Katie Morris '18 is the 40th Lehigh University student to intern at the United Nations. The United Nations takes on recent bachelor’s graduates and current graduate students for unpaid internships that last between three and six months.
Morris started her internship with the nongovernmental organizations office in the department of public information (DPI/NGO), the office that most Lehigh students intern with, in January of this year. “I graduated early in December and I wasn't really sure exactly what I wanted to do, and I had been coming to UN since I was a sophomore in HS,” Morris said. “It seemed unreachable to me to be a UN intern but as I kept coming here and talking with Bill Hunter, I realized there was an opening in the office that would fit my timeline, so I talked with the current intern and realized that it seemed like a really good fit for me.”
Morris said that she learned a lot from her time at the UN, like how to manage high profile guests and events, how to excel in a fast-paced office environment and how to manage a lot of tasks at once. “There are some weeks where we're planning three briefings at a time and you have to work so fast and everything has to be perfect because most of the things that you're doing are going to high-level professionals or they're being put onto a screen that five hundred people are looking at,” she said.
Morris said that her tasks would vary from day-to-day but that her main responsibility was planning the Thursday briefings that the DPI/NGO office puts on for the NGO community. As a journalism and global studies double major, the internship combined her interest for international affairs and her communications expertise, she said.
Swati Dave, public information officer in the DPI/NGO office, said that as their interns are required to complete a variety of tasks daily, they look for dedicated individuals who are disciplined and willing to take the initiative. “One of the benefits of hiring interns from Lehigh University is that they come prepared to work in an intense atmosphere and are exceptionally good at multitasking,” she said. “Over the years of our partnership with Lehigh University, NGO Relations has had the pleasure of working with great interns who are confident with immaculate professionalism to match. Further, we found them to be remarkably consistent and have shown a strong commitment to ensuring that all tasks are completed as assigned.”
Morris said that she would recommend the internship to other Lehigh students with an interest in global affairs. She also recommended that students take advantage of all the international opportunities that Lehigh offers its students.
“Take advantage of Lehigh opportunities because there are so many opportunities to travel, there are so many financial opportunities to help you travel, internship opportunities, you just have to know where to look,” she said.