ideas

Good character and law abiding Internship with the United Nations

The United Nations will not hire an individual if they have committed human rights abuses, sexual offenses, sexual harassment, violating international law and humanitarian law. Candidates intending to work with the United Nations should be dignified and exemplary. It is therefore encouraged that individuals should conduct themselves in a manner that is respectful not only because they intend to work for the United Nations but for the sake of showing they are civilised.

Internship with the United Nations

Internship with the United Nations

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Internship with the United Nations

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