Transforming knowledge into opportunities
Learning and knowledge for the future
Academic Background: International Development and Communications
Projects: During my internship I was responsible for translating the "Innovation and Collaboration for Development" course from English to French. I also conducted research into improving the course content and materials. On top of this translation I acted as a facilitator for the English version of the course and helped compile definitions and tool kits for the Click4it wiki.
Period of Internship: November 2012 – May 2013
'My traineeship at KSI has been an extensive and fascinating learning curve in which I was given responsibility and felt a real recognition to the work that I accomplished. On top of this it has been extremely enjoyable working here, in an international environment with kind friendly people who are also extremely knowledgeable. It was extremely exciting to learn about new Web 2.0 tools that are shaping the way in which we currently communicate on such a large scale. Using these tools in a development context was an innovative idea that I thoroughly enjoyed participating in. Being given the responsibility to be heavily involved with the French version of the course was for me a fantastic opportunity. It gave me a real sense of responsibility and having seen the first participants take part in the course and giving positive feedback really added value to my work. I know that the skills I have learnt here will be beneficial for me throughout my future career, but even more importantly I hope that I stay in touch with all the fantastic people that I met here. Thank you to everyone who made my time here such a great moment which I will look back upon with extremely fond memories. '
Academic Background: International Relations
Projects: During my internship I conceptualized and did instructional design for a new e-Learning course. I also had the opportunity to administer an e-Learning course on social media tools, conduct course evaluations, and make an organization-wide presentation on new online tools used in the KSI department.
Period of Internship: October 2012 – April 2013
'My traineeship at KSI really gave me some fascinating insights into employment avenues, I plan on pursuing in the future. In the realm of training, I was exposed to the potential of e-Learning and the potential of various innovative web 2.0 tools that can innovate instruction and assessment. I also was involved in the process of conducting formal evaluations for training courses, experience which I could not have gotten anywhere else. I was even given the opportunity to design/author my own e-Learning course. Exposure to authoring tools like Lectora, and various resources concerning instructional and assessment theory have been priceless in enhancing my capacity to design effective instructional materials in both electronic and face-to-face contexts. Exposure to new tools that will enhance my spoken and written presentation skills, like easel.ly and Prezi have also really given me insight into creative ways to communicate ideas to various audiences. And on top of all this, I was privileged to meet a fabulous bunch of people from various locations across the globe. This international aspect, and the friends I’ve made really made the experience unique, stimulating and so enjoyable. Thank you to Sueli and my colleagues in KSI for giving me this great opportunity!'
Academic Background: Law
Projects: During my traineeship at UNITAR I have participated in the development of a project on youth entrepreneurship in Algeria. I have conducted extensive research on this subject, consulted specialized reports, attended conferences and then compiled, synthesized and presented the results of my work.
Period of Internship: September 2012 – March 2013
'My traineeship at KSI has been an extremely rewarding experience. I have always enjoyed being in an international environment and KSI provided me with the opportunity of meeting great people from all around the world who rapidly became my very good friends. The project concerning youth entrepreneurship that my team has worked on can make a difference and help young people. I am grateful to have been able to contribute to its development. Working on this project has given me the chance of expanding my knowledge about many social and economic issues and about project management. I would like to thank Sueli Giorgetta, my supervisor and the manager of KSI, for providing me with the opportunity of constantly improving my skills and competences. I hope to find in my future work environment, the same constant support, help and great teamwork that I have found during my time spent at KSI. Thank you to all members of the KSI team.'
Academic Background: Project Management and Aviation Business
Projects: Conduct research on youth entrepreneurship and identified potential curriculums for entrepreneurship development, synthesized and compiled results to highlight selected aspects of the conducted research.
Period of Internship: August 2012 – November 2012
'My experience within Knowledge Systems Innovation (KSI) unit of UNITAR was very rich: Provided me with the opportunity of understanding the ‘entrepreneurship paradigm’ while applying top notch methodologies and concepts in a working environment where creative thinking and innovation were the mind-set of the day. I would just mention ‘Delight the client’ concept when managing project’s stakeholders as key take away. At the end of this term I can add to my multinational experience the multigenerational experience that enabled me to understand the generational dynamics and its influence on work place. Special thanks to Sueli, my mentor and to Daniel, my office mate.'
