Careers at International Organizations: a session by the IEU Law Society

@Natalia Soto Kure

When it came to academic experience and skills, Ms. Xing encouraged law students to improve their language skills in order to find the best opportunities.

The Law Society hosted an informative session on career opportunities for young lawyers in international organizations. The session took place on March 6. Students had the opportunity to hear speaker Shuo Xing, Associate Director at IE’s Talent & Careers Department.

The Law Society shared insights from the session and advice for future lawyers:

What was the focus of the session?

The lecture was focused on the United Nations and its many departments and agencies. Young lawyers should establish their preferences in order to choose the most suitable organization for them. They should think about certain details such as, is the department operational or non-operational, generalist or specialist, is it based on fieldwork or is it a desk job? Find an informative graph of the United Nations System structure below:

What experience do I need in order to work at an international organization?

When it came to academic experience and skills, Ms. Xing encouraged law students to improve their language skills, mostly in the six official languages used at the UN (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish), in order to find the best jobs.

She also advised students to specialize, pursuing master’s degrees in areas they are passionate about, but which are also relevant to international organizations, such as environmental law or human rights law. Gaining international experience while still enrolled at university, through exchange programs for example, is also an excellent way to show you have the mindset necessary to work in the diverse multicultural environments of international organizations.

Where can I find internships at international organizations?

Internships at any UN branch or office for undergraduate students (over the age of 21) are available at the UN Careers portal. In addition, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has a various internship programs. To explore more internship options at international organizations, visit the Spanish Foreign Ministry, Unidad de Funcionarios Internacionales page, which contains a very useful document about internship programs at the international organizations Spain belongs to.

These sessions provide relevant information that helps students consider different career options and opens doors. As stated by the Law Society, “This is the latest in our Careers Sessions series, which have been extremely useful to us! The Law Society would like to thank IE’s Talent & Careers Department and Shuo Xing for giving such an enlightening presentation. Thank you very much!”