5 tips from UNDP intern to stand out in an interview and join UN agency


I guess, this will be one of important telephone ring ever in my life. The call from my supervisor, Project Coordinator whereupon my internship began: in July 2017, I became an intern of the BIOFIN project of the UNDP “Sustainable Development” Dimension.

2017 was quite industrious and significant for me. I graduated with honors and became an intern at the United Nations Development Program.

Intern acquires completely new knowledge and skills during the internship, learns how to conduct research correctly. She/he organizes time efficiently to maximize the benefits of time spent, learns to write large analytical materials and reports, conducts logistics of major events and many more.

Together with my supervisor Lira Joldubaeva, I conducted a study on illegal trade of derivatives, parts of wild animals used in the manufacture of folk crafts - souvenirs, jewelry, household items, as well as in traditional medicine in the Kyrgyz Republic. During the research, I managed to meet with representatives of various organizations and agencies responsible for environmental protection, to conduct polls and even participated in raids with inspectors of the State Inspectorate for Environmental and Technical Security in places of illegal sale of derivatives of wild animals! The result of my research was the presentation of an interim report to the state environmental authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic. It should be noted that in our country there is no definite monitoring of this market. Sellers of wildlife derivatives earn tens of thousands of dollars per year by selling illegally derivatives of wild animals. Therefore, I believe that further research on this topic should develop certain monitoring mechanisms for our country.

The Global Forum on Conservation of Snow Leopard and its Ecosystems became another milestone of my internship. This international event was aimed at further strengthening the continuous work of countries to protect snow leopard and mobilizing international support for the plan to provide 20 snow leopard landscapes by 2020. Representatives from 12 countries attended this forum. I managed to get acquainted with the UN Assistant Secretary-General Cihan Sultanoglu, with Indian film star Dia Mirza and I am sure if Leonardo DiCaprio were at the forum, I would also have met him and selfied!

UNDP intern shall certainly feel the spirit of a warm and friendly team in everyday routine in the office. In the daily working rhythm, which runs from dawn to dusk, sometimes until midnight, team members occasionally arrange trainings, team buildings to maintain a common spirit and increase efficiency at work. This is undoubtedly inspiring!

It was very interesting for me to work in the PR direction, when we held a minimum of two events per month. One of the most memorable moments for me was my performance at UN Talks - an event where speakers raised problems that the UN is dealing with in the Kyrgyz Republic. I was uptight when spoke to a large audience as if I was defending an academic project!

I was very fond being engaged in sustainable development area, which includes preservation of ecology and biodiversity, development of ecotourism and green technologies, widening economic opportunities for women and communities. I realized for myself that my professional career will be closely linked to the promotion of sustainable development of my country.

Internship at UNDP opens many opportunities to realize career plans. I am sure that new interns of the United Nations Development Program will assume my experience as an example of an internship. If you have any questions, you can always write me in Facebook messenger.

And here you go my tips. How to fill out an online application correctly and behave during the interview.

1. Monitoring: To apply for an internship at UNDP, you should always follow the UNDP Facebook page and the UNDP website. If there is no current set for internship, then I advise you to write an enquiry message to the UN staff department. They are always helpful and will respond you.

2. Round 1. Filling out an application for an internship. After you open a vacancy for an internship, you must fill out a special form for the intern. In the form you specify your data and the reasons for which you are interested in the internship. I advise you to write about how you can make a good thing of the internship at UNDP but real and specific reasons! In addition, other documents (transcript, summary, letters of recommendation) will be mandatory.

3. Round 2. Based on the results of your application, the HR department sends you an invitation to the next round: online testing of the English language. The test verifies knowledge of the language and writing skills necessary for the daily work of intern. I advise you to get prepared for the test carefully, since only one hour is given for that.

4. Round 3. After successfully passing the test, you will be invited to an interview with UNDP staff. Don’t be late for the interview because there are other candidates and time for the interview is scheduled by minute. You’ll make yourself harm if you come late. Try not to be afraid and disclose all your skills during the interview. I recommend you find out more information about UNDP projects and activities in the Kyrgyz Republic.

5. And, finally, after all the stages are passed, you become an intern of the United Nations roster. You are assigned to a coordinator with whom you are interviewed and should sign a contract. I wish you good luck, guys!

Kunduz Adylbekova, former intern, UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic.