United Nations Reviews | Glassdoor

United Nations Reviews

Updated May 24, 2017
564 reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • it's an unpaid internship where you learn as much as you want to (in 24 reviews)

  • It is impossible to be a full time employee (in 22 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Chief Plans Unit - Engineering Section"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chief of Unit/Engineering Section in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Chief of Unit/Engineering Section in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at United Nations full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    It is a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment also allowing to experience working in hardship environment worldwide. Gave me an opportunity to visit and participating in technical inspections in many engineering goods manufacturing facility worldwide.

    Cons

    Limited resources in terms of personnel and financial making soliciting and procurement of engineering goods and services processes very challenging. Example; Single Electrical Engineer carrying-out electrical related works i.e. developing scope of works or requirements for approximately half billion US$ worth of goods per year single handedly.

    Advice to Management

    To engage additional engineering personnel, which may result into meeting the organizational objectives expeditiously with quality outcome for cost savings and timely deliveries.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Financial considerations in NY - Not for US citizens."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Generous vacation accrual: 2.5 days a month for fixed term and 1.5 a month for temporary employment. Decent maternity/paternity leave but many corporations offer better packages. Sick leave is very good - depends on the years of service - but can last for several months at full pay. Education expenses are subsidized but cuts (in many areas) were made by the General Assembly in January 2016, so it remains to be seen. Good quality self-funded insurance plans but see cons below.

    Cons

    US citizens are not treated equally in pay and benefits - a cautionary note to those in the US interested to work for the UN. US citizens in professional categories will receive about 10K+ net less because the UN requires US citizens to pay part of their federal taxes. No relocation, rental or home leave benefits either. Unlike in the corporate world, your pension contributions are mandatory, even when you start on a temporary basis, or if you are lucky enough to have a trust fund and arguably do not need to save more. This is driven by the fact that the pension fund is under pressure to honor its obligations to retirees and funds are diminishing, not unlike US local governments, mind you.
    UN has no COBRA benefits, which means that if one separates from the organization, the insurance is cut off.

    Advice to Management

    negotiate a better treatment with the US government, so that US citizens truly receive "equal" pay for "equal" work.


  3. "Member"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at United Nations (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great People great team. great projects

    Cons

    None. I like it so much


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  5. "Administrative Assistant in the Field for PeaceKeeping Mission"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New City, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New City, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at United Nations full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Deal with the people from different background and nationality.

    Cons

    In Africa, it was interesting to deal with the local staff very interesting.

    Advice to Management

    Had the local staff trained to become operational immediately. It was a great success.


  6. "Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Lots of benefits, vacation, tax breaks

    Cons

    Lots of ignorance, 20th century technology


  7. "great experience"

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

    Pros

    Milticultural and challenging environment. You can have the opportunity to grow within the organization

    Cons

    There are times when it gets slow. But the opportunity to find some work to do is always there. It s up to you.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "facilitator"

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

    I worked at United Nations (Less than a year)

    Pros

    This was a very diverse group of people to work with and it was a profound experience.

    Cons

    It required a lot of travelling and not enough pay.


  9. "No Upward Mobility"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Finance in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at United Nations full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits such as vacation days, home leave travel, pensions and medical insurance.

    Cons

    Inadequate focus on professional development of staff.
    Lack of control in removing non-performing staff members.

    Advice to Management

    Make the tough decisions and don't pass them unto the next person coming up the ladder.


  10. "Horrendous bureaucracy, misogynistic culture, absolutely no mobility"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Producer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Producer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at United Nations full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Maternity leave is 4 months which is a lot by US standards

    Cons

    Where do I begin. Outdated payment structure results in vast pay differences that have nothing to do with merit. The "G" and "P" categories are a strange caste system that don't work in practice and lead to countless misery.

    Advice to Management

    Abolish the G and P categories. Allow mobility based on qualifications and merit.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "If you have talent and a desirable skill set, use them in the private sector."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    -Got to meet people from around the world that I ordinarily wouldn't have taken the time to do otherwise.
    -Good name for the resume.

    Cons

    -Depending on the entity you work for, you will face staffing and budget constraints. I worked for an entity that was severely understaffed. Made work at times feel overwhelming.
    -Consultants brought in for projects and positions often know more than the people they are directed by. This is a huge problem and shouldn't be the case.
    -Interns and consultants are the punching bags of the UN. In the former's case, they are unpaid, they receive no stipends, they often work longer than normal hours and their internships have no value when it comes to employment within the UN system.
    -Underpaid compared to the private sector.
    -If you have a grievance, you have to ultimately decide if its worth it to pursue. You will face retaliation and threats of blackballing from the UN system if you go through with it. I still have mine in writing from when I was dealing with a particular issue. I went through with it and have in fact been exiled from the system. I can't even get a reference from my former supervisors.
    -Cronyism, nepotism and corruption are widespread and visible. Member states have people employed as favors. These people employed do nothing all day and are the first people to leave when the day is done.
    -It doesn't pay to be an American at the U.N. Discrimination is rampant especially in hiring. You won't encounter many people working at HQ from the States. I was told by supervisor that an American hire is rare and I was one of the few lucky ones.
    -If