Interning with the UN Executive Office of the Secretary-General — Arianna's Journey

Interning with the UN Executive Office of the Secretary-General — Arianna's Journey-image

Arianna T. Rebancos is a second-year CIPA fellow concentrating in Social Policy. She currently serves as the Senior PR Editor of the Cornell Policy Review.

Over the summer, she interned with the United Nations Executive Office of the Secretary-General under the Strategic Planning and Monitoring Unit. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Arianna was a management consultant based in Manila, where she worked mostly with public sector, international development, and nonprofit clients.

Here's what Arianna had to say about her MPA internship experience.

Find out more about the internship opportunities available to Cornell students  by downloading our resource:A Guide to Internships & Externships in the Cornell  MPA Program!

I interned with the UN Executive Office of the Secretary-General (UN EOSG) at the UN Headquarters in New York City this past summer. Under the Strategic Planning and Monitoring Unit, I was mainly responsible for conceptualizing and developing visual elements for the 2019 Annual Report. This involved intensive research, data collection and analysis, and organization and presentation.

Being able to work on this high-visibility project was a great opportunity for me, but what I valued most was being able to learn about how the UN Secretariat works as a whole – specifically, how its programs and subprograms aligned with its priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals, how its USD 13.8B budget was sourced and allocated, and more importantly, how it delivers bottom-line results on the ground.

The Strategic Planning and Monitoring Unit works closely with UN leadership to add value to the organization across its various divisions and units. The team empowered the interns to take full ownership of our work and proactively get involved in our specific areas of interest. We also had the opportunity to sit with the Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination, who similarly welcomed and encouraged active participation. Being in this environment really enriched my internship experience, especially with my professional mentor providing constructive guidance along the way. Moreover, being surrounded by people who also believe in doing meaningful work has made the experience all the more fulfilling for me.

In the end, I was able to leave with a greater appreciation for multilateralism. Bringing countries together and facilitating consensus on important issues surrounding peace and security, sustainable development, humanitarian assistance, and disarmament, among several others, is to me the most important roles the UN plays internationally. Being able to contribute to the important work being done by the organization has been truly rewarding in many ways.

Experience Real-World Learning in Cornell's  MPA

In Cornell’s MPA program, there are several options for fulfilling the Practical Experience requirement for the MPA. Real-world consulting opportunities, internships, off-campus study, and Capstone experiences help you develop the skill set you need to be successful in your future careers. Whatever your area of interest, there's a hands-on learning opportunity perfect for you.

If you're interested in learning-by-doing, transforming the lives of others, and positioning yourself to be successful in the field of public affairs, we encourage you to request more information!


For a closer look at the experiential learning opportunities in Cornell University's MPA program, explore our interactive resource: A Guide to Internships & Externships in the Cornell MPA Program.
to learn more!

Download Internship Guide

Previous Post

Tailoring My MPA to Focus on Public & Nonprofit Management

Next Post

Learning to Protect the Environment During My Cornell MPA Internship

Subscribe to the Blog