Importance of networking to getting into the UN

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Rottmair Sebastian 2 days, 23 hours ago.

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  • #2010 Score: 0


    Getting into the UN seems to be very hard, almost impossible. Though I tend to think that with persistence and some luck, it might happen, one day. What about networking? I read on the internet that networking is very important to getting into the UN. How true is this? Also, how can this networking be done, any ideas? Internships are not only very competitive but because they are generally unpaid, not for everyone.

  • #2013 Score: 0

    Rottmair Sebastian
    3 pts

    Hi there!

    I have written about the “long tail” of jobs in the UN – check this post out:

    These two posts deal with the topic in some way. Having said this – of course networking helps: it is a similar argument to the internship argument: if you network well, you know what is expected in a job, you can custom tailor your application to that, you would do better in a test, an interview etc.

    It is one of the reasons, that internal applicants are doing relatively well.

    As to how to network – I think this is highly duty station specific. If you want, let’s discuss a few duty stations and what to do there. Which duty stations are you interested in?

  • #2014 Score: 0


    Hi Sebastian!

    Thanks for the reply.

    Yeah, it does seem that internal candidates do relatively much better. I was checking on linkedin the profiles of some UN employees and it seems that the majority are people who have been at the UN for quite long, often moving from one UN organisation and position to another. So, it seems that once you manage to get in, your chances of staying and getting new positions are much higher than an external applicant.

    With regards to duty stations that I am interested in, as I live in Vienna, that would be preferable. Also, Nairobi is a duty station that I would like. Copenhagen is also good. But I know that the UN is an international organisation and in that sense, I would also be interested in other duty stations.

    • #2016 Score: 0

      Rottmair Sebastian
      3 pts

      I’m blank on Vienna – sorry. In Copenhagen there are events that you can attend even if you don’t know anyone. If you manage to find a friend in the UN, you can try to attend the Friday evening Staff Bar in Copenhagen: that’s a way to get to know people who work in UN City.

      Nairobi has a rather big expat community so I would assume it should be possible to get into that. There is also the Staff Recreation centre ( – not sure how hard/easy it is to gain access there, but that’s a place to hang out.

      Good luck!

    • #2100 Score: 0

      1 pt

      Any networking advice for Dakar?:)

  • #2015 Score: 0


    Hi Sebastian,

    I was wondering if you had any networking tips for the duty station in New York.

    Also, I am wondering whether if recruited from the YPP, the candidates get to state their preference for certain duty stations or is it that they do not have any say in this?

    Finally, once in the UN, does each staff member have to change their duty station regularly? If so, how often?



    • #2017 Score: 0

      Rottmair Sebastian
      3 pts

      On NY: there are so many events which are open to public – I think it is almost impossible to give generic advice. I would try to find the events which are most relevant and try to find those who know about the substance and then work your way from there. I know there are also all kinds of social media meet-ups etc.

      On the YPP: I’m not familiar with the latest details, but for sure you have an option to state your preference. Of course that doesn’t mean that there will always be something corresponding to your preference, but there is some flexibility and you have an option to impact on your duty station. Same for the mobility: people who really want to move can do that.

      But of course, it can be challenging to get professional interest, career aspirations, family requirements etc. all combined into one opportunity…

  • #2104 Score: 0

    fred flint

    Hi, any tips on networking in Paris?
    Cheers, Fred

  • #2105 Score: 0

    Rottmair Sebastian
    3 pts

    Hi Fred,

    let me create a topic in the Duty Stations forum – I will ask around a little to see if there is anybody who has tips & tricks…


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