International RelationsCareer Challenge
June 17-21, 2019
Johns Hopkins University, Advanced Academic Programs, Washington DC, USA
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Agenda

A pdf version of the agenda with an hourly program schedule can be downloaded here. The IRCC program includes a variety of sessions to provide you practical experience of what assignments in international organisations look like and how to succeed in the recruitment process for the dream position. The detailed description of each day of the IRCC program is presented below.

You may gather even more details about the program’s sessions and students’ experience from the report created by one of the IRCC 2018 KCL intake graduates – Ms. Marianne Govic. The report in a pdf format can be accessed here.

Day 1: Introduction

On the first day participants start with an introduction to the United Nations, its history, structure, current trends. Afterwards they receive detailed guidelines on the options available for young professionals to start a career in a variety of international organisations, as well as requirements and recommendations on how to secure a job there.

The afternoon session is dedicated to the values and competencies of the United Nations and what behaviour is a positive or negative reflection of these competences. After that participants take part in the competency-based interview session, where they learn what type of questions can be asked and receive a specific framework to present their background in the best possible way at the interview. The competency based session is followed by a practical exercise where students are asked interview questions and afterwards receive feedback on their performance and recommendations on how the answers can be improved.

The final session is dedicated to the introduction to the topic of the exercises which students will work on during days 2, 3 and 4 of the program. These exercises are simulating three professional roles in which professionals can be engaged in while working in the international development field.

The first day is finished with the welcome reception scheduled for the end of the day.

Day 2: Research & Policy Recommendations

During the second day participants take part in the simulation for the professional role ‘Policy/Advisory’. At the beginning of the day participants are divided into groups of 5-6 people and are assigned a specific country to work on for all three days.

The main task of the day is to conduct a comprehensive research on the assigned topic in the assigned country and to deliver policy recommendations to the government authorities on how to overcome the identified challengies. Groups receive assignment guidelines and a template to present their findings, which is based on the original United Nations documents.

At the end of the day participants present their findings in front of a panel of guest speakers, who possess vast practical experience on working in international organisations with similar assignments. The speakers provide feedback to students on their work and give recommendations on building a career in this professional role.

Day 3: Project Management

During the third day participants take part in the simulation for the professional role ‘Practitioner’. Working in the same groups, participants are asked to design a project to be implemented in the assigned country that would help to implement the policy recommendations that the group provided on Day 2 of the program. This project will be presented to the funding authorities in view of obtaining financing for the project’s implementation in the field.

The developed project should be concrete and reasonable and cover various aspects, including the project objectives, beneficiaries, geographic scope, risks mitigation, results framework, workplace, budget justification and monitoring procedures. Groups receive assignment guidelines and a template to present their findings, which is based on the original United Nations documents.

At the end of the day participants present their projects in front of a panel of guest speakers, who possess vast practical experience of work in international organisations with similar assignments. The speakers provide feedback to students on their work and give recommendations on building a career in this professional role.

Day 4: Campaign & Outreach

During the fourth day participants take part in the simulation for the professional role ‘Advocacy/Outreach’. Working in the same groups, participants work to develop a communication strategy to raise awareness about the project developed on Day 3 of the program. The main target of this day is to bring attention to the identified problem and to motivate and inspire people to take action and facilitate the proposed solution in the local community.

The output of the day is an outreach campaign to be presented at the end of the day in front of a panel of guest speakers, who possess vast practical experience of work in international organisations with similar assignments. The speakers provide feedback to students on their work and give recommendations on building a career in this professional role.

Day 5: Application

The final day of the program is dedicated to the preparation of applications for international development jobs. Participants are asked to select a vacancy they are willing to apply to and work on the application for this vacancy at that day.

In the morning session participants attend a 90-minute presentation from Human Resources professionals working in the international development organisations. They receive detailed guidelines on how to present background in the strongest possible way when applying for internships and jobs in international organisations, including:

– What hiring departments look for when screening applicantions;

– Recommendations on presenting education background;

– Differences between the description of duties and achievements and how to adjust them to the job opening;

– Presenting extracurricular activities and additional skills (what to add and what to skip);

– Structure and content of the cover letter and how to adjust it to the job opening;

– Practical tips to increase your chances to pass the screening stage and be invited for an interview.

Afterwards, participants start working on developing their applications for selected jobs. Each attendee will have an opportunity to enjoy a consultation session with program facilitators on an individual basis, who review their application documents and provide suggestions on improvements to enhance their profile, or advise on the participant’s career strategy.

Afternoon session also includes a 60-minute presentation on the United Nations recruitment system Inspira. The presentation is designed to uncover the tips essential for the success of a UN job application by going step-by-step through every section in Inspira: Screening Questions, Education, Work Experience, Languages, Skills & Training, Cover Letter, References, Last Questions. Guidelines for all sections are supported with detailed and concrete examples on how to incorporate the provided recommendations.

The program finishes with the awards ceremony to recognise the winning group based on the performance during the professional role simulation assignments and certificates awarded individually to each participant. The award ceremony is followed by a closing reception.