On the 17th of May, 2018 I started my 6-months internship with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy. FAO is an intergovernmental organization which one of the agencies of the United nations whose works are majorly focused on eradicating hunger and improving the local economies by working closely with its member countries.

Being a bachelors student, this opportunity was exceptional as well as frightening as it required more professionalism and hard work, but I was more than happy to take this new challenge head-on. After gathering the required experience from IFSA in various fields for more than three years, especially from working with the UN and the international policy commission, I felt prepared and ready to make this leap of faith in my career. I am sure that my experience with IFSA was critical for me to have been chosen during the application process.

My internship was hosted in the forestry department in the social forestry team, which aims to bridge the gap between forestry and crucial but often neglected niche topics such as indigenous people, gender equality or in my case, the contribution of forests to food security and nutrition.

While working under Laura Sooyeon Jin, a forestry and food security officer of the forestry department was truly once in a lifetime experience as she never failed to empower and teach me new things, especially in  analyzing policy frameworks and supporting the organization in several sessions during the large FAO events that happened in 2018. During my work I gained new insights on international politics and policy design and it also enhanced my understanding of forests and their contribution beyond the obvious.

Regarding my professional development, I got to know people who played a very important role during the entire time of my internship which changed my life. Moreover, while living with the expat community for more than half a year, I build strong connections and a bond that lasts a life-time, within as well as outside FAO.

I consider this time as the best time of my life so far, experiencing cultural diversity and positive minds every single day, while working towards a greater cause. I suggest everyone to at least experience once the opportunity of interning in FAO and if possible becoming a consultant.

Currently, the call for internship applications is open at FAO. I strongly recommend everyone to apply for the internship , so that you can also be recruited at any later date if there is an offer for an internship that fits your profile.


This article is written by Maximilian Schubert from LC Freiburg. For further queries regarding the article above please contact [email protected]