Some people say time flies when you are having fun, but I would like to add, time flies when you are getting stuff done. I had a lot of fun at UNESCO this summer during my three month internship, but I challenged myself, accomplished a lot and learned new things about myself. Here is a one-second-a-day snapshot of my time in Paris. Profitez bien (aka enjoy)!
Wow, how time flies. It feels like I just arrived, but after three months I am proud to say I completed my internship with the gender equality division at UNESCO. To be honest, it came with challenges, but I am grateful for every single one of them because it taught me new things about myself, international development, and working for a huge organization.
When I was determining what kind of internship I wanted, I made a list of what I was looking for. I put two things on that list that I really wanted. The first was to work for a big organization. In the past I had worked in all sectors (public, private and non-profit) but I had never worked for a large international relations organization and I wanted a first-hand look into what that might be like. Second, I wanted to work in an area that I am passionate about. That limited but important criteria led me to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, to work in the gender equality division.
Working for a huge organization like UNESCO comes with its perks and challenges. The community is diverse and many brilliant minds come together to work on projects that are really trying to make a difference in the world. This is something that I have cherished while working at UNESCO. However, due to it’s large size, many things get stalled while going through protocol or getting approved. When I first learned about all the formalities, I thought this would be incredibly frustrating. Instead, I have actually learned to settle into it and be more patient. I have a very North American work ethic, so waiting to get things done was never a strength of mine. However, understanding that different people and cultures have different perceptions of time has been a great learning experience for me and it has made me more patient and iterate as new information comes up.
In the short time I have been at UNESCO, I have done many different things and I have gained a lot of confidence in my abilities. I have represented my division at international conferences, I have written speeches for both the Director General, created summaries, graphs and policy briefs on topics and recommended further steps for action. I have a funny feeling I will be back at UNESCO soon, but until I know for sure, it’s been a wonderful experience living and working in Paris and for an incredible organization.
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” ― Dorothea Lange
Life flies by when you are soaking in the moments. Paris loves art, culture, and expression which is hard to describe in words. The magic of photos lets you see and create your own story. Here are some snapshots of my life living in Paris and traveling around.
View this post on Instagram
Sir David King speaking about health and climate change at the "Our Common Future under Climate Change." We as governments and individuals need to decide how much we care about climate change and understand what the risk if we do nothing. Biggest risk? Humans eventually cease to exist, full stop. #UNESCO #climate #climatechange #paris
View this post on Instagram
@Khadijamali, Coordinator of #netmedyouth in Libya was one of the most engaging speakers I have heard at the conference on, "the Internet and Youth." She spoke of her experiences as an online activist in the midst of the Arab Spring and how Libyan youth are driving positive change through online engagement. Simple acts lead to big pushes towards peace, but opportunities for engagement must be present. It's been an honor to share ideas with you. #EmpowerYouth #netmedyouth #uniteforheritage