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Career in international organizations
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) provides assistance for Swiss nationals interested in applying for a job with an international organization. Are you considering a professional career in an international organization? The FDFA recommends reading in particular “Career in an International Organization”. If you have already found a job description that matches your profile, the FDFA will be happy to provide advice.
- Guidelines for a career in an international organization (111 Kb, pdf)
You can receive more information directly from our partner cinfo, the Centre for Information, Counselling and Training for Professions relating to International Cooperation. As a specialized service-provider and network platform, cinfo supports international cooperation actors and professionals, along with those persons desirous of working in this field, with relevant first-hand information, individual professional counselling, and a wide-ranging offering of advanced-training courses. The targeted public is composed of persons interested in a career with international organizations such as the UN programs UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and UN Volunteers, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, or non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
NCRE, YPP, JPO, AssEx? Difficult to understand all these abbreviations. Let us make this clear!
Associate Expert (AssEx) programmes
The AssEx programmes (also known as Junior professional Officer [JPO] Programmes) are targeted to attract outstanding young people and to give them an opportunity to gain their first professional experience in an international organization in order to beeing able to start a career in an international organization.
The AssEx programmes last between one and three years depending on the programme and the organization. The member states are responsible for these programmes. That means that they recruit and they sponsor the candidates. At the moment, the FDFA supports the following AssEx programmes:
- The United Nations and International Organizations Division (UNIOD) has a small JPO programm. This Division recruits each year about two AssEx. To participate the candidates must be Swiss citizen, need at least 2 years of relevant work experience and a Master degree. Moreover, the candidates have not to be more than 32.
- The Human Security Division (HSD) offers about 5 AssEx positions every year. The candidates must be Swiss citizen and have not to be more than 31. Furthermore they need a Master degree and a relevant professional experience of minimum 2 years.
The AssEx positions are regularly published on the website of Center for Information, Counseling and Training (cinfo)
- Impressions from AssEx about their Job (fr) (2811 Kb, pdf)
Young Professionals Programmes (YPP)
The YPP are comparable to the AssEx programmes. In contrast to the AssEx programmes, member states are not responsible for the candidates and for recruiting and financing them. The competition can said to be more intense, but the chances of finding a position in an IO are higher. The YPP pursues the same objective as the AssEx. The duration can vary from one year to three years. Below there is a non-exhaustive list of YPP:
International organizations offer various posts, ranging from internships and junior staff or fresh blood programmes to positions for middle management and senior management posts at director level. In the United Nations (UN) the categories are as follows: Professional (P1-P5), Director (D1, D2), Assistant Secretary-General (ASG), Under Secretary-General (USG) and General Secretary (GS). Other organizations, mainly European ones, use a system of classification in which these posts are ranked from A-4 to A-7. The UNO offers the search engine Inspira for the research of job possibilities.
Internships within international organizations
At its New York headquarters, the United Nations offer internships for advanced students. Those interested can apply via the UN Inspira recruitment site by following the instructions on the site. Students who are interested in an internship within an UN sub-organization other than the New York secretariat should apply directly to the organizations concerned.
- List of all internships within IOs (91 Kb, xls)
Internships within the FDFA
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) offers internships in Switzerland and abroad for students as well as graduates of universities. These internships last from three months to one year.
Internships within the Swiss Confederation
With over 36'000 employees, the Swiss Confederation is one of the greatest public administrations of our country. Each of the seven Federal Departments, the Federal Chancellery and the Federal Courts engage on a regular basis students and graduates for an internship. The duration may vary between three months and one year.
Internships in Europe
EURES (European Employment Services) is an information exchange network operated by the public employment services in the European Union and the EFTA countries. Its aim is to facilitate the mobility of workers within the countries of the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).