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Public Administration Students Learn First-hand about United Nations Careers

Kean students and faculty discussed careers with United Nations staff

Kean University students got a global learning experience recently, meeting with officials at the United Nations to discuss international careers in public administration.

More than 20 Kean students exchanged ideas and experiences with U.N. staff members, with a focus on public administration and sustainable development, at the meeting held on June 12 in the U.N. Secretariat Conference Room. They also toured the iconic facility in New York City.

“The trip to the United Nations was an amazing experience,” said Hasan Tariq, a Kean senior majoring in communication/public relations, who is president of the Kean chapter of the United Nations Association.

“The best part of the trip was communicating with a couple of United Nations staff members,” he said. “I had never been to the United Nations before, so getting an opportunity where I can have access to a staff meeting and a tour, all I can say is it was surreal. It was great to learn about ways we can have a career in the United Nations.”

Bok Jeong, Ph.D., assistant professor of public administration at Kean, arranged the Kean-U.N. joint event as part of the public administration program's Global Awareness Initiative. Juwang Zhu, director of the Division of Public Institutions and Digital Government at the U.N., made the opportunity available to Kean. 

The participants discussed sustainable development and the role and impact of public service throughout the world. Students also heard from United Nations senior staff about the career paths they took and got advice on career preparation to work in the global arena. 

“We were given constructive, practical advice directly from the people who’ve had to navigate through this competitive and technical field,” said Scout Hartley, a 2019 Kean graduate in the Master of Public Administration program.

“It was a lesson we don’t always hear from textbooks. It will help us academically and professionally,” he said.

Jeong thanked both the U.N. and Kean, and said the meeting was an opportunity that will benefit Kean students’ learning. 

“This experience will have a life-lasting impact on the students’ career plans and practices,” he said.