August 28, 2015
As one of only nine full-time interns at the United Nations this summer, Natalie Dell'Estate got a firsthand view of the global issues that transcend borders and how diplomats collaborate to address them.
A senior international relations major in the political science department, Dell'Estate was an intern with World Information Transfer (WIT). The nonprofit focuses on developing leaders in health, environment and sustainable development. It has been granted general consultative status by the U.N. to promote environmental health and literacy. The interns worked full time for eight weeks, each reporting on several of the daily three-hour U.N. meetings, focusing on those that cover health and environment. "We took notes and wrote concise, unbiased summaries to publish on our [WIT] blog, live tweeted the meetings, and published reports for WIT members and U.N. officials." A speaker series allowed the interns to meet with very high-level professionals associated with U.N. organizations as well as ambassadors.
Dell'Estate discovered that, "Each person you meet has a lesson to teach you and it is your job to search for it and learn from it."
She was especially inspired by "the passion and compassion of the people working at the United Nations. They have dedicated their lives to creating a better world for all. Bringing agreement among 193 countries is daunting and the fact that they are willing to tackle a seemingly impossible task is incredible. … This the only organization in the world committed to combating issues such as poverty, lack of access to resources, etc., on a global level. At least they are talking about it and coming up with plans of action."
It was through her Spring 2015 internship with West Chester Borough Mayor Carolyn Comitta that Dell'Estate learned of the summer opportunity at WIT, which Comitta supports. On campus, Dell'Estate is most proud of her leadership experience with the Abbé Society. "Our mission is service and we pride ourselves on giving back to the campus and the community at large. … The society has brought out the best in me and taught me that who you surround yourself with is who you become."
Dell'Estate is eager to give back once she graduates. "I have been extremely fortunate to have many opportunities such as receiving an education. I believe as a citizen of the world, it is my job to bring those opportunities to others who have not been as fortunate." Her goal is to "work in data analysis in the private sector and eventually transition back into the public sector."
This fall, Dell'Estate is diversifying her background with her fourth internship, this time doing merchandise planning with QVC. "Previously, my internships were in not-for-profit and government so I am excited to add corporate to the list. One thing I learned at the U.N. is in order to accomplish a goal, a multi-stakeholder relationship is essential. I want to have experience in all of these areas to gain a better understanding of how to problem solve, foster growth and change, and to add to the unique and dynamic perspective I have developed." She advises her fellow students to "get involved on and off campus through organizations, internships and community service. It will help you grow personally and professionally. Take advantage of each opportunity that arises because you never know what your experiences will expose you to."
For a look at what Dell'Estate and the other WIT interns reported about from the U.N. this summer, visit WIT here.