Tag Archives: Career

Summer Series: Jackie Yap ’18 and the Diplomatic Fellowship at the Holy See Mission to the UN

By: Jackie Yap

Photo credits: Anna Fata, Holy See Mission to the UN

After finishing my IPED courses last December 2016, I began my full-time, six-month fellowship at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN (Holy See Mission) on January of 2017. The Holy See Mission is the diplomatic section representing the Vatican at the UN.

As a diplomatic fellow, my day comprised mainly of attending meetings and conferences at the UN headquarters. Occasionally, I would stay at the Mission office to attend briefings, discuss my insights with my supervisor, and write my reports. At the meetings, I listened to ambassadors, heads of states, and experts give statements on economic, social, and political issues. Since it is a small group, I was privileged to shadow negotiators and get a preview of what their day-to-day was like, especially during negotiations.

 

Given my training in Political Economy and Development, I was assigned to follow the various commissions and political negotiations in Economic and Social Committees (2nd and 3rd committee, respectively). In these commissions, I gained a better and multi-disciplinary understanding of the global discourse on various socio-economic issues surrounding Women Empowerment and Gender Equality, Indigenous people’s issues, Ocean Conservation and Preservation, Science and Technology, and Human Rights. I was assigned to manage and coordinate the staff reports during the 2-week long Commission on Status of Women week March 2017. It was a hectic yet unforgettable experience.

I looked forward to each week because it was different from one to the next. The variety gave me plenty of opportunity to learn about different issues around the globe. It was challenging to digest a lot of information but the training I received from Economic and Political Science courses taught me to write comprehensively and concisely. The summary reports that I have written and organized were eventually submitted to the head office in Rome, Italy.

It is also worth noting the collegiate and familial atmosphere at the Mission. We began with a morning meeting and since lunch was served, everyone had to sit in one large table and talk to each other. The attachés, including the ambassador, His Excellency Archbishop Bernardito Auza, were my mentors and they were generous in sharing their knowledge with the interns.

I landed this fellowship through IPED’s program partnership with the Holy See Mission. While I had to undergo the internship application process, Dr. Schwalbenberg, the program director, had been very supportive and generous, providing me the funding in order to make the experience possible.

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Fordham Students supported the UNDP Equator Prize 2017

By: Sarah Garwood

The Equator Prize winners and UNDP team celebrate before the pre-ceremony reception at Bryant Park Grill. Photo credit UNDP-Arnaldo Vargas

This September, the UNDP Equator Initiative hosted the 2017 Equator Prize in New York City, New York to honor 31 local and indigenous people working on notable climate justice projects in their communities around the globe. The winners spent a week in New York City participating in community dialogues, capacity building workshops, and interacting with media representatives as the 2017 UN General Assembly began. Several Fordham IPED students were involved in building case studies with the winners and connecting their work with the Sustainable Development Goals.

IPED student and UNDP intern, Vikktoria Brezheniuk, speaks with one of our winners at a workshop. Photo credit Mike Arrison for UNDP-Equator Initiative

Equator Prize winner, Ghulam, from Pakistan works with IPED student and UNDP intern, Owen Fitzgerald, to build a case study on the Baltistan Wildlife Conservation and Development Organization. Photo credit Mike Arrison for UNDP-Equator Initiative

Winners’ projects ranged across oceans, forests, and drylands. In Kenya, the Mikoko Pamoja group created a carbon credit-based payment for ecosystem services in order to improve mangrove restoration. In Ecuador, Alianza Internacional de Reforestación (AIRES) is an organization led by indigenous Maya women that works toward food security and disaster risk reduction through reforestation and agroforestry. Each community project supports several of the Sustainable Development Goals from poverty reduction to climate action to gender equality. Check out all the winners and their projects featured on the Equator Initiative website.

The female winners and UNDP team members, including Fordham UNDP interns Tess Hart and Victoria Brezheniuk, celebrate their work and the Sustainable Development Goals. Photo credit Larissa Nowak-Equator Initiative

On Sunday, September 17th, preceeding the Prize Ceremony, there was a reception held at Bryant Park Grill. Winners, government officials, donors, and other special guests gathered to network and celebrate together.

Winners from the Community Baboon Sanctuary Women’s Conservation Group in Belize, Dorla and Conway, with IPED student and UNDP intern, Sarah Garwood, at the Bryant Park Grill reception.

Sunday, September 17th marked the Equator Prize Ceremony held at Town Hall Theatre in New York City. Many people came to speak and celebrate with the winners including Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, and Gary Knell, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society. Fordham IPED students were invited to volunteer at the ceremony. Fordham IPED interns worked on stage management, social media coverage, and interpretation resources.

 

IPED student, Stephanie Swinehart, volunteered at the Equator Prize ceremony. Photo credit Wahanga for UNDP-Equator Initiative

IPED student and UNDP Intern, Greg Fischer (left), translated for Brazilian Prize winner and speaker, Benki, at the Equator Prize Ceremony. Photo Credit UNDP-Arnaldo Vargas

To see more photos and coverage of the Equator Prize and other events from the week, check out the Equator Initiative on Facebook and Twitter!

