为了帮助有意申报的北大学生了解项目情况、做好申请准备，学生就业指导服务中心以此为专题，于3月26日下午举办了“IO Course”北京大学国际组织职业课堂首场讲座。 Oliveira）女士，针对本次实习项目，从招聘概况与途径、筛选标准与程序、面试准备及实习回报等方面进行了详细介绍。
This is such a wonderful opportunity to be here. I love to meet the young men and women who are considering their career at an international level. UNESCO has a very special relationship with China. The relationship goes from President Xi, Madam Peng and all the major officials. And the very special one here in Peking University is Mr. Hao Ping, we had the chance to attend several events together, I got to know him. He is the best role model you possibly have for the kinds of values and interests in collaboration with international organizations.
Working for United Nations is one of the most rewarding things in my life. I have been working here for 17 years now. I have a background that is different from most of my colleagues; I have a bachelor in economics; I have a master in capital market finance; and a PhD. in business administration. We actually look for a completely wide variety of different backgrounds because of the wide variety of work we do. UNESCO is one of over a hundred United Nations’ entities, which belong to a big complex international governance system. But it’s also a specialized agency of the UN because it has its own General Assembly. It has a General Conference as well as an Executive Body and then the Secretariat and the field of network. We are in 54 different locations, plus we have a series of institutes.
We have quotas to attract more wonderful Chinese talents into the organizations. Why do we want more to do that? Because one of the values we have is the diversity and we are seeking constantly to have a balance in terms of geography. Unfortunately, China is under-presented now. We also look for diversity in terms of gender equality. So we give special consideration for female applicants simply. We encourage women to join because women are also under-represented particularly at the higher levels. We want to see more young women to become leaders in UNESCO system. We also encourage and hope more persons with disability come to our organization. We will do everything we can to provide reasonable accommodation so as to make sure they are fully capable of the working environment.
How does the internship go? We hire around globe. In all our locations, we have above 1,000 interns every year. In Beijing office alone, we have a constant number of 12 interns, over some periods, we have more. But usually we have more than 12. Because although interns are expected to stay one year, sometimes some interns can not stay for the entire year. Last year we had 28 interns in Beijing office, which means there are actually more opportunities than the number posted.
What is that we look for in interns? Essentially, we publish the description of minimum requirements in our website, which are relevant to the topics and tasks that the particular intern will be doing. We have two ways to hire interns. One is through a more formal program, in which we bring a group of people together and evaluate them; the other one happens when the contract of an existing intern is going to expire, we will hire a particular intern for that position. The job descriptions we posted are just minimum requirements. Mostly, like the 28 interns we hired last year, 26 of those are actually already studying in or looking for a master’s program. But we take interns in other parts of the world in Beijing office as well at the university level. What you really need to do is shinning.
What kind of expertise would you be representing? We are not expecting expertise and working experience as you are students. What we offer you is an opportunity to require those years of experience, which will be useful for your career afterwards. What we are looking for is somebody that has a variety of experiences and educational background that really match the posted positions. What we look for is people with outstanding interests, or having had worked in other organization, or having volunteered in other areas and so on. So at least you have some ideas on what it means to work not just study. When we look at the posts of UNESCO globally, you have General Service level, Professional level, Director level, and higher level, but when we look at what you need in entrance level of professional posts, that’s to say from P1 to P5, we pay attention to relevant experience. Even you have many years of working experiences, if it is not relevant, we don’t count it. Similar principle applies to when we look for interns. The more you match your experience to the terms of reference, the better.
How does the process of selecting an intern go? When we publish references, we tell people to apply by sending us a CV as well as a motivation letter. Don’t just use the standard CV which you can send everywhere. This is the advice I give to you not only for UNSECO but for any type of application that you are making. Every time we publish a position that is for a particular task, generally we receive between 50 to 300 applications. That’s quite a lot. People will really concentrate on and look at those who have the most immediate obvious connections with the terms of reference we have. If you take time to highlight those connections, you will increase the chance of being selected in the big pile of people.
