Junior Professional Officer
Having learned how to analyse, write and give constructive feedback is essential in my job at United Nations Environment Programme, says Kristin Dypedokk.
- Describe the most important tasks you have in your job today
- I work in the Green Economy team with research and advisory services on the links between green economy and poverty reduction. The most important tasks are contributing to write reports and papers and give support to governments through green economy country projects. A typical project would be to investigate the social, economic and environmental benefits of ‘greening’ economic sectors in a country. I also do other tasks for the team, like writing policy briefs, providing support to United Nations inter-agency cooperation and giving student briefings on UNEPs Green Economy work.
- What do you like most about your job?
-What I like the most is the combination of working on research and advisory services. While the research work allows for focusing on substance, being curious and trying to understand the opportunities and challenges of reducing poverty through green economy, the advisory work gives more hands-on project experience. This entails working with partners from around the world, and has potential for actual impact. I like the diversity of the job, and that you get to work independently, but within a team. The JPO programme is a good opportunity to get experience from a multilateral development organisation.
- How is the education from The Faculty of Humanities relevant in this job?
- The education from HF is very relevant! I have studied different diciplines like Art history, French language, Development studies and been an exchange student to University Cheick Anta Diop in Senegal. From the interdisciplinary master’s in ‘Culture, environment and sustainability’ I learned to work independently, think critically, appreciate academic stringency, and see things from different disciplinary angles. This is all useful for working in an international and multidisciplinary environment like United Nations. Having learned how to analyse, write and give constructive feedback is essential in this job. Experiences from my exchange semester and several fieldwork trips have been good preparations for working abroad. Since UNEP is an English speaking environment, but I live in the French speaking part of Switzerland, I use both languages daily.
- Your best tip for new students who are thinking about job opportunities after graduation?
- My best advice I think is to choose the subjects which interest you the most. Putting in the hours needed to become good at something is just much easier when one has a high motivation. That being said, it is good to remember that some practical skills are needed in every job. It can be a good idea to pick up the phone and ask a future potential employer whether she would hire you, or what skills you would need to acquire. Also, take advantage of your student time to get involved in organisation work, travel or look for relevant (paid or unpaid) work. This is a good way to find out what you like, get a network, and have some fun at the same time. In the end, when you apply for a job, they look at your whole ‘package’ of academic background and practical experience. And use Karrieresenteret!