Campus: CSU Long Beach -- July 13, 2005
California State University, Long Beach Student Spending
Summer in New York City, Participating in United Nations Internship Program
Anahit Samarjian, a student at California State University, Long Beach, is
spending the bulk of her summer vacation in New York City this year, but it's
not a pleasure trip.
Samarjian is one of 120 students taking part in the United Nations Headquarters
Internship Programme. The two-month summer program began June 7, and her last
day as a UN intern will be July 29.
But, her participation is a bit more out of the ordinary because the program is
for graduate students. Samarjian is still an undergraduate. In fact, when the
fall semester begins at CSULB on Aug. 29, she will just be entering her junior
"The official UN Internship Program is for graduate students only, but undergraduate
interns can be hired by the department if the supervisor feels the student can
contribute," explained Samarjian, a double major in international studies and
communications with minors in French, entrepreneurship and history. "My resume
was passed on to my UN supervisor by the Armenian General Benevolent Union
Internship Program, which helped me secure my internship."
The objective of the internship program is threefold: to provide a framework by
which graduate and post-graduate students from diverse academic backgrounds may
be assigned to United Nations offices where their education experience can be
enhanced through practical work assignments, to expose them to the work of the
United Nations, and to provide UN offices with the assistance of highly qualified
students specialized in various professionals fields.
"My main objective for the internship here is to learn as much as I possibly can,"
said Samarjian, a President's Scholar at CSULB. "I have no illusions about being
an important part of the system here. I could leave tomorrow and it would have
no effect whatsoever on the UN.
"However, I can use this amazing opportunity to study - on political, psychological
and social levels - the way an important international organization runs. I have
the chance to see the successes of the UN and a first-hand opportunity to see the
shortcomings," she added. "If my career leads me to working in politics or as part
of an international organization, this experience will prove invaluable."
Samarjian is working in the Department of Management at the UN in the Office of
the Secretary of the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly. The Fifth Committee
is the main committee of the General Assembly entrusted with responsibilities for
administration and budgetary matters. Due to the increased workload of the Fifth
Committee during the past years, it is now standard practice for the committee to
meet not only during the main part of the General Assembly (September to December)
but during resumed sessions in March and May as well.
Samarjian is interning during the resumed session that began in May, and during
this time the Fifth Committee typically considers items relating to the financing
of peacekeeping operations.
While her responsibilities include attending meetings, taking notes of the
procedures of the meetings, handing our draft documents to member states' delegates,
making copies and cleaning out old storage files, the experience is proving to be
quite valuable and illuminating for Samarjian, who is still undecided on a career
"As my internship is coming to a close, I can say that I have never learned so much
in so little time as I have here at the UN," Samargian pointed out. "This experience
has allowed me to see world affairs close up and on a very personal basis. It has
made me more knowledgeable about reality in the political world. I can't say that
being an intern at the UN has solidified my desire to work for an organization
such as the UN, but it has given me the invaluable gift of knowing what it would
be like if I did."
Rick Gloady, 562/985-5454, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shayne Schroeder, 562/985-1727, email@example.com