Career Tips

The UN Young Professional Programme (YPP) – UN Careers

The UN Young Professional Programme

The UN Young Professional Programme (YPP) – UN Careers: Picture this, you’re a young professional, full of ambition, brimming with ideas, and you’re looking to make a real impact on the world. You know you’ve got what it takes, but you’re not quite sure where to start. Well, buddy, it’s like you’ve just been handed a treasure map because The UN Young Professional Programme (YPP) might just be your golden ticket.

Now, let me tell you a little story. Not too long ago, I was in your shoes – eager to bring change, make my mark, but equally clueless about the path ahead. That was until I stumbled upon the UN YPP. Boy, did that change everything!

The UN YPP isn’t just another run-of-the-mill career opportunity; it’s a doorway to a world where you get to work with people from all walks of life, dedicated to making a difference. This is where you rub shoulders with the best in the business, learn from the finest minds, and most importantly, contribute to global issues that matter.

Think about it, one minute you’re working on a climate change initiative; the next, you’re strategizing how to tackle world hunger. Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? And while it’s true, we might occasionally find ourselves entangled in a mountain of paperwork or swamped with endless meetings, but trust me, the sense of fulfillment, accomplishment, and impact you make with the UN YPP is unparalleled.

Whether you’re a fresh graduate or you’ve been playing the field for a while, the UN Young Professional Programme is an adventure that’s bound to redefine your career trajectory. You’re not just working; you’re making a difference. You’re not just building a career; you’re building a better world.

What Is The UN Young Professional Programme (YPP)

The UN Young Professional Programme (YPP) is an annual recruitment initiative aimed at attracting highly qualified young professionals who are interested in starting a career in the United Nations. The YPP provides the foundation for a rewarding and challenging career in the heart of international development and diplomacy.

The YPP includes an entrance examination process, which if passed, puts successful candidates on the roster for potential job placements within the United Nations. The roles offered are diverse, including fields like administration, economics, legal affairs, social affairs, and many others.

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The key features of the UN YPP include:

  1. Competitive Examination: The YPP begins with a competitive examination. This is a combination of a written and oral assessment specific to your chosen job family or field.
  2. Placement on a Roster: If you pass the competitive examination, you’re placed on a roster for three years. During this period, you could be selected for a position in the United Nations offices worldwide.
  3. Two-Year Work Contract: If you’re selected from the roster, you’re offered a two-year fixed-term contract at the start of your professional career in a UN office around the world.
  4. Career Development: Within those initial two years, selected candidates receive support and guidance concerning their career development. This includes on-the-job training, mentoring, and access to further learning opportunities.
  5. Opportunities for Growth: After the two-year period, and based on satisfactory performance, the staff members may be granted continuing contracts. From there, they have the opportunity to grow and develop within the UN system, often moving between different functions, departments, or duty stations.

By taking part in the UN YPP, young professionals embark on a journey that can lead them to a career dealing with globally significant issues, working in a multicultural environment, and making impactful contributions to the world we live in. It’s an opportunity to become a global citizen in the truest sense.

Who Can Apply for the UN Young Professional Programme?

The UN Young Professional Programme (YPP) is a highly competitive recruitment initiative that provides an opportunity for young professionals to start a career as an international civil servant in the United Nations Secretariat. But remember, it’s not open to just anyone. Let’s break down who can apply for this exceptional opportunity:

  1. Nationality: You must belong to a participating country. The list of these countries is determined yearly, and it’s designed to ensure equal employment opportunities to all member states, focusing on those that are un- or under-represented in the United Nations.
  2. Age: Applicants must be 32 or younger in the year of the examination. This means if you’re applying in 2023, you must be born on or after January 1, 1991.
  3. Education: A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) relevant to the job family you’re applying for is necessary. Whether it’s in law, finance, social sciences, or any other relevant field, having the right education matters!
  4. Language Skills: Fluency in either English or French, the working languages of the UN Secretariat, is a must. If you’re proficient in both, even better!
  5. Work Experience: Depending on the job family, work experience can be either mandatory or desirable, but it’s never a disadvantage. So, make sure you highlight relevant internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer work in your application!

