During her first year at FDU, an international student from
Egypt scored an internship at the coveted UN in the Department of Public
Information (DPI). Nahla-Khaled Abdelhay, who is currently pursuing her Masters
of International Business at FDU, said that she always wanted to work at the
Her undergraduate years were spent in pharmaceutical
chemistry, and she worked as a public relations representative for various
pharmaceutical companies in Egypt, like Johnson & Johnson, for the past
five years. She decided to come to FDU
to further her expertise in public relations and hopefully score a job at the UN’s
“Since I first arrived here, it was my first objective to
have an internship in the UN,” Abdelhay said.
“I wanted to combine by past experience and learn a new thing.” Out of
50 applications, Abdelhay received two phone calls for interviews. She was unable to make the first interview
because she was visiting her home in Egypt over winter break. Abdelhay received
some helpful advice from a representative at a job fair – apply as a full-time
intern, rather than a part-time intern.
She said that after she took that advice, in less than two months, she
received another call for an interview. “You can’t just apply to one or two, or
even 10 job openings,” Abdelhay said. “I
applied for literally 50.”
She also talked about how the faculty at FDU and the Office
of Global Learning has been extremely helpful and supportive in her endeavors
to find an internship at the UN. “It’s my good luck to be here at FDU,”
Abdelhay said. She applied mainly to the outreach division of the DPI, but
ended up getting an internship in the operations section, which is not in the
main building of the UN headquarters.
Within that section, she interned in the information center services, dealing
with UN Information Center (UNIC) offices.
She said that there are about 60-something UNICs and that she is
currently dealing with about eight of them, regarding budgeting and data input.
“The work environment there is very friendly – the people there are very
supportive and very friendly,” Abdelhay said.
Overall, she loves her internship, but she said she
sometimes wishes she had more work to do for when she finishes her primary
task. “It gives me the experience of different countries – different
circumstances in those countries and different people with different
experiences,” she said.
As an intern at the UN, Abdelhay has the opportunity to
attend special events like one held in remembrance of the genocide in Rwanda. “The
events there are very interesting,” Abdelhay said. “For example, the first week I went there,
there was an event with the general secretariat and Malala – the girl who was
the youth ambassador to the UN – for women’s rights.”
Abdelhay will be at FDU for one more year before graduating
with her master’s degree and said that it is her dream to work for the United
Nations. “For anybody who thinks like me, the UN is a very valuable
opportunity,” she said. “It’s my dream,
but I haven’t decided yet. Maybe I’ll
apply at the UN back home.”
Monday, May 08, 2017