Special Young Professionals Edition: Hosting a Career Dinner

For some GenUN campus leaders graduating soon, it’s time to look toward the next step: careers! UNA community chapters across the country welcome recent college grads to their young professionals groups, including the UNA National Capital Area chapter. UNA-NCA organizes a semi-annual event to help welcome newbies into the fold.

The UNA-NCA Young Professionals Career Dinner Series is an opportunity for young people in the DC area with academic interests across a variety of fields in international relations to network with their more experienced counterparts. Each dinner welcomes between two and four speakers who agree to share their stories and offer advice. For both the spring and fall dinners each year, UNA-NCA pulls speakers from its own leadership as well as outside contacts – in partner organizations and other networks. Likewise, Board Members and others agree to host or sponsor dinners – either in their own homes or at the United Nations Foundation.

On October 17, 2015, over 75 young professionals, students, and recent graduates joined UNA-NCA for an evening of networking with experienced experts in their fields. The evening began with a reception at the United Nations Foundation, where keynote speaker Scott Beale (Founder, Atlas Corps) kicked off the evening with three pieces of advice for young people looking to launch international careers:

 Take risks. Lead a life of service. Choose a life of love.

Participants rave about the event and forum for developing personal and professional networks. As young professionals gather to discuss careers in international affairs and be mentored by accomplished speakers, they enjoy the intimate dinner setting as a welcome change from standard networking events. Speakers are also glad for the opportunity to share their know-how and draw on personal experience to assist young people in launching their careers.

Following the reception, participants divided into six small groups to talk about their future careers, and hear from professionals in their areas of interest. This season’s dinners focused on Careers at the State Department, Careers in Gender Advocacy, Careers in Human Rights, Careers at the United Nations, Careers in International Law, and Careers in Sustainable Development. Speakers provided advice and guidance, and shared tales of personal experience in their audience’s chosen field. These professionals included Tamara Klajn, Beirne Roose-Snyder, T. Kumar, Ted Piccone, David Birenbaum, Duncan Cameron, Susan Leahy, Alexandra Malina Manea, F. Allen “Tex” Harris, Mark Schlachter, Joan C. Parker, Jodi-Kaye Wade, Armando Castro Figueredo, Fatou Ndoye, Anna Shakarishvili, Karen Mulhauser, and A. Edward Elmendorf.

The evening was a huge success! Check out our photo album, and consider planning a career dinner in your own city!