The goal of the WTO Internship program is to give graduate students access to valuable experience from working at the WTO, where they will have the opportunity to get to know and experience the organization’s work dynamics, internal policies and routine. The organization accepts applicants who have training in topics relevant to its activities and knowledge of international trade.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to promoting international trade. With 164 member states (representing some 98% of global trade), the WTO aims to: be the forum for trade negotiations between member states; monitor trade policies and practices of member countries; settle disputes in global trade issues; build trade capacity; and build partnerships with governmental and non-governmental organizations, other international organizations, the media and the general public to disclose its work and international trade issues. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the WTO currently has over 600 employees.
WTO’s main focus: To promote the expansion of global trade.
Themes addressed by the WTO:
- Trade of Goods and Services
- Intellectual Property
- Dispute Settlement
- Building Trade Capacity
- Trade Monitoring
Description of the WTO internship
What are the fields of study required for the WTO Internship?
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:
- Trade Law
- Trade Policy
- Political Science
- International Relations
- Administration (Procurement, Finance,Hhuman resources)
- Information, Communication and External Relations
- Information Management
What are the tasks performed by the selected for the WTO Internship?
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 activities;
- Prepare reports and other types of documents;
- Take part in training sessions and meetings with other staff;
- Help organize events and prepare presentations.
What is the duration of the WTO Internship?
The internship period may vary, lasting 6 months at most.
What is the weekly workload of the WTO Internship?
The internship programs are full-time. Interns shall therefore work between 35 and 40 hours per week.
Where are the locations of the WTO Internship?
Most openings are for the organization’s headquarters in Geneva (Switzerland), but other opportunities may be available for its Field Offices around the world.
When the WTO internship starts?
The initial date of the internship shall be coordinated between the intern and the organization.
Is there any feedback following the completion of the WTO Internship?
At the end of the internship, the supervisor is in charge of preparing an assessment report of the intern’s performance. Interns shall prepare a general evaluation of the internship experience.
Participation in the internship is not related to future employment with the agency. During the internship period and within six months immediately after the program you will not be eligible to apply for or be appointed to any effective position in the organization. However, the WTO Internship experience will be a distinctive feature in your curriculum, which may facilitate your hiring by other organizations inside or outside the UN System.
WTO Internship - Requirements
What is the education requirement of the WTO Internship Program?
Have completed undergraduate studies in a relevant subject and at least one year of graduate studies (Master’s or PhD).
What is the language requirement of the WTO Internship Program?
Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) may be an asset in the selection process.
What is the age requirement of the WTO Internship Program?
Candidates must be between the ages of 21 and 30 to apply for internship programs.
What is the nationality requirement of the WTO Internship Program?
Applicants must be a citizen of a WTO member state and countries or customs territories engaged in accession negotiations.
What are the competences required for the WTO Internship Program?
The main competences required are:
- Communication skills (oral and written);
- Teamwork skills;
- Knowledge of conventional computer software;
- Proactive attitude and analytical thinking to solve problems;
- Flexibility to work in a multicultural environment.
Other requirements of the WTO Internship Program:
Most internships require no work experience. However, previous experiences may be an advantage in the selection process.
What are the restrictions of the WTO Internship Program?
An applicant may not be a child or sibling of any organization staff member.
WTO - Application process
When to apply for the WTO Internship Program?
There is no specific application period for WTO internships. Applications will be maintained on the Internship Roster, a kind of database, for up to one year. Successful candidates will be contacted for the interview.
There may be specific openings with particular profile requirements and application deadlines. Therefore, it is important search for internship opportunities through information on our website and social networking platforms.
How to apply for the WTO Internship Program?
The internship application process is done via the WTO E-recruitment System, where all openings are published, and comprises the following steps:
- Initial registration;
- Filling out the candidate profile (academic and professional background);
- Search for an opening in your field of interest;
- Filling out the application form;
- Submit the application.
For specific openings:
- Search for openings in the WTO e-recruitment website;
- Fill out the specific application form for each opening.
What are the phases of the selection process for the WTO Internship?
The selection process may vary depending on the department or office to which the intern is applying, but generally comprises the following steps:
- Creating a profile and preparing an application;
- Submitting the application;
- Evaluation of the application;
- Competency-based interview;
- Selection notifications.
How is the WTO Internship interview?
Usually, only selected applicants will be contacted for the interview, which lasts about 30 minutes and may be done via Skype or 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.
What are the documents to submit for the WTO Internship Program?
- Cover Note/Letter;
What is the evaluation criteria of the WTO Internship Program?
Internship selections are based on merit, taking account of eligibility criteria, academic qualifications and expertise.
WTO Internship - Costs
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. Interns may opt for the WTO’s insurance arrangement, which costs $ 36.62 per month. This can be arranged by contacting the HR Division on arrival.
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.