Not only was the visit to the United Nations my favorite, but it was the professional visit I was most excited about going to! The main reason I loved the visit was due to my long-time interest in the United Nations as an organization. Ever since I decided to study the field of political science for my major, I’ve really hoped that one day I would get to work for a non-governmental organization. As time passed and I studied more, the United Nations became the one specific organization I want to eventually work for.
Although I had already written multiple papers about the United Nations for my university, the visit surprisingly taught me more than I already knew. We were fortunate enough to have a very nice tour guide who answered an array of questions from many different students; questions I did not know the answer to and would have never thought to ask. I liked interacting with the tour guide because it gave me a chance to hear about the work he does for the United Nations. It also made me realize that the UN really is a diverse organization where people with very different backgrounds and nationalities all get to work together.
I had always known that to work for the United Nations, a person would have to know at least two languages. However, I was mistaken to think they needed to be two European languages. As it turns out, Arabic is one of the six official languages used at the United Nations. Being a bilingual (Arabic and English) and finding out that it would allow me to hopefully work one day for the United Nations was the highlight of my day. The professional visit at the UN made me realize landing my dream job is very possible and not just a fantasy in my head.
Another reason this was my favorite visit was because we were able to tour the actual headquarters; just being inside the building was an amazing experience. Seeing all the huge conference rooms, where some of the most important international conferences take place, grasping an understanding of how the most important issues from the past and even present are dealt with was an incredible experience; and not just for the handful of political science majors but to all the other students as well.
Lastly, I loved viewing all the art pieces, donated by each of the member countries, kept at the headquarters. From the chair outside the UN headquarters, to the meditation room ceiling, the art clearly symbolized the mission of the United Nations. The mission to unify all different countries and bring peace. Although it is speculated whether the organization manages to achieve its objectives or not, the art displayed on the walls in the conference rooms and all along the corridors, is a great initiative from all the countries . It shows hope for peace between all the many different countries of the world in the future.
By: Dana Habib, Forum-Nexus 2014 alumna