New York was bustling in September last year. The city hosted concerts by Adele, Beyonce, Kanye West and AC/DC. Stan Wawrinka and Angelique Kerber won the US Tennis Open, the Metropolitan Opera launched a new season, and the city marked the 15-year anniversary of 9/11.
And in amongst it all, UWA Master of International Relations student Adil Cader landed in New York.
Adil was one of just six students nationwide selected to help represent the Australian delegation at the United Nations in New York for the annual assembly session.
On a typical morning, Adil would arrive at the Australian Mission at 9.00am, before being assigned to various negotiations and meetings for the day.
In addition, Adil’s three-month period in New York allowed him to attend diplomatic receptions at other embassies and missions, and even enjoy a roundtable lunch with Valerie Biden (the sister of US Vice-President Joe Biden, and a former US diplomat).
“I have always been passionate about the United Nations as well as Australia’s foreign policy engagement on multi-lateral bodies like the UN,” Adil said.
“The most enjoyable part of the internship was representing Australia on an official level at the UN, and being given the responsibility to represent Australia at the various negotiations and meetings we had to cover.
“The professional development opportunities we got by shadowing our diplomats was really enjoyable as well. It was also fun getting to make new friends and working with interns from other missions and agencies; there was a big sense of community amongst the interns in my committee and I really enjoyed that.
“This experience opened up and taught me more about the diplomatic world, the soft skills needed to succeed and the UN system in general.”
Having already completed a Bachelor of Arts and embarked on his Master of International Relations, the internship program cemented Adil’s desire to work in foreign diplomacy.
“My new goals would be to work for the UNOSDP (UN Office for Sports, Development and Peace). I admire the innovative approaches they are taking in using sports as a diplomatic tool to help solve political issues around the world,” Adil said.
While Adil is now back in Perth and finishing his master’s course, his memories of New York will last a lifetime.
“New York was an adventure. There was so much to see and do – from the Broadway musicals (I had the pleasure of seeing Phantom of the Opera) to seeing Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden!” Adil said.
“I’m very grateful to UWA for their flexibility in allowing me complete this internship abroad and gain credit.
“It was a particularly interesting time to be over in New York at the UN. We experienced the US election and also arrived during the appointment of the new UN Secretary General António Guterres.
“We got to assist with the Prime Minister’s and Foreign Minister’s visit and had the pleasure of seeing world leaders like Theresa May and Justin Trudeau live whilst sitting behind the Australia chair. It was really a dream and I am very grateful to the Australian Mission for such an enriching and beneficial three months.”
Verity Chia (Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education) (+61 8) 6488 1346