News & Views

Greetings from NY!

8 December 2017

Last spring, Agda Vähä-Piikkiö worked as an associate trainee in the M&A team in the Helsinki office, and now she is coming back as a thesis trainee. After the spring, she left to gain international working experience through an internship at the legal office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York.

How was it to work within the UN system?
Work at the UNDP included doing research based on staff regulations, rules, and jurisprudence in matters concerning the handling of cases under the UN system of administration of justice as well as assisting lawyers in the handling of cases and inquiries. Basically, the role of the legal team was the in-house counseling of the UNDP administration on staff-related questions and issues.

Working within the UN system was an interesting opportunity which opened the vast world of international organizations and their work within global and local issues in front of my eyes. I also had a chance to familiarize myself with the principles of international administrative law and the functioning of the UN tribunals. Both of these were fields I was rather unfamiliar with before my internship. As a working environment, the UNDP was also extremely international, and I had a chance to work with colleagues from all over the world.

What would you consider the biggest benefits of doing an internship abroad?
Doing an internship abroad was a great experience in many ways. It gave me new perspectives to the world and different cultures as well as a chance to meet a lot of other young motivated people from different cultures. The experience abroad also gave me an opportunity to enhance my language skills, not only in English, but it also motivated me to study Spanish and French further. Especially the importance of French within international organizations became apparent.

How was New York as a place to do your internship?
During my six months there, I managed to explore only a fraction of New York. However, it is definitely the most multicultural city I know and it offers endless possibilities and entertainment for everyone. Being a nature and outdoor person myself, I was surprised how much nature one can find even on Manhattan alone. New York offers a lot of internship opportunities in many fields and is surely a great option for anyone who is planning to do an internship abroad.

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