The selection process for an intern has three stages. The first stage is what we call “observing the minimum requirement”. Any terms of reference published has a requirement that says we are looking for a person with these particular type of background, such as academic background, languages, cultural studies and the type of experience or extra curricula activities depending on the internship we are looking for. On the first phase, we will take the big pile and divide them into two according to if they apply to the requirement or not. People who don’t match the minimum requirement go and then we have a smaller pile. Then we go to the second phase, in which we look at the skills and competency that required for the job. Make sure your CV and motivation letter really highlight the skills and competencies that the terms of reference have required. In the third phase, your language will be tested in the interview. They will ask you to speak and present yourself in those languages. Be prepared and be absolutely frank in your CV, which is also a part of the values that we consider－integrity. So please have a good demonstration on your self-assessment ability. We don't expect that you come to us as a complete professional at the highest level. An internship is essentially a learning opportunity. So we know you will come to us with a lot of skills at the basic level, and we will welcome that. It’s our opportunity to give something back to you as well because you will give us your time, your interests, and your competency. It’s up to us to give back to increase your competency in your career afterwards whether it is in UNCESO or not.
A lot of people ask me how to prepare for an interview. As you all know, the very first question will be introducing yourself and why you want to work for the UN? Don’t forget to answer why the internship has attracted your attention, why you are good for us. You have to convince us why this will be a valuable experience for both you and us. Make sure bridge your experience and our need and explain why we are fit with each other. Our interview is competency based, which means you have to give us examples on how you have exercised your particular competency in the past and with what results. Don’t forget to say the results! Like in teamwork, don’t forget to say how you your personal role contributes to it. The results could be failure or success. We don't expect success for everything. It’s absolutely fine to tell us a failure case if it’s a good example of the exercise of your competency. We appreciate the candidness. So in your interview, NO.1, please make sure you do have done some researches on UNESCO and understand the values, the areas we work and know why does this particular position attract you and what you can offer in that position. And No.2, a series of examples of how you have been qualified with the skills and competencies that we ask for. This is exactly what the well-articulated and well-thought interviewee we are looking for. Finally, in an interview we will ask you —do you have a question for us? Think about what you want to know. We use this question to understand if you are really a person who is good at taking your opportunity. Think about a personal question about the position itself. For example, like “how do you expect the intern that taking this position to contribute the working of other areas.” It gives us an idea that you are interested in seeing the whole UNCESO system.
What do we offer you in return? Unfortunately, internships are not paid. We are not allowed to remunerate an intern. So the way we give back the wonderful efforts you put in is to make it as much useful as we can for you. We will certainly consider you when we are hiring. You have to remember that working as an internship in UNESCO and other international organization perhaps will be the best opportunity to acquire the skills and competencies in the job market. As there are more global issues and conflicts, we need more people who are qualified as staff in international organizations. The fact that you have worked for UNESCO doesn’t mean you can only apply the future in UNESCO positions, it will be an asset in any other international properties. China itself has a very large number of UN or UNESCO related properties and settings and China has the second largest number of heritage sites, so they would like to hire people to manage these heritage sites who have a solid understanding of the standards and the international law. People who have had exposure in UNESCO will certainly have advantages to apply for. There is a growing number of creative and learning cities in China whose local authorities need to have an understanding of education or culture elements that make them better cities. There is also a large number of universities in our university network, so academic career path can also be accessible to you. If you look at China’s plan for development and if you think global development in general, most countries are thinking there is a big pathway to development. There is actually an agreement we have at UN at September, 2015, what we called the Sustainable Development Goals, we need people who understand sustainability and development in a different way. If you think of start-ups, in China alone we are working with educational companies, like online educational start-ups, so people who have that kind of skill set will be particular valued. In a word, the prospect of career will be bright after spending some time with us.
So please do consider it! First of all, it is one of the most interesting things to participate, like making international law, if you are a lawyer, imagine how exciting it would be to legislate in an international level. And then you have international standards, it is your chance to really make a mark, really change the world in a completely different way. Secondly, UNCESO is a platform and network in which people from different counties can come together and collaborate. What a wonderful thing! You can meet people from different cultures, mentalities, and value system, and you can make agreements together without conflicts. Finally, nowadays, there are so many people who are left behind by development process, so many people who are becoming vulnerable every day, like what you see in Iraq, in Afghanistan, it’s your chance to really do something that you will be proud of in the rest of your life. So I highly recommended and I hope that you will join us.
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