Happening Now

Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

"This experience broadened my interests and increased my understanding of other cultures. It encouraged me to pursue work and job opportunities that include national and international policy making, because I got the chance to see just how big the world is."

Samuel Klarich MPA ’16 (second from left)

To See Large-Scale Policymaking in Action, Head for the U.N.

September 29th, 2015

Samuel Klarich MPA ’16 is a 2013 graduate of Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He has served as a research analyst and consultant for the Mechanical Contractors Association, a labor union in the Midwest, and worked alongside labor and employment attorneys on health care law, negotiation, and collective bargaining. In July he returned from a five month-long stay in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was a research intern with the United Nations’ Joint Inspection Unit (JIU). He spoke to Watson recently about his experience.

Watson
: Why did you choose to work at the UN in Geneva? 

Sam Klarich: As part of the MPA/MPP program, I needed to find an internship that aligned with my personal interests. Because of my past work and educational experiences, I was particularly interested in policy making on a large scale. Taubman faculty and staff suggested I apply to the United Nations, which would satisfy my hope to be involved in and surrounded by policy making at the largest scale – that is, internationally. 

W: Describe a typical day at the JIU. What was the best part?

SK: As an intern in the Inspection Unit, it was my responsibility to research, review, analyze, and prepare documents that would be used in our team's final report to the General Assembly. The purpose of the report was to inform the General Assembly of the details of our specific review (including trends, potential problem areas, financial figures, and exemplary findings), and to make recommendations that would help the participating agencies adhere to their mandates. Because much of our research had to come directly from the agency itself, it was common for our team to visit with senior agency personnel, including director-level officials and other senior management officers. 

Perhaps the best part was interacting with an exceptionally diverse workforce. From working with the JIU team to interviewing department heads and senior management, I really enjoyed being part of one of the most diverse organizations in the world. 

W: What did you gain from the experience? Were you surprised by anything in particular? 

SK: This experience broadened my interests and increased my understanding of other cultures. It encouraged me to pursue work and job opportunities that include national and international policy making, because I got the chance to see just how big the world is.

W: What do you want to do in the future, and how will this experience inform those goals?

SK: There are a number of significant events taking place simultaneously, affecting different groups, and I hope to one day be a part of something that can benefit people's lives and make positive change. The realm of policy making is an exciting place to be.