‘A Chance to Work with Data and Experience Rich Diversity’

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  • 2020/04/15     Dresden, Germany

    UNU-FLORES offers a rigorous internship programme giving students and recent graduates the opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge in a constructive setting for the practical application of their capacities acquired during their studies. Through hands-on experience, interns work in a variety of areas from academic research, event organisation, communications and advocacy, and institutional development and administration. In this series, we feature the young brilliant minds that have played a big part in many of our activities and events. In this interview, we talked to Oleksandr Mialyk from Ukraine.

    Tell us about yourself. What is your motivation to do an internship with UNU-FLORES?

    After I finished my Erasmus Master Degree in Groundwater and Global Change, I was looking for a place where I could pursue a dream to become an expert in sustainable development. When I saw the call for interns by UNU-FLORES, I had no doubts about what to do next.

    What types of projects do you work on? What’s your favourite part of work?

    As I came with experience in programming and environmental modelling, I was appointed to manage the Nexus Tools Platform (NTP). In short, the NTP is a platform where you can compare more than 80 environmental models from the perspective of modelling types, processes considered, application areas, technical requirements, and more. My responsibilities were mostly focused on data management, literature review, and web development.

    I had two favourite parts of my work. The first one is that feeling of great satisfaction upon fixing a complicated IT issue on the NTP. The second is working with people from different countries and backgrounds. Diversity makes our lives colourful and UNU-FLORES is definitely the place where you can experience that.

    What kind of skills do you need to be successful at your internship?

    First of all, you need to know how to work in an international environment. Even basic things like saying “Hello” in different languages can change the way how your colleagues treat you. Second, always be curious. You never know what you can find by simply talking with people. And lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. You will work with the best experts in the field, so try to make the most out of this unique opportunity.

    What are some words of wisdom you’d give to anyone aspiring to be in your position?

    The main task of the United Nations is to solve global problems and UNU-FLORES gives you a chance to take part in it. So, act now and make your own contribution to the future of this planet.