Academic Background: Information Systems and Knowledge Management
Projects: My assignments focused on collaborating in the development and implementation of the unit’s e-Learning activities and contribute to the development of the Click4it wiki. Additionally, I served as the focal point of the Facilitation Skills course and researched a web authoring tool for designing of online courses.
Period of Internship: June 2012 – October 2012
'My internship period was indeed a learning experience in a learning unit of UNITAR. As a onetime participant of the comprehensive social media course offered by Knowledge Systems Innovation (KSI), I was opportune to act as a co-facilitator to the course. This consolidated my experience to explore the power of the new media in solving developmental problems. Facilitation Skills was also one of the take-away of the internship experience. I learnt how to facilitate in both online and on-site situations. Additionally, I learnt how to use an authoring tool, myudutu that is quite hands-on as I leave UNITAR to another research institute. The research and update of definitions and terms on the UNITAR training and learning wiki, Click4it, also strengthened my resolve to explore the knowledge management field further. All these are good experiences that I am glad to take away from KSI. Finally, I would like to thank the truly innovative, international and multicultural KSI team which extends to include the former KSI interns, for the companion, advice and networking-outings we had throughout my stay in Geneva. Of course, the accolade will not be complete without the able leadership of the manager, Sueli. '
Academic Background: University Teaching and Research in the subject areas of British Architectural & Landscape History; World Art; History of Design, & Design Practice
Projects: The focus of my tasks during my UNITAR traineeship has been to research and write specific terms and toolkits for UNITAR’s open source wiki Click4it. This has nurtured my way of writing to be succinct in its delivery of information, a technique that is going to greatly facilitate my new role as Lexicographer working on a major revision of terms in a Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Moreover, my participation in UNITAR’s Innovative Collaboration for Development e-Learning course on social media tools has provided a new and refreshing skill set for networking in a broader context, and presents an opportunity to engage in software applications for teaching and research in Higher Education.
Period of Internship: March 2012 – August 2012
'My programme at UNITAR has given me an opportunity to work in a stimulating environment of international, intelligent, creative thinkers, whose commitment and drive demonstrate how the concept of internship and traineeship, can generate meaningful work - making a difference. Moreover, contributing to the organisation’s open-source wiki has inspired me to disseminate my own research findings, ideas and knowledge in a broader context using digital technology to reach global audiences, making new and meaningful connections and networks – these are key to what I take away from my term at UNITAR.'
Academic Background: Modern Languages and Communications
Projects: Implementing a blog for the KSI unit, managing KSI’s website, creating a range of communication products, exploring learning and training tools and methods and delivering training sessions, carrying out evaluations of past training sessions, assisting with the delivery of the Innovative Collaboration for Development course and taking part in the course restructuring and the creation of new training activities.
Period of Internship: July 2011 – June 2012
'The internship provided me with a range of valuable skills and exposed me to the use of a variety of tools and software packages that are extremely useful in my field of work. I fully believe that my profile and competences have been boosted by this experience and that working together with a dynamic and collaborative team enhanced my outcomes and learning ability.
Performing tasks such as delivering trainings, implementing a blog, managing a website, producing written and visual communication products greatly enhanced my communications and sense-making skills. I will take with me many new inputs and much inspiration from this experience, which will surely be of good use for my future professional path.
I appreciated being part of a supportive and collaborative team, who made me feel integrated from the very beginning and with whom it has been a pleasure to work. I want to thank my colleagues for being such a great team, and my supervisor, Sueli Giorgetta, for allowing me this opportunity and for making me push my boundaries every day.'
Academic Background: International Development and Health
Projects: Researching and preparing definitions and toolkits for the Click4it Wiki, and assisting with developing a fundraising strategy for the OpenDojo programme.
Period of Internship: October 2011 – February 2012
I was very pleased when I was offered the traineeship position with KSI. This was very different from the kind of work I had been doing but I was happy to engage in a new challenge. My background is in International Development and Health so this was completely different. Thus I was happy to be out of my comfort zone and learn new skills whilst getting to know new software and programmes that will definitely help me further in my career.
