OpenIGO | International Careers Development Network
UPU Internships

Internship Programs

UPU Internships

Paid Internships

The goal of the UPU internship program is to enable students and recent graduates to put into practice the knowledge acquired in their education and have the opportunity to gain a more comprehensive view of UPU’s activities. In addition to the regular internship program (trainee) aimed at students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate courses (Master’s or PhD), UPU also offers the Apprenticeship program for applicants enrolled in a technical or vocational institution.

In pursuit of its mission, the OpenIGO network has prepared a comprehensive eBook and support and guidance services, with the aim of highly increasing your chances of success in these competitive processes. These services include revising your UN internships application documents (curriculum vitae/resume and cover letter) and a mock interview, as per the United Nations model. We also offer a range of packages that combine the eBook with different services.


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Organization overview

The Universal Postal Union (UPU), whose headquarters are in Bern, Switzerland, is a specialized UN agency dedicated to promoting cooperation and integration between the postal services of its different member countries. This agency creates standards and rules for the International Postal System and provides technical support and assistance to its members. Currently, the UPU has 192 member-countries (comprising a complex network of postal operators) and a staff of around 250 professionals.

Organization’s main focus: Universal Postal Services.

Themes addressed by the organization:

  • Postal Services
  • Postal Financial Services
  • E-commerce
  • Global Communications Infrastructure
  • International Data Centre
  • Postal sector development and diversification

Description of the internship program

Fields of study:
This internship program includes students and recent graduates from the most diverse fields of knowledge. The areas of study with the highest demand in this program are:

  • Macro-economics
  • Marketing
  • International Relations
  • Communications
  • IT-IS
  • Statistics
  • Finance
  • Translations
  • Other related area

Internship activities:
The activities performed vary according to the opening and the requirements of the different departments to which interns are allocated. However, generally speaking, the main duties are:

  • Support administrative and operational activities;
  • Carry out research and collect and analyze data on topics relevant to the agency’s work;
  • Write and review reports, articles and other types of documents;
  • Take part in training sessions and events with other agency members;
  • Help disclose UPU information to the general public.

UPU internships last from 2 to 6 months. In exceptional situations, such as research placements linked to doctoral programs, the duration may exceed six months.

Weekly workload:
The internship programs are full-time. Interns shall therefore work between 35 and 40 hours per week.

The openings are for the UPU Headquarters in Bern (Switzerland).

When the internship start:
The initial date of the internship shall be coordinated between the intern and the organization.

Feedback following the internship:
At the end of the internship, the supervisor is in charge of preparing an assessment report of the intern’s performance.

Subsequent employment:
Participation in the internship is not related to future employment with the agency. However, the work experience in the agency will be a distinctive feature in your curriculum, which may facilitate your hiring by other organizations inside or outside the UN System.


UPU pays interns according to international standards. The amount varies according to the educational background and experience of each intern. The estimate is in the range of 960 to 1000 Swiss francs.


Trainee program:

  • Be enrolled in a graduate school program (Master’s or PhD), or;
  • Be enrolled in the last school year of an undergraduate school program (Bachelor’s level or equivalent), or;
  • Have graduated from an undergraduate or graduate course in the last 6 months.

Aprenticeship program:

  • Students from vocational or technical institutions.

Fluency (written and oral) is required in English or French. Working knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) may be an asset in the selection process.

Apprenticeship: Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of enrolment.
Trainee: Applicants must be at least 20 years old at the time of enrolment.

Applicants from UPU member countries have priority in the selection process.

The main competencies required are planning, organizing, communication, teamwork, technological awareness and client orientation.

Other requirements:
Most internships require no work experience. However, previous experiences may be an advantage in the selection process.

An applicant may not be a child or sibling of any organization staff member.

Application process

When to apply:
Applications for internships are normally submitted throughout the year. All internship openings are disclosed on the UPU E-recruitment System. Candidates must submit their application according to the requirements for each available opening. Therefore, it is important search for internship opportunities through information on our website and social networking platforms.

How to apply:
The internship application process is done via the UPU E-recruitment System, where all openings are published, and comprises the following steps:

  1. Initial registration;
  2. Filling out the candidate profile (academic and professional background);
  3. Search for an opening in your field of interest;
  4. Filling out the application form;
  5. Submit the application.

Phases of the selection process:
The selection process may vary depending on the department or office to which the intern is applying, but generally comprises the following steps:

  1. Creating a profile and preparing an application;
  2. Submitting the application;
  3. Evaluation of the application;
  4. Competency-based interview;
  5. Selection notifications.

Usually, only selected applicants will be contacted for the interview, which lasts about 30 minutes and may be done via phone. The main points covered in the interview vary according to the opening and department chosen. In general, however, the questions address subjective or behavioral aspects, such as your expectations about the job, your interests in the area of expertise you are applying for and your previous experiences.

Documents to submit:</strong
A proven track record of achievements, supported by copies or certificates from the university or other specialized institutions.

Evaluation criteria:
You will be evaluated regarding your previous experience, skills and competencies, and educational background.

Costs incurred

The organization offers no financial aid to cover costs related to preparing for or doing the internship. However, you may request financial aid from a sponsoring institution, for example, a university and/or government agency in your country.

You or your sponsoring institution will be responsible for the costs and arrangements of obtaining the visa (if needed to do the internship).

You or your sponsoring institution will be responsible for the costs of enrolling in a valid global medical insurance plan.

You or your sponsoring institution will be responsible for accommodation expenses during the internship period.

You or your sponsoring institution will be responsible for the costs and arrangements of the trip to the workplace to which you have been assigned.

Other organizations

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