United Nations Reviews

Updated March 27, 2015
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3.7
322 Reviews
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon
174 Ratings

Pros
  • I've found that the time can generally be worked into a good work-life balance (in 18 reviews)

  • Highly educated people from all around the world working together for a good cause (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • For some times, you need to be patient with staying away from family and with menimum living conditions at the feilds (in 3 reviews)

  • Travel and long hours worth of work (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Working for the UN - Not always the dream job expected

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Political Affairs Officer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Political Affairs Officer in New York, NY

    I have been working at United Nations full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - international working environment
    - excellent benefits
    - working on core international issues

    Cons

    - hierarchical
    - very competitive so difficult to move quickly in your career
    - too many precarious contracts
    - lack of good senior management

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Internship Experience

    Current Intern - Intern in New York, NY
    Current Intern - Intern in New York, NY

    I have been working at United Nations as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Highly competent co-workers, extremely friendly and diverse staff. Everyone was very willing to expose you to different areas of the office and the projects they are working on.

    Cons

    Work load and pace was slower than I would have liked, but summer is a slower time of year for the office.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing in particular to share. The office was quite well run, there were no apparent cliques or arbitrary politicking within the office. Enjoyable place to work.

  3. Mixed experience, depending substantially on location.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY

    I have been working at United Nations full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Involvement in important and exciting issues affecting governments people all around the world. Opportunities to make a difference in the lives of some disadvantaged and vulnerable people. High salaries and allowances. Postings away from Headquarters -- in developing countries -- usually more satisfying.

    Cons

    Stultifying bureaucracy. Management quality variable with sometimes extremely poor ethical standards. Headquarters ( New York ) more bureaucratic and frustrating. Financial constraints on program activities. Member states too often accept or engineer shabby compromises because they serves their political ends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve management standards by insisting on filling vacancies with middle managers of proven ability, not time servers or political appointees. Political appointees are unavoidable in senior posts, but top management should ensure they are effective before they are taken on.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful

    Very nice people to work with but a ton of red tape.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - IT Consultant in New York, NY
    Former Contractor - IT Consultant in New York, NY

    I worked at United Nations as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Highly Qualified, Classy, and Nice Co-Workers and Management. They really care for the welfare of humanity. They have a Real respect for diversity. As a person of color, I have never been treated with so much dignity in New York.

    Cons

    They do have a lot of red tape. The bureaucracy can demoralize you very easily. Need approvals from several departments for some projects. Two tiered system of workers - Employees who get all the benefits besides great pay and Contractors who get no benefits and sometimes work for very little money out of desperation. Contractors sometimes have to wait up to 45 days for their last paycheck.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Will be nice if the red tape is cut. Hiring contract workers with no benefits and low wages should be discouraged.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. I did two different internships within 2 UN departments. EVERYONE I met at UN was so nice and warm.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at United Nations

    Pros

    If you are an enrolled graduate student and just want to have some cool experience with UN, apply to the internships!
    Very easy to get.
    Great people, cool building. All kinds of interesting events going on.
    You may have chance to shake hands with SG (secretary general).

    Cons

    The internships are UNPAID.
    Never meet deadlines. Very slow tempo.
    If you don't have experience (like fresh graduate), it's very hard to get staff positions.
    The only way to do is to apply for YPP, but that's very competitive and long procedure.

  7. Good place to work but top driven

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Political Affairs Officer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Political Affairs Officer in New York, NY

    I worked at United Nations full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The work can be very interesting. The UN is valued by your counterparts.

    Cons

    Very top-driven, you lack autonomy. Appointments and promotions are often political

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your employees more.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    A great place to intern and develop worldwide connections

    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at United Nations

    Pros

    individually facilitated projects + team collaboration. Opportunities to sit in important conferences. Real nice place to develop professional connections worldwide.

    Cons

    Typical non-profit environment. Not much of a learning vibe going on. Difficult to get in tough with people and/or get help

  9. Interesting if you are new to the whole environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Intern in New York, NY
    Former Intern - Intern in New York, NY

    I worked at United Nations as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Get to attend various meetings and understand more about the field

    Cons

    Can be very bureaucratic and might be difficult to get motivated

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant

    I worked at United Nations

    Pros

    great balance of family life and work. 30 vaccations days per year.no week end

    Cons

    too much mannagers, u must request your time off at least 6 month in advance

    Recommends
  11. intern at the u.n. headquarters

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY

    I worked at United Nations

    Pros

    You get lots of hands on experience in international projects.
    Professional colleagues.
    Give interns responsibilities that makes you actually learn something.
    Meet people around the world.

    Cons

    All internships are unpaid and you have to wait for 6 months to apply for a new position.

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