I was mainly working with the Click4it Wiki and doing research for different definitions, tools and methodologies related to training and adult education. I also supported a mission to Brazil aiming to develop a partnership and did some research to help develop a fundraising strategy for the OpenDojo programme. But the most amazing part, that I am sure I will take with me, were the colleagues at KSI. They are amazing, passionate, competent and caring people that I am hoping to continue to have as friends. Thanks KSI!
Academic Background: Liberal Arts (German and American Studies), Education Studies
Projects: Researching and preparing toolkits for the Click4it Wiki, coaching sessions on the Open ECBCheck Quality Framework, conducting research on accreditation and certification schemes.
Period of Internship: June 2011 – December 2011
After gaining experience in educating youth the traineeship at the KSI unit was a great opportunity for me to transfer my skills and knowledge into the field of Adult Education, as well as broaden my know-how in this field.
During my traineeship I have been involved in a great variety of activities, which provided me with new learning opportunities every day. My work had a strong focus on instructional design, which appeared in several of my tasks: I have prepared numerous definitions and toolkits on the Click4it Wiki, participated in the ICfD course and made suggestions for its improvement, coached several units on the concept and practical parts of the OpenECBCheck process. I also had the special opportunity to plan and facilitate a workshop session at the Interns’ and Collaborators’ Day.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank my supervisor, Sueli who has always treated me as a colleague, who gave me new challenges, helped me push my limits and opened my horizon to new ideas, trends and ventures. I am also very happy to have worked in such a great, supportive team of multiple talents and colorful personalities: Alessia, Barbara, Devina, Ilaria – you have become more than my colleagues and I will miss you all!
Academic Background: Foreign Languages for International Communication
Projects: Assisting in the facilitation, monitoring, and evaluation of the Innovative Collaboration for Development (ICfD) course, and elaborating an e-learning design guidebook.
Period of Internship: March 2011 – September 2011
My internship with the KSI team began in March 2011. I have a degree in Foreign Languages for International Communication and some working experiences in adult training, so this internship at UNITAR was a great opportunity for me to broaden my knowledge in both fields. My main tasks were related to KSI e-learning initiatives by facilitating, monitoring and evaluating an online course on social media for development, contributing to a training design guidebook for e-learning, and contributing to the click4it.org training terminology website. I was fascinated by the idea to work on a complex training project/activity from its beginning to its end, and this expectation was highly satisfied.
I express my thanks to Sueli for the careful supervision of my tasks and for trusting my abilities, and to my KSI colleagues for the constant team work: Devina and Giulia for their constant advice; Massimiliano for the warm welcome; Ilaria, Emma and Nathalia for the collaborative work and for chocolate sharing!
I might say that this experience turned to be an excellent one from both professional and personal perspectives.
Academic Background: Project Management
Projects: Preparation of a project proposal for civil servants’ capacity development in Cape Verde; Development of the Click4it Training Terminology Wiki.
Period of Internship: March 2011 – July 2011
After having worked 10 years in the health care industry, it was very new for me to work in an environment like the United Nations. Having spent 4 months at UNITAR has been a very interesting experience. Everything is completely different, the approach, the structure, the atmosphere were all new to me and I really enjoyed my traineeship. I found very nice to have a new challenge in a quite different area from my previous studies and a different perspective of a working day at an office.
I came to collaborate in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of a project proposal on the implementation of a series of training courses for the Government of Cape Verde in the fields of Integrated Human Resources Management and Practices, International Law, Public Policies, Sustainable Development and Entrepreneurship, and Intersectoral Collaboration. After this project was concluded I was assigned to assist the Click4it wiki, contributing with its content in the Monitoring & Evaluation section.
I have learned a lot in terms of project management, structure and delivery and also how it is to conduct such a big project with different units involved. Also I had the opportunity to learn a lot about learning, adult education approaches and quality standards. It was definitely a great contribution to the enhancement of my professional skills. Like Sueli mentioned once, we have to make ourselves “employable” to be able to get a job, and my experience at UNITAR definitely helped me to make myself a lot more “employable”: focused on quality, organization and looking always for excellence.
