UNICEF Viet Nam: Is This the Right Place for Me?



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Have you ever thought about working at UNICEF, a very large and well-established international organization? Do you know how UNICEF operates and what people do there? Is UNICEF a great place for you to hone your skills and build a long-term career? I have always dreamt of working at UNICEF since high school. When I was accepted to the Social Policy and Governance Internship program at UNICEF Viet Nam for Summer 2014, I could not be happier. Getting the chance to work in an international environment and to interact with peers who come from all over the world, getting to go and work directly with the Vietnamese community, I asked myself: ÒCan I ask for anything better than this from UNICEF Viet Nam?Ó However, what I hoped to gain at the workplace was the opposite of my reality at work. The differences between what I had wanted and what I was going through got bigger and harsher. By the end of my internship, I realized that a place like UNICEF (especially in a developing country) is not the right one for me to pursue a career in - at least not in the short-term. Why was the experience not satisfying? How did I overcome all the obstacles? Did I gain anything? In my presentation, I will give an overview of my internship experience at UNICEF Viet Nam: the good and bad sides of it and how it helped me to redirect my career path today.