Thursday, January 5, 2012

Global Policy Forum Summer Internship

Global Policy Forum is an independent policy watchdog that monitors the work of the United Nations and scrutinizes global policymaking. GPF works particularly on the UN Security Council, the food and hunger crisis, and the global economy. We promote accountability and citizen participation in decisions on peace and security, social justice and international law.
GPF gathers information and circulates it through a comprehensive and heavily-visited website, as well as through frequent media interviews. We play an active role in NGO networks and other advocacy arenas. We organize meetings and conferences and we publish original research and policy papers.
GPF analyzes deep and persistent structures of power and dissects rapidly-emerging issues and crises. GPF's work challenges mainstream thinking and questions conventional wisdom. We seek egalitarian, cooperative, peaceful and sustainable solutions to the world's great problems.
Global Policy Forum welcomes applications for internships. We encourage qualified undergraduates to apply, as well as graduate students and those between degrees. We welcome students who have studied the United Nations and international organizations, but we consider specialized academic training less important than intelligence, enthusiasm for learning and dedication to GPF's goals.
GPF is looking for applicants who are students of Political Science, International Relations, International Law, Political Economy or International Public Policy Studies. We especially encourage applications from those with broad international travel and work experience and those with a progressive, egalitarian and global outlook. A Supportive Environment
GPF provides a very intern-supportive environment. Internships begin with a well-developed orientation process, in which interns learn about web posting, internet research, and GPF's program priorities. All interns participate as members of a team and interact closely with their supervisors.
The GPF office is located across the street from the UN, provides a pleasant environment. It is an atmosphere low on stress and high on accomplishment and serious purpose. We ask interns to respect GPF's strict office hours Monday to Friday, 9.00 to 5.30.
Staff meetings, feedback meetings and many opportunities for informal discussion help interns learn about GPF's programs and provide a perspective on the organization as a whole.
Interns attend a GPF luncheon series, taking place about every two weeks that puts them in touch with other professionals working within the UN system, at UN missions, in NGOs or within academia or journalism. Interns may also get a chance to attend receptions and other functions at the UN, including sessions of the General Assembly and the Security Council. All interns greatly expand their knowledge of the UN and its agencies.
In the office building, a community of many NGOs often cooperate and socialize together. Interns can network with these and other NGOs, as well as UN and mission staff. Interns can take advantage of New York's diverse cultural and entertainment offerings. They are able to obtain inexpensive tickets to the theater and concerts, low-cost exercise options, tours of the city and other advantages to optimize their life in New York. Interns often socialize outside the office and get to know people in the GPF community.
After leaving GPF, former interns join the GPF alumni network. Through an alumni forum, they can network with other GPF alumni. Interns take advantage of their GPF connections to reach employment and academic goals. GPF Director Jim Paul has written recommendations for jobs, graduate school applications and fellowships for many intern alumni.
Over 150 talented interns from more than sixty different institutions and forty different countries have joined GPF at some time since 1997.
Intern Responsibilities
GPF interns are involved in an intensive process of learning and observing, which enriches their knowledge of international affairs, the UN, non governmental organizations, GPF, and the many issues we work on. Each intern specializes in one or more well-defined areas, known at GPF as "portfolios." There are a number of such portfolios -- Security Council, Social and Economic Policy, NGOs, UN Reform, International Justice, UN Finance, Nations & States, and Globalization.
While interns have a variety of different opportunities and experiences, they have a primary focus on the GPF website in their portfolio area(s). They devote the majority of their time to this activity, in which they learn about finding, selecting and posting information to the site. This may include attending and following UN meetings and negotiations. It is an intense learning experience, involving research, writing, and HTML. Interns also gain deeper knowledge and understanding of the UN, global policy and GPF's priorities.
In addition to learning about GPF's program work, interns learn about administration of the office, giving them a sense of how GPF works and the team process that draws on many people cooperating. These administrative tasks include preparing mailings, helping organize meetings, ordering supplies, and generally keeping the office nice and tidy.
Depending on GPF's priorities and interns' capacities, interns may be asked to take on special projects in addition to their other responsibilities. These tasks can include updating texts on the website, researching for blog entries or policy papers, and preparing for NGO meetings.
What We are Looking For
GPF gets many applications for internships and only well-qualified, highly-motivated applicants are chosen. As a result, the success-rate of the internships is very high.
We select five to seven full-time interns for each of three annual teams -- Summer, Fall and Spring. When we look over an application, we try to fit candidate's background with our program portfolios and dates. We choose those who we believe to be the most suitable candidates, based on their studies, extracurricular activities, employment and experience through travel or voluntary work.
We look for candidates who are highly talented but who are also ready to do more ordinary tasks with a spirit of enthusiasm and cooperation. We know that interns who are motivated, eager to learn and work hard, often have more successful internships. We value those who interact well in a team setting and who gladly lend a hand to fellow interns and staff when needed.
We also look for those who have shown the most active engagement on policy issues parallel to our interests. Those who have been involved in such campus issues as globalization, human rights, fair labor, anti-war movements and the like tend to catch our eye. We look for those who question received ideas and who look inquisitively at dominant institutions.
Time Commitment, Costs, Credit
GPF expects an intern to stay at least three months. Those who stay longer learn more and have a richer overall experience. We can provide out-of-town candidates with some information on how to find accommodation in New York. We estimate that monthly subsistence expenses (lodging, transport and food) run about $1,200-$1,400. In addition, some provision should probably be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, including entertainment. Interns on a very low budget have managed on as little as $800 per month. Those who are lucky enough to find lodging with friends or family can get by on still less.
GPF internships are unpaid. Some interns arrange for subsistence funding from their universities. Some raise money from multiple sources by asking local people and institutions for support. Some rely on personal savings and family help. University credit can also sometimes be arranged.
We expect applicants to be thoroughly familiar with the site and to have read carefully many of the analytical essays. We appreciate applications that follow closely our application instructions.
Application Requirements
Please include the following documents in your application packet. Each document should start on a new sheet of paper:
(1) Resume - A resume showing academic accomplishments, work experience, language studies, volunteer experience etc.
(2) Letter - A letter describing why you are interested in interning with GPF and what special skills or experience you have that would fit with GPF's programs
(3) Availability - Please indicate your availability for one of the annual teams: January through May (Spring), May through August (Summer), or August through December (Fall).
(4) References - The names, phone numbers, and email addresses of two references (one academic and one work-related preferred). Please include the title and organization of the referees and a few words indicating the context of your work with them.
(5) Writing Sample - A piece of writing, for example a course paper, an article written for a school news paper, or some other essay showing your writing skills and personal thinking on a topic relevant to GPF's work. (for example something related to the UN, international peace, international development etc.). (maximum 5 pages/2000 words)
(6) Countries visited - A list of the countries you have visited, with a star next to each country where you have stayed for two months or more.
(7) Interview - Information about whether you would be available for an interview in New York. If you are living at a great distance, please add information on how we can reach you by phone for the interview.
How to Submit your Application Packet
Submit your application packet by post or by email attachment.
Post: Address your application to:
Internship Coordinator
Global Policy Forum 777 UN Plaza, Suite 3D New York, NY 10017

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