In addition to the educational experience and my increased knowledge of the UN environment, these experiences have been very important to me as a person, because they give us the opportunity to share our experienceRead more
During my studies, I have always chosen international options by participating in internships or university exchanges abroad. This has given me the desire to incorporate this dimension into my future career path. Having studied administration and management, I thought it would be difficult for me to join an international (UN) or regional (EU) organisation, because for many positions political science studies are a requirement. However, the JPO programme offers the opportunity to join a UN agency in diverse positions, such as communication, finance, human resources or law. That is how I was able to apply to and join UNICEF in 2018.
I am now working with UNICEF in Jerusalem, Palestine, in charge of youth programmes. My typical day consists of helping to set up projects. I need to plan, coordinate and monitor these projects, working together with UNICEF colleagues, other UN agencies or external partners. In general, this involves meetings, telephone calls, email exchanges and, most of all, drafting documents (presentations, reports, etc.). Differing degrees of priority need to be given to day-to-day requests, so you need to stay flexible.
What I find particularly valuable is the meetings between JPOs and the contact we maintain between us. I have developed friendships and professional relations in some cases with JPOs I met during my UNICEF orientation in New York in the first year as well as during an orientation at the United Nations College in Turin. In addition to the educational experience and my increased knowledge of the UN environment, these experiences have been very important to me as a person, because they give us the opportunity to share our experience, which is not necessarily the case with other colleagues in the offices where we work. It is also an asset for the future, for example in my case I have already had the chance to collaborate with a JPO I met in Turin and this has enabled me to feel more confident.
the most important benefit is the opportunity to actively support the reorientation of Luxembourg’s Development CooperationRead more
After studying population and development sciences and completing an internship with a Peruvian NGO, I soon had the opportunity to engage in the development cooperation sector, firstly on behalf of various Luxembourg NGOs. Later, I was lucky enough to be selected in 2015 as Junior Technical Assistant (JTA) for a health project in Nicaragua, and then as Junior Professional Officer (JPO) for UNICEF in Laos, where I coordinated a joint United Nations programme for maternal and child health, financed by Luxembourg. Looking for a new challenge at the end of this experience, I applied for the position of ACO in Managua, and after being selected, I embarked on this new adventure
in February 2018.
My work is very diverse, and never boring. Representing Luxembourg’s interests in Central America involves many different responsibilities. In addition to managing the human resources and finances of the Embassy, political and economic reporting, and consular affairs, I spend most of my time monitoring development projects in Nicaragua, El Salvador and at the regional level, as well as identifying new projects. This obviously involves a lot of office work, but there are also field visits to observe at first hand Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation’s impact on the ground.
There is more than one highlight, but I believe that the most important benefit is the opportunity to actively support the reorientation of Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation toward a more regional approach in a part of the world that is undergoing radical transformation. Partly due to the socio-political crisis in Nicaragua, Luxembourg is moving increasingly towards regional cooperation in Central America, supporting projects that respond to common regional challenges such as migration, women’s economic autonomy or the rights of indigenous peoples.
When I saw the JTA programme, which offers an initial experience in development cooperation and encourages professional development, my interest was sparked.Read more
Since I had studied international and European relations, and had specialised in development, I already had considerable interest and some theoretical knowledge in this field. After my studies, I decided to travel to South America, and I loved this opportunity to talk and interact with people from other cultures. When I saw the JTA programme, which offers an initial experience in development cooperation and encourages professional development, my interest was sparked.
My days are very varied. As JTA at the support programme for legal teaching and training and at the regional office in Vientiane, I work mainly on monitoring and communications. Often, my job is to check that all technical aspects - for example, the terms of reference for a training course - are in order. With the project, meetings are often also held with the counterparty or other donors.
The highlight as a JTA: just having contributed to specific project results is a very rewarding experience. And, of course, the country itself!
Laos, its people and its natural environment are truly exceptional.