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Internships

"My internship was amazing—I worked on internationally significant projects with organizations like the UN, and I feel like I made a direct impact on my host organization and my field."—Ilana Cohen, Duke University

Invaluable Internship Experience

The Duke Program on Global Policy and Governance offers students outstanding opportunities for career advancement and unparalleled access to the UN and other Geneva-based institutions.

Check out the bios and placements of our 2016 participants.

Internships in Geneva are highly competitive. The program uses its reputation and extensive network of contacts to assist students in obtaining internships. Although fellows are responsible for securing their own internships, the program assists fellows throughout the process. Sarah Burrichter, the Sr. Program Coordinator for International Programs, works with accepted program fellows to define internship goals, review cover letters, resumes and writing samples, facilitate application submission, and advise and prepare participants for their internships. The program also supports internship applications by meeting with potential host organizations to advocate on students' behalf and find the best internships possible. 

"UNEP was a good platform for me to reinforce my existing knowledge in economics and communications while broadening my experience with international governance."—​Lin Wang, Duke University

Length of Internship

Students are encouraged to make the most of their time in Geneva by participating in a 12-week long summer internship (does not include the course week), but shorter internships are also available.  Shorter internships must meet minimum internship lengths (Global Health Fellows must commit to a minimum internship of 8 weeks, while all other fellows must commit to a minimum of 10 weeks). In addition to their internship, all Fellows are required to attend the program's course week taking place at the end of June or beginning of July 2017 (dates posted by the end of September). Typically students arrive in Geneva by mid-May and leave by mid to late August.

Fellows dictate their program dates within the parameters outlined above, which gives students greater flexibility based on their academic calendar.  Internships of 12 weeks facilitate the Swiss Visa process, save students money in the visa process, and provide students enough time to make substantial contributions to their internship organizations.

Past Examples of Internship Projects

Every internship is different, and intern projects will differ depending on host organizations and supervisors. Fellows participate in a diverse range of projects throughout their internship experience. Here are a few examples of past internship projects. 

  • International Organization on Migration, Health and Migration department: Created an internal document to advise health care providers on how to implement health assessments when offering HIV testing.
  • United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA): Created an original document on leadership in disaster response for UNOCHA's Emergency Services Branch.
  • World Health Organization - Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases: Developed a survey for institutions that use research networking tools. Interviewed 15 academic institutions and 2 implementers of research networking tools.
  • World Trade Organization: Contributed to a variety of projects, including an analysis of regional trade agreements and updating the WTO SPS e-learning training materials.

"Learning about the UN by actually working inside of it was an invaluable experience."—Chelsea Baldino, Duke University

Previous Internship Sites