My internship experience with the UN: Eimhin McEvoy

Consulting intern, United Nations

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Degree subject Bachelor’s of Corporate Law and French (NUIG, 2014), Master’s CEMS International Management (UCD Smurfit, 2016)
Job titleConsulting intern
Employer United Nations
Languages French

Why were you interested in an international career?

I wanted to gain a new perspective on life and to build a
network outside of the typical Anglophone world within
which Irish people usually travel, study and work. I wanted
to broaden my horizons and increase the opportunities
available to me internationally, opportunities that can
only come if you speak another language.

How did your degree contribute to you working with UN?

My Bachelor’s and Master’s degree furnished me with all
the organisational, legal, technical and collaborative skills
required of the position as well as the pre-requisite global
mind-set and international outlook to be compatible with
the UN’s own organisational culture. I approached the UN
through its online INSPIRA platform and applied for an
internship within the procurement division which
manages purchasing and logistics principally for the
United Nations’ overseas peacekeeping missions. Though
English is the language of choice, as with most of the
international governmental organisations knowledge of
French is a either a requirement for entry or highly
desirable in applicants.

What does your daily role involve, and what’s been one of
the biggest challenges?

As a regulatory compliance intern I work for and support
the Headquarters Committee on Contracts, tasked with
ensuring regulatory compliance and a strong business
case in all UN purchases, on a case by case basis, for all
purchases over $1 million. My biggest challenges were
getting to grips with the UN’s overly complicated
structures. But I now have the experience required to
move on to obtain some private sector experience in my
career to further broaden my skillset.

What’s exciting about your job?

Being able to contribute to the successful execution of
United Nations’ peacekeeping missions internationally
and supporting refugees while they remain under UN
protection.

What advice would you have for students and graduates?

Pick a third level course that has a strong international
aspect. Get your language skills tested by one of the
international grading organisations like Alliance Française
or the Goethe-Institut and don’t forget to maintain them –
if you don’t use it, you lose it! Obtain international
experience through internships, volunteering and university
exchange programs like Erasmus. My course at NUIG
allowed me to study French and to study abroad in France
for one year and intern in Belgium with the European
Parliament. My Master’s at UCD Smurfit enabled me to
spend six months studying and interning in São Paulo Brazil
followed by another internship with the OECD in Paris.

How do you hope to see your career developing over the
next few years?

I’m entering the PwC graduate consulting programme this
September in Dublin, which I’m really looking forward to.
Choosing to make a language an integral part of my
studies has given me exposure to some of the world’s
most influential international organisations which has in
turn given me leverage when it comes to applying for
some of the more competitive graduate programmes.

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