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Working in United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)

Zhang Chen is from Global Environment Program 2011, School of Environment, Tsinghua University.

In this summer, he had an opportunity to participate in an internship for United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Bangkok, Thailand for more than 3 months.  Bangkok is a multicultural city where it's not unusual to see people from all different race and religion live harmoniously under the same roof. 

On the first day of his internship, Zhang Chen was surprised to find that his colleagues came from all over the world.  He was impressed with such diversity and the common goal they all had in helping the world deal with combating illegal dumping of hazardous wastes and chemicals.  Although Zhang has taken courses in Solid Waste Management in Tsinghua University, he found difficulties in applying what he learned in class to the real world setting.  Through his internship Zhang has gained much needed real life experience to further his goal of making a difference in the world. 

Needless to say, while working at UNEP, Zhang has learned that the communication skills were integral part of his studies.  English, being a universal language, Zhang quickly realized that he needed to brush up on his English in order to make a difference and be an asset to his team members.  Lunch time is also the best time to get to know your colleges and get to know the officers working at the UN.  During this time you can ask the officers about their experiences, get to know them and do some networking for future job opportunities.

During the internship, Zhang learned that the Chinese were disproportionately represented compare to the other countries.  Zhang Chen thinks it is because of educational atmosphere in China. The current Chinese students are more interested in financial rewards and prefer to major in business rather than in the field of environmental studies.

People’s value cannot be evaluated by money or social status. In UNEP, form officers to interns, they are all pursing their self achievement for the whole society by their professional knowledge. In this pathway, they find their inner peace and realize their social responsibilities. Zhang Chen hopes that more and more young people would like to devote themselves in this prestigious organization, and contribute to human beings.

GEP Student Zhang Chen work in UNEP  in Bangkok