My favorite professional visit was our visit to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Although the main UN headquarters are in New York City, the office in Geneva specifically deals with humanitarian efforts and human rights issues. The office in Geneva is perfectly located in a neutral zone, allowing countries from all over the world to come together and make decisions benefiting their people. I’ve always been very passionate about human rights and have chosen a career path that will make an impact, so this professional visit really resonated with me.
The architecture of the building itself was very empowering. The building was made of very strong, sturdy materials, which I believe represents the organization well. The humanitarian room was covered in a vibrant ceiling that is supposed to represent each country separately, but also merging together.
I had only briefly researched this office before visiting. I knew that it focused on the humanitarian aspect, but didn’t have much knowledge beyond that. This means the discussion of issues pertaining to the people and the benefit of the people. Our tour guide was very informative and explained even minor details about the work done at the UN Geneva headquarters. I was amazed to find out that Eleanor Roosevelt wrote the Human Rights Declaration there! It is a crucial part of our world’s history and it was such a powerful experience to see where it was created.
This visit was very important to me both academically and personally. I enjoy working with people and helping people. I always volunteer when I can and give back to my community. I even started my own student organization at my university that focuses on human rights issues. My club, Change Makers, organizes events throughout the year to inform others about various human rights issues and give back. I have a passion for people and I hope to be able to work at the UN Geneva office someday.
By: Kirsten Himle, 2015 Forum-Nexus alumna