2016 Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group

I found myself in the center of the World Bank Headquarters, carting around a digital camera and a soccer ball as I introduced myself to a lovely security guard named James. Having never stepped foot inside the World Bank before, I was overtaken by the glass walls of the central Atrium – towering over attendees from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and numerous other international organizations. James, wondering why I had brought a soccer ball into the World Bank, began to ask about its purpose.

A World Bank staff member poses with the SDG Ball.

A World Bank staff member poses with the SDG Ball.

This soccer ball, a social media staple of the office, goes by the name of the SDG Ball. Each of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals are displayed on the ball with the respective icon. My purpose at the Annual Meetings  was to photograph attendees posing with their favorite Sustainable Development Goal. After hearing this, James offered to be my first subject.

The SDG Ball soon was in high demand, as attendees from the World Bank-IMF staff, private sector executives, and members of international organizations (those tasked with helping impliment the goals) were eager to pose with their favorite goal. The more I spoke with the attendees, the more I realized how passionate they were about the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the sport of soccer.

As the day ended and I waved goodbye to James, returned to my desk and posted the photos. (You can see the album here.) The joy on attendees faces as they reveled in the presence of the SDG novelty has been one of my most memorable aspects of the internship thus far (As well as promoting the importance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of course).

Hannah Pedri

United Nations Information Center, Intern

 

Meeting the Boss

Colors of red, green, blue, and yellow fill the dimly lit hotel lobby. As we wait anxiously, we distract ourselves with a soccer ball displaying these assorted hues. Our SDG soccer ball is a highlight in many of our photos, events, and meetings and tonight, the Secretary-General will meet it.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets UNIC Washington Fall Interns

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets UNIC Washington Fall Interns

In preparation for the Secretary-General’s arrival to D.C., my fellow interns and I facilitated tasks during the day to ensure that Ban Ki-moon’s visit to D.C. moved efficiently. Hannah was responsible for photos, Suhyeon was responsible for on-site tech support, and my job was to help transcribe the Secretary-General’s public remarks.

At the end of the day we gathered at the hotel. Growing up with Mr. Ban as Secretary-General made meeting my now-boss a monumental moment, and his warm demeanor made it even more memorable. As he greeted us, he provided unforgettable advice: “You are the future, learn a lot.”

I have learned a lot. I’ve learned about the universality of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the diversity of the UN, and the impact of its work. I feel privileged to have met the Secretary-General and I am confident that my experiences here will play a large role in my future career.

Sara Dixon

United Nations Information Center, Intern

 

Getting the Most Out of Your Internship

As I walked into the conference room, I was delighted to see a spacious setting where UN speakers could represent their agencies to interns. Once the first key speaker started his presentation, my fellow interns and I were excited to learn about his agency, filling the room with passion and excitement.  

This is repeated each week as senior staff from the UN offices in Washington speak to our group of interns. We gain insight into the operations and processes of different UN agencies, as well as tools to develop our own careers.

Yesim Oruc, UNDP Washington, Deputy Director talks with UN interns.

Yesim Oruc, UNDP Washington, Deputy Director talks with UN interns.

The seminar provides interns with the opportunity to network across different UN agencies in Washington. For our first three seminars, we were honored to host Fernando Flores, Administrative Associate of the UNHCR, Robert Skinner, Director of UNIC Washington, and Yesim Oruc, Deputy Director of UNDP. They elaborated on the importance of their agency, described their career path, and answered questions from the gathered interns. These seminars are definitely memorable and I felt honored to have learned from these highly respected guest speakers every week.

For anyone looking for a way to get the most from their future internships, I definitely recommend remaining open to meeting new people in your related field. Monday’s weekly intern seminars have given UN Washington interns this opportunity, and have helped me realize the importance of surrounding myself with individuals who share a common desire to achieve their ultimate goals.

Suhyeon Lee

United Nations Information Center, Intern