In the end we only regret the chances that we didn’t take. He left no stone unturned for acheiving what he aimed for. He had best moments of his life so far in that span of internship. He had amazing experience and as he steps further in life those learnings are going to guide him to land in the pool of knowledge and excellence.
2014 has been the best year of my life. Like India’s half of the young population, I have graduated as an engineer from KIIT University, Bhubaneswar. Although, from the very first year, I was participating in Model United Nations Conferences across the country, but even in my wildest dreams, I had never planned nor imagined to work with the actual United Nations.
One fine day in February’14, I was randomly going through the website of UN Information Centre, when out of the blue I thought of writing to them seeking an internship. My actual intention was to find an alternative work for summers to avoid the grilling site assignments which we civil engineers, are compelled to undertake. Surprisingly, the UN official responded and asked me to forward my resume. Months passed and I got busy with my exams and college, completely forgetting about my application status. Meanwhile in April, I went to Kazakhstan for a US Consulate joint project and returned in May.
The morning, I returned to India, I was clueless about how I will spend my summers. I decided to ask the UN official for one final time regarding the long back sent internship application. Luckily in the email, I mentioned my recent venture in Kazakhstan. To my surprise, my to-be-mentor responded and just like magic, my internship was confirmed in one hour. It is funny how destiny plays with us sometimes. What I had been waiting to get for three months, I got in an hour.
I moved to New Delhi and I still remember, my father dropping me on day one in front of the UN building at 55 Lodhi Estate. Honestly, it was more than a dream for me. My internship started from 14th May and lasted for one and a half months. The amount of knowledge and experience which I have gained over this time was tremendous. My main work was to carry research for UN Information Centre’s project ‘Young@70’. This project was supposed to be commemorated in the form of a book which will highlight the contours of Indo-UN relations. For the research work, I went to state archives (where like a VIP I was given instant access), interviewed officials from all the UN departments and visit agencies older than the UN, like the ILO. The best part of the day used to be the entering the gigantic glass door in the office with the logo of UN inscribed on it. I won’t be reluctant in saying that each time I entered through that door, I felt proud.
Though UN does not pay its interns but the experience which I have had at the UN Information Centre, New Delhi has been totally worth it. I met one amazing co-intern from Lady Shri Ram College who joined two weeks later. I can go on and on, writing about my experience but one word to describe it would be ‘remarkable’. Currently I work for the Netherlands Education Support Office in Bangalore, and I must say, what I have learnt while working in the UN, is a lifetime asset. This experience taught me one thing in life that if something is meant for you, you’ll get it. You just have to be a bit patient and wait for the right moment.
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