Remember, the UN YPP is highly competitive. So, besides meeting these requirements, you’ll want to ensure you stand out from the crowd! Passion for international issues, eagerness to learn, and adaptability in diverse environments can go a long way. Good luck!

Participating Countries

The list of participating countries for the UN Young Professional Programme (YPP) changes every year. The selection is designed to ensure a diverse, inclusive, and equitable representation of all nations within the United Nations Secretariat.

Countries are considered “participating” if they are either under-represented or unrepresented in the UN Secretariat. This means the UN focuses on inviting nationals from these countries to apply for the YPP to balance out the staff’s nationality distribution.

Since the list of participating countries changes every year, it is essential to check the official UN YPP website for the most accurate and updated information. It’s also worth noting that the UN encourages applicants from developing countries, countries with economies in transition, and least developed countries.

While I would love to provide a comprehensive list for you, my training only goes up until 2021, and I may not have the most current information. Therefore, I recommend visiting the official UN YPP site to get the accurate list of participating countries for the year you are applying.

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Application Process for the UN Young Professional Programme

The application process for the UN Young Professional Programme (YPP) is pretty structured, aiming to identify the best candidates who are passionate about international development and diplomacy. Here’s the basic rundown of the application steps you’ll need to follow:

  • Confirm Your Eligibility: Before you even start your application, make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria. This includes your age, nationality, language proficiency, and having a relevant first-level university degree.
  • Choose Your Job Family: Job families are the areas or fields in which you can apply. They might include administration, economics, social affairs, legal affairs, public information, statistics, and others. Make sure to choose the one that best aligns with your education and career aspirations.
  • Application Submission: Apply online through the UN careers portal, ‘Inspira’. You’ll need to complete a Personal History Profile with your education, work experience, language skills, and other relevant details. Ensure you submit before the application deadline.
  • Written Examination: If your application is accepted, you’ll be invited to a written examination specific to your job family. This usually includes a general paper on international issues and a specialized paper based on the job family.
  • Oral Examination: Those who pass the written examination will be invited to an oral examination. It’s essentially an interview with UN officials and will assess your understanding of the UN, your chosen job family, and how you handle hypothetical scenarios.
Additionally Process
  • Placement on the Roster: Successful candidates are then placed on a roster awaiting a suitable job opening. Placement on the roster does not guarantee immediate employment, but you’re now on the shortlist for job openings as they arise in your chosen job family.
  • Two-Year Contract: Once a job opening is available and you’re selected, you’re offered a two-year fixed-term contract in a UN office. This is your chance to prove yourself and potentially secure a continuing contract.

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The UN Young Professional Programme Estated Timeline

The UN Young Professional Programme (YPP) follows a very structured timeline. However, it’s important to note that the exact dates may vary each year, so it’s crucial to keep an eye on the official UN YPP website for the most current and accurate schedule. Here’s a general outline of what the timeline might look like:

  1. Application Period (Spring-Summer): The application period usually opens around spring or early summer. During this time, eligible candidates can apply through the UN’s online recruitment platform, Inspira.
  2. Written Exam (Late Autumn/Winter): If your application is accepted, you’ll be invited to take the written exam, which typically takes place in late autumn or early winter.
  3. Oral Exam (Next Year): If you pass the written exam, you’ll be invited to the oral examination. This usually happens the following year.
  4. Placement on the Roster (Next Year): After passing both the written and oral exams, successful candidates are placed on the roster of eligible hires. The timeline for placement and eventual recruitment can vary significantly, depending on the specific needs and vacancies within the UN system.
  5. Job Placement (Variable): Being placed on the roster doesn’t guarantee immediate employment. You may be offered a position soon after being rostered, or it could take a while before a suitable opening arises. Remember, placements are made based on the needs of the organization.

Please note that this is just a typical timeline, and the actual schedule can vary from year to year. It’s always a good idea to check the official UN YPP website for the most accurate and updated information.

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