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"NURTURE YOUR NETWORK : YOU NEVER KNOW WHO WILL HELP IN YOUR SEARCH FOR AN INTERNSHIP "

Josiane KMATCHOUM
From Costa Rica to New York, she developed and maintained her network. When she entered Sciences Po in 2011, Josianne KAMTCHOUM TEGEL was dreaming of an international career and international exposure. After an internship during her third year as parliamentary assistant at the National Assembly of Costa Rica, she chose to specialise in international security at the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA). With support from the network she had developed in Costa Rica, she managed to find her master’s compulsory internship at the Permanent Representation of Costa Rica to the UN, New York City. She speaks of her experience…

 

From Costa Rica to New York… how did you find your master’s internship at the Permanent Representation of Costa Rica to the UN?

Josiane KAMTCHOUM TEGEL (J.K-T) – Self-sacrifice – network – responsiveness : three words which summarise, in my view, the necessary pre-requisites when you’re looking for any internship during your master’s. I voluntarily put the word network at the centre of this trio, as it is the cornerstone.  

During my 3rd year internship at the National Assembly of Costa Rica, I had developed many professional relationships, which I then had to update during my search for my master’s internship : that was what took me the most time. Meanwhile, I was looking for any connection I could have with the Permanent Ambassador of Costa Rica to the United Nations. That was when I rekindled contact with the current Vice-Minister of Political Affairs at the Legislative Assembly to share my plan and my internship search. She immediately gave me guidance and communicated my contact details to the current Permanent Ambassador of Costa Rica to the United Nations, Juan-Carlos Mendoza García. After a simple email exchange where I told him about my wish to integrate his team for a 6-months internship, he quickly made me a proposal. All that was left to settle were administrative issues (internship dates, diplomatic visa etc.).    

"Don’t under-estimate your former internship supervisors, nurture your network and the friendly relationships which ensue, for you don’t know who will help in your internship search, whether in 3rd year or 5th year. "
"The managing of those two Commissions allowed me to have a transversal approach with on one hand, a purely decisional aspect with the First Commission and on the other hand, the economic-financial practises of the Fifth Commission. "

"I was first put in charge of the First Commission of the UN "

(J.K-T) : The First Commission of the UN focuses more on the decisional aspect of resolutions undergoing adoption or adopted by the Security Council, the voting of the Peacekeeping Operations’ mandates throughout the world and the policies put in place to fight against terrorism and organised crime.

"I very rapidly saw my responsibilities broaden "

(J.K-T) – Then I participated to the Fifth Commission of the UN where I engaged in the debates and took part in the informal consultations on the budgetary program of the United Nations for the 2016-2017 period (biennium), as well as the scoring of the 193 Member States’ financial participation to the Peacekeeping Operations such as MINUSMA (Mali), MINUSCA (Central African Republic) and the UNDOF (Syria). 

What did you learn from this end-of-studies internship? 

(J.K-T) – This internship confirmed my master’s choice and also reconciled me with Public affairs, a domain where I couldn’t see myself work professionally.  

 

What are the required and indispensable criteria to have, according to you, to achieve this internship?   

 

There needs to be self-sacrifice, an unlimited amount of humility, ambition, hindsight, permanent adaptability and substantial financial resources, for the cost of living is very high in Uncle Sam’s country. Finally, you need a good dose of pragmatism (not everything that shines is gold)   

"In the months to come, I will follow the prep’Ena "

(J.K-T) – I am bursting with ideas and projects. I now wish to take the Prep’Ena to prepare myself as well as possible for the French Public Service exams. 

TO KNOW MORE

On the School of International Affais (PSIA)

On master internships

Prep’Ena

Last modified 2016-09-08
01.03.2019
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