I am definitely going to miss the great environment and the friends from UNITAR!
Academic Background: Multimedia Communication
Projects: Improvement of UNITAR and KSI communication activities, graphic and interactive design, web design.
Period of Internship: June 2010 – May 2011
This Internship opportunity was provided by the “Master dei Talenti”, a program that is offered by the Fondazione CRT, an Italian foundation.
I was in charge of assisting the Knowledge Systems Innovation (KSI) Unit in different aspects and support it mainly in its communication activities, as a graphic and interactive designer.
At KSI, I had the opportunity to conceptualize and develop the Unitar e-Learning brochure which has been printed as the official corporate brochure. I also designed Unitar’s banners and a number of templates for print publications. Another important project was the development and the production of a promotional video of KSI activities, which has been published in the home page of the KSI website. Moreover I developed and designed the click4it.org website using the Mediawiki architecture, including the realization of logos, banners and videos.
All the great expectations I had before coming to work for Unitar have been satisfied. The international environment, the highly specialized staff, a new challenge in a quite different area from that of my studies and the stimulating and creative work made my internship an unforgettable experience.
I have learned a lot in terms of “institutional communication” from the organization of content to targeting design and information for specific users. In this context, a special thanks to Sueli who gave me significant responsibilities, trusting my abilities and skills. A big thanks also to the KSI team who were not only colleagues but very good friends as well.
Academic Background: Educational Technology, Biochemistry, and Computer Science
Projects: Assisting in the facilitation, reporting, and redesign of the Innovative Collaboration for Development (ICfD) course, and elaborating an e-learning design guidebook.
Period of Internship: September 2010 – March 2011
My internship with the KSI team began in September 2010. My official work was to work with KSI in its e-learning initiatives by facilitating, evaluating and redesigning an online course, elaborating an e-learning design guidebook, and contributing to the Click4it training terminology website. My personal mission was to learn a little more about the UN while broadening my cultural awareness by working with motivated, talented people from all parts of the world.
I enjoyed my chance to do all of this and more during my 6-month stay. Outside of work, I was also able to attend some of the very interesting talks organized by UNITAR, and the open sharing of ideas – especially in the KSI team – allowed me to take part in many other projects as well. Thank you to Sueli for the constant guidance, and to all of UNITAR for the support, encouragement, and for always taking time to answer my questions.
These past 6 months have flown by – I’m going to miss you guys!
Academic Background: Training and Project Management
Projects: Development of the Training Terminology Website; Implementation of different courses in UNITAR’s Moodle Platform; Research on innovative learning tools and methods.
Period of Internship: August 2010 – February 2011
This internship opportunity was initiated by me and the Chômage in Geneva.
I was in charge of assisting the Knowledge Systems Innovation Unit (KSI) in different aspects and support KSI in day to day work as well as on specific projects. The tasks I have been involved with were to contribute to the development of the click4it website; assist in the implementation of different courses and activities; and, support the implementation in French of an eLearning pilot course on the International Law for West Africa.
After having worked 20 years in the financial industry, it was very new for me to work in an environment like the UN. Everything is completely different, the approach, the structure, the atmosphere were all new to me and I really enjoyed my internship. I found it very nice to meet people from all around the globe even if it was for a short period of time. I have improved my technical knowledge and I have also added value to my professional experience. A special BIG thanks to Sueli the manager of KSI and to Giulia my mentor who were very kind and gave me new responsibilities with great confidence. It was nice to feel part of a team and to understand that what I was working on was part of a well established working plan inside Unitar.
Academic Background: English language and literature, E-learning and net-training
Projects: Assisting in the pre-course phase, delivery, post-course monitoring and evaluation as well in facilitating and redesigning the Innovative Collaboration for Development (ICfD) course. Participating in the development of the click4it website.
