An Unpaid Intern in New York

Thanks to the generous bursary of the Go Abroad Fund that selected me and about 300 other students out of around 1100 applications, I was able to spend the majority of this summer completing an internship in New York City. On my first day, I got off the Subway at 34th Street and walked across the street from Empire State Building to Fifth Avenue and entered the Graduate Center of City University of New York. There, I was escorted to the office of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P), an international organisation created to operationalise the United Nations (UN) principle of international intervention to prevent and halt mass atrocity crimes, where I would be spending the next three months. My responsibilities included researching news development of populations at risk of mass atrocities and UN statements and providing briefings of my findings. I was also responsible for drafting country monitoring reports on countries with recent escalation of violence and track their development, which allowed me to further develop my extensive policy and risk analysis skills. I was also able to attend high level events at the UN Headquarters, including the UN General Assembly formal debate on R2P, the Group of Friends meeting with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the UN Economic and Social Council High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the interactive panel discussion commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute with closing remarks delivered by the renowned former Nuremberg War Crimes Prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz. It was a humbling experience, particularly as five years prior, I had visited New York for the first time and attended a tour of the UN, hoping I would one day be part of its establishment. Before I left Edinburgh to start my internship, I was mainly worried about finances since New York is notorious for being one of the most expensive cities in the world, but I fortunately managed to make ends meet. My internship at the GCR2P went by extremely fast and was incredibly educational as their work is closely related to my Master’s in Human Rights Law and it was an invaluable experience for my professional development.


Categories: Go Abroad Fund, North America, USA

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