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Student Spotlight: Liya Khalikova at the United Nations’ Counterterrrorism Executive Directorate

Liya Khalikova (IPED ‘18) is an intern with the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) at the UN Headquarters in New York City. CTED  was created in 2004 to strengthen and coordinate the global terrorism monitoring process and to support the United Nations’ Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, established in 2001. CTED currently employs approximately 40 individuals, primarily holding roles as legal, political, and human rights affairs officers.

Liya Khalikova, IPED Class of 2018

Liya’s position is in the public information section, helping CTED’s communications advisor. Her daily responsibilities include compiling media digests, assisting with social media, drafting posts/documents, assisting in the organization of briefings and meetings, taking notes in said briefings, helping with research, etc. LIya says of her work: “Tasks are not limited to anything in particular and are based on the sphere of my interests. I can [always] find something exciting to do!”

Liya, who is a Fulbright Student from Russia, says that the internship has allowed her to become more comfortable writing in English and has exposed her to the unique “UN language.” She continues to say, “Part of my internship was helping to translate committee’s website into Russian which took a lot of time and effort. The Russian version of the website should be online sometime soon.”

Liya and her fellow interns at the CTED

Liya found the internship through the UN careers website and applied by filling out a standard UN application on Inspira. After several weeks she was called for an interview. The whole process took around a month. Initially the position was for three months, but was then prolonged for an additional three months.

Liya shared the following advice for those applying for internships. “Apply for positions that have a direct interest to you and can impact your future career, and be patient – sometimes the recruitment process, even for an internship, can take several months.”
Liya pursues her studies with IPED as a full time student and Fulbright Fellow while fulfilling her internship duties on a part-time basis.

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Student Spotlight: Alex Zakrzewski at the United Nations’ Department of Public Information

Alex Zakrzewski (IPED ‘18) is interning for the United Nations’ Department of Public Information, NGO Relations & Advocacy Section (DPI/NGO). The office is tasked with serving a liaison between civil society and the United Nations. The NGO Relations Section within the United Nations’ DPI is the link with approximately 1,500 Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) who are partners and members in association with the Department of Public Information and support the UN efforts to disseminate information on the priority issues on its agenda, including sustainable development, creating a safer and more secure world, the importance of prevention, helping countries in transition, empowering women and young people, and addressing poverty, among others.

Alex at the DPI/NGO

Specifically, Alex is on the association team which includes reviewing documentation of NGOs’ applying for formal association with DPI. His tasks include reviewing and verifying these NGOs’ documents and work and fielding questions concerning the attainment of association status. He also works with the association team on examining their current NGOs annual reviews, reports demonstrating their continued commitment to the UN’s agenda and goals.

Alex’s work-space at the DPI/NGO office

Alex shared his thoughts on his most recent weekly briefing: “Last week’s [briefing] was a particularly successful gathering with over 400 attendees and focused on faith-based NGOs and their work with refugees. The briefing was led by a strong multi-faith panel including individuals from Islamic Relief Society, UNICEF, the US Department of State, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was very well received and particularly poignant given the state of current world affairs.”

Alex found his position through an email received from the Fordham Alumni Office and applied via the United Nations Inspira portal with the engagement and support of a Fordham staff member who frequently participates in UN activities.  

The United Nations Headquarters

Alex is a part time student in the IPED program while he performs his duties with the DPI.

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2017 IPED Alumni Networking Night

On March 23rd, many members of the IPED family got together to meet, catch up, and chat for the IPED Alumni night. IPED alumni were asked to speak about their experiences working in the non-profit, government, and private sectors and gave advice for current and recent IPEDers starting their careers. Following the alumnae panel, current students were presented with their study and internship awards. Congratulations to all of you!

IPED career panel comprised of IPED alumae.

The 2017 Language and Immersion Study Award (LISA) recipients with Dr. Crystal. They will be studying French, Spanish, and Arabic around the world this summer.

This year’s Public Service Fellows awardees. Luther Flagstad (right) will be going to Kazakhstan to work at the US Embassy and Robyn Emory (left) will be going to Xi’an, China to pursue language study in Mandarin Chinese.

This year’s Arrupe Fellows with Dr. Crystal. Owen Fitzgerald (left) will be going to France for language immersion and pursuing work with the UNDP. Tess Hart (right) will also be pursuing French immersion and going to Micronesia to perform research.

The audience listening to the panel.

Current IPEDers, (left to right) Carlos Baeta, Liya Khalikova, Samantha Kinney, and Maggie Hutchison

IPED alumnae

IPED class of 2017 (the most recent group of alumni)

Dr. Schwalbenberg with some of his former students

IPEDers, current and past

The IPED family laughing with Dr. Crystal as he gives the closing comments.

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