Interning at the United Nations, Vienna

Central College senior and alumnus of Central College Abroad’s Vienna program, Drew Readel, had one of the most interesting and exciting experiences of his life when he chose to study abroad the fall of his junior year.

“At first I wasn’t sure about studying abroad in Vienna, Austria,” Readel said. “I was unsure about how my German skills would be, and as a political science major, I had originally planned on studying in London.” However, Readel learned that the Vienna program had its own share of internship goldmines and cultural flair that turned into a very appealing option for him, especially with the prospect of an internship at the United Nations.

Vienna resident director, Ruth Verwijen, and assistant director, Michaela Maschek, helped prepare Readel for his interview at the UN. After an interview, he was placed with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) which focuses primarily on cooperation between its 60 member states, in all aspects of international trade law and collaboration. “The internship helped strengthen my German language skills. It was also helpful that my supervisors spoke English and German,” Readel comments. For Readel, having a bilingual office setting was a huge plus to his studies and cultural experience.

From archiving the UNCITRAL library, to digitizing and translating documents and policies for use in both Vienna and New York City headquarters, Readel’s experience in foreign affairs and diplomacy grew exponentially.

A perk of the internship, besides security clearance and a security badge, was the opportunity to sit in on conferences and meetings that were held in the complex. “I remember two weeks in to the internship there was a conference being held at the International Atomic Energy Agency between the USA and Iran, dealing with Iran’s proliferation of nuclear research. Talk about cool!”

Even though Readel interned for only 4 months, he is grateful for being given such a life-changing opportunity. Adding this experience to his resume, Readel hopes to work in some aspect of international politics after graduation.


Interested in a similar internship to Drew’s? Apply to the Vienna program today!

The United Nations complex courtyard in Vienna, Austria
The United Nations complex courtyard in Vienna, Austria