Period of Internship: May 2010 - February 2011
What I find most appealing about UNITAR are its notable efforts in the field of capacity building and international development, but also the fact that it is a real melting pot of staff and interns from all around the globe. At KSI, a supportive and collaborative environment was a real pleasure to work in. A dedicated supervisor who supports innovation and creativity, a great team of colleagues who became my friends and an interesting project I worked on made this internship a great experience!
In a nutshell, the activities I was mostly involved with at KSI were: evaluating the existing ICfD interface and the educational design in the phase of pre-course monitoring and evaluation, editing the course interface in Moodle, assisting with the ICfD course facilitation during the delivery phase and, after the course, participating in data analysis and drafting an evaluation report. At the moment, I am assisting with facilitation of the ICfD April 2011 session.
ICfD course facilitation was my favourite part as I could put my teaching experience and theoretical knowledge of the Moodle platform into practice.
Academic Background: Information and Communication Technology for Development
Projects: Assistance in the development of the Innovative Collaboration for Development course (screencast & flash content). Research on tool and methods to support learning.
Period of Internship: February 2010 – July 2010
After completing my Master degree, this year I had the opportunity to join the Knowledge Systems Innovation Unit of UNITAR for a 6 months traineeship.
My experience working with UNITAR was outstanding. My tasks were mainly related to the use of innovative pedagogies and methodologies for adult learning to be sustained by intensive research. I was involved in the implementation of the course Innovation Collaboration for Development and the creation of screencasts that could help participants in the course, research on secreencasting tools, use of eXelearning tool. I always enjoyed my work and was eagerly waiting for the next assignment from my supervisor. This traineeship allowed me to apply my academic knowledge to real life. I really had a good time with UNITAR and learned a lot and I always got immediate support from my supervisor.
All in all, this short term traineeship is a whirlwind of enthusiasm and learning. Finally I would say, This internship was a marvelous learning experience for me and I will miss UNITAR.
Academic Background: Philosophy
Projects: Training Terminology Website, Research on learning tools and methods, Assistance with Unitar Virtual Learning Environment
Period of Internship: May 2009 - May 2010
I have been working for one year with the KSI Unit as a collaborator and I was really sad to leave UNITAR in the end... I had learned so much during those months!
Academic Background: English Literature
Projects: Design and development of the Innovative Collaboration for Development course, Contribution to the training terminology website
Period of Internship: Oct 2009 – April 2010
'My traineeship with the KSI unit at UNITAR was both professionally satisfying and culturally stimulating. I was primarily involved with developing an e-Learning course for development professionals on the use of Social Media tools at the work place. I also contributed to the training terminology wiki, an internal resource for the organization and delivered a presentation on Instructional Design Practices and Processes for my colleagues at UNITAR. From the point of view of an Instructional Designer, the most important take-away from the traineeship was the opportunity to be involved with every stage of developing a fairly complex course- starting from the analysis of the learning requirement, to devising the learning strategy, developing learning objects and finally integrating various elements into the Moodle powered Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). While developing the course I was given access to a lot of reading material, both on Social Media and Instructional Design which contributed to enhancing my domain knowledge. The intellectual debates and discussions with my colleagues have helped me negotiate my own opinions on these issues. This apart, the traineeship also gave me the opportunity to hone skills in communication, presentation and composition, which I continue to find very useful in my professional life. Finally, the experience of working in as culturally diverse an environment as the United Nations opened to me a world of variety in thought, attitudes and perceptions, which has helped me think beyond the boundaries that that have thus far defined my identity.'
Rebecca Ying Yuan
Academic Background: Political Science, Development Studies
Project: Online course on Democratic Governance
Period of Internship: June – December 2009
I was very excited when I knew that UNITAR/KSI selected me to work as their Intern. But afterwards, when I read my Terms of Reference (kinds of descriptions about my tasks and learning objectives during the Internship), I was really afraid that I would never achieve them. I remembered clearly the first day of my work, I went to my manager’s office and expressed my worry. She was very kind and encouraged me by saying «I’m sure that you are able to learn it very quickly». During my internship, almost every day I could learn something new. My main task was to prepare 5 modules of an online training course and then migrate/adapt them to Moodle which is a particular Virtual Learning Environment. Before coming to UNITAR, I had research and teaching experience in universities, but I didn’t know anything about e-Learning with new IT tools. UNITAR offered me a tremendous opportunity not only to contribute my academic knowledge to the UN’s work but also to learn many new ICT tools, such as Moodle, Mahara, and Mediawiki. In the second part of my Internship, I’ve also learned how to prepare the training terminology and edit them on UNITAR’s wiki page. Besides professional knowledge, I’ve also learned a lot about different cultures represented by my colleagues. We organized several « Multicultural Lunches » in our office. Each Intern brought his/her country’s traditional dish. It was not only dishes but also the richness of different cultures which were shared and enjoyed by all of us. It was a really good time. I’m very thankful for having such precious experience with UNITAR/KSI.
Academic Background: Business Science and Business Administration
Projects: Training Terminology Website, Research on learning tools and methods, Capacity Development Report Cape Verde
Period of Internship: May - October 2009
‘My experience working in the Knowledge Systems Innovation Unit at UNITAR has been an excellent one. I leave this internship with acquired knowledge about current and innovative learning methodologies, with more information on Social Media, with experience in the design and layout of a report, with a better understanding of the Virtual Learning Environment called Moodle and the e-Portfolio platform called Mahara, with the ability to work on a Wiki Page, with a better understanding of how the United Nations functions and with pleasant souvenirs I gathered during my 4.5 months in MIE2 on the 4th floor. I will always remember the day, when I attended the U.N. Peacekeeping Ceremony that was followed with round table discussions and a reception offered by Director-General Mr. Sergei Ordzhonikidze, when I ate lunch with the KSI Team in the Palais des Nations’ restaurant on the 8th floor, when I participated in the guided tour of the UN Library and when I attended the Third Edition of the Geneva Lecture Series presented by Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev. In such a short time, I was able to learn and see so much. Now, it is soon time for me to give birth to my second child… UNITAR is an institution made of wonderful people and it was a pleasure being part of this group. I want to give a special thanks to Mrs. Sueli Giorgetta who was always available to give advice with a smile and to Ms. Giulia Ortoleva who provided all the assistance that I needed. Wishing everyone the best and hoping to cross your path again in the future. Au revoir, Good-bye, Auf Wiedersehen, Arrivederci, Hasta luego, Até logo, Zaijian, Sayonara, Uf Wiederluege!’
Academic Background: Political Science
Projects: Customization of an online course on Democratic Governance
Period of Internship: April - September 2009
'I spent 5 months at the UNITAR as an intern…actually, I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed.
I worked for the KSI Unit and my responsibility was to assist in the preparation of the e-Learning course in the Democratic Governance. This had to be delivered free of charge to government officials in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The project was very interesting and the fact that I had the opportunity to participate in it made me even more enthusiastic. However, at the beginning everything was completely new for me: the people, the project, and the place. Furthermore, I thought it would be so difficult to accomplish my tasks. Fortunately, practice proved me wrong and I was satisfied about that. The support I had from my supervisor and from the other colleagues made me feel comfortable and then, my previous doubts drove away. My work was advancing day by day and the working environment was enjoyable. Meeting people from allover the world was fun!
Today I am finishing my internship and I am fully aware that I am going to miss it. I am leaving with my best impressions and I can say to myself that one of my wishes became true: I worked for the UN.'
Academic Background: Adult Education
Projects: Implementation of a pilot-test course, Research on certification schemes, Training Terminology Website
Period of Internship: September 2008 – March 2009
'After my studies for a post graduate degree in Adult Education, I was happy to take as a collaborator this temporary missionwith the Knowledge Systems Innovation unit. I had the opportunity to put into practice my knowledge in adult learning principles and gain new skills such as: development of sound research on different teaching training and ability to offer new and innovative approaches to trainingmethodologies. Development of knowledge in the areas of knowledge management, organizational development, personal and professional development. Project management coordination with the implementation of a pilot-test course on International environmental Law. Proficiency in using advanced functions in standard computer software and the ability to quickly assimilate the use/application of wiki technology. Working at Unitar was such a rewarding and enriching experience, not only in terms of academic knowledge but also valuable social exposure.'