Hanyang Alumni in WFUNA
Training and Education Associate at WFUNA, Lee Young-jin (International Studies, ’12)
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From a young age, many students dream of working for an international organization such as the United Nations (UN) . Lee Young-jin (International Studies, ’12) has been actively engaging in spreading the goals of the UN and educating civil society as part of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) since 2016, as a Training and Education Associate. He shared his experience and tips to his fellow dreamers at Hanyang this week.
Is WFUNA part of the UN?
“Many people get confused about whether WFUNA is part of the United Nations, but it’s more like a sister organization,” smiled Lee. While the UN works with countries and facilitates relationships and cooperation among its member nations, WFUNA is more focused on the relationship between people and the UN. The organization also functions as the head of more than a hundred United Nation Associations all over the world.
Lee is working in the Seoul branch, which is one of three secretariats of WFUNA: New York, Geneva, and Seoul. As the only secretariat in Asia, the Seoul office works to spread their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially focusing on the young. Lee, as a Training and Education Associate, is in charge of educational programs that promote and strengthen the UN's values and educate the participants to help them become global citizens in the form of the Model United Nations (MUN). He came back just last week from New York, with the Youth Program at the UN: Korea.
Focusing on specialty
When asked what made him work for a global nonprofit organization, Lee mentioned his long experience with the MUN. Lee has been participating in numerous MUN programs since the first year of high school, and he once even hosted Hanyang's MUN when he was the vice president of the Division of International Studies. He also worked as part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Korea to organize Model UNESCO in his junior year. “One has to have his or her own specialty in order to work with international organizations,” Lee emphasized. With his abundant experience with MUNs, he was offered a position as a trainer in the WFUNA Youth Camp, which he is now in charge of. That was the beginning of his career in the field.
His fluency in Korean, English, and French is also a strength when it comes to working in such an organization. “Working in WFUNA Seoul requires excellence in both English and Korean, and if one wishes to work in Geneva, French would be important too,” mentioned Lee. He pointed out that good scores and so-called "specifics" required to work in major corporations in Korea is not valued as much in the field. Rather, Lee encouraged students to focus on their work experience and specialty.
Kim So-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
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