UN Intern Reflection: Elon Reid, UNA-USA Fellow

Elon Reid serves as Programme Support intern for the UNFPA in Kingston, Jamaica. Elon is supported by a grant from the UNA-USA Fellowship Initiative.

Elon ReidHello! My name is Elon Reid and I am a Programme Support intern for the UNFPA in Kingston, Jamaica. I have always had a passion and interest for international humanitarian work and was eager to explore what it was like to work in this field once I graduated. I specifically have an interest in the development and humanitarian work in countries in the Caribbean due to both of my parents being immigrants from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Some of the roles at my internship that I have been working on include skills like data collection, documentation, and being able to work closely with constituents and partners. At my internship, I have been able to use a lot of what I learned and worked on Political Science (specifically my research classes) in order to do the tasks that I have been assigned.

One thing I have learned while interning is that a lot of the UN day to day is a process that is pretty bureaucratic, in order to make sure the organization still runs. I feel like a lot of people have this perception that the UN is something where you are out and fighting for justice in the fields on the grounds. While some UN officers engage in on-the-ground activities, I appreciate being able to see a more realistic version where you can still have impact through tasks that are done at a desk. Just by having discussion, doing research, and fostering an open forum for people to delegate can also be very impactful and is necessary in order for change. This internship experience has been great as it has allowed me to get a feel for working for the United Nations and how I can bring my skills to the UN.

This experience has been even more interesting because of having the experience of working abroad in Kingston, Jamaica. Through my familial roots here, it has become even greater and more impactful. It has opened my eyes to the idea of being able to work in different UN offices globally and be able to first hand see how cultures around the globe deeply connect. Previously, I had studied abroad in Ghana so being able to make the connections of Ghana, Jamaica, and even parts of the states has allowed me to have a greater mind. It makes me view our struggles around the globe as interconnected and further my global understanding of how we can make and contribute to effective change.