Internship connections key to United Nations ‘dream job’

Political Science and International Relations student Luke White’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences’ (FHSS) Internship placement at the Council for International Development (CID) began as an opportunity to gain a point of difference and practical experience to set him apart from other graduates—but it brought him much more than he anticipated.

Luke White sits at a large wooden desk, the large silver United Nations logo on the wall behind him
The connections and work-experience Luke gained during his internship put him in a great position to apply and secure a ‘dream job’ with the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations, even though he was still studying towards his undergraduate degree.

“I was able to establish connections through my placement, which supported me in pursuing the job,” says Luke. “My co-workers at CID put me in touch with a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade employee, who had previously worked in the role I applied for, as well as the President of the United Nations Association New Zealand.”

“When I discovered I’d been shortlisted for an interview, I sought help from Carine Stewart (Senior Adviser for the FHSS employability programme) and Nicole Mouat (FHSS Internship Coordinator) to fully prepare for the interview. They both provided invaluable advice and helped me reflect back on the course content.”

After he completes his Bachelor of Arts in July, Luke will leave for New York City and begin his contract as a member of the official New Zealand delegation to the United Nations. Luke will be regularly attending meetings at the UN headquarters to report back to the Mission and will also be supporting staff during the 75th UN General Assembly. This opportunity will see him attending meetings alongside world leaders and representing New Zealand on a global multilateral platform.

“I’m very excited to continue expanding my connections and to have the opportunity to do so on a global platform,” says Luke. “The FHSS Internship course gave me work experience which complemented my studies, valuable workplace skills, and a chance to connect to industry professionals and create essential connections.”

Find out more about the FHSS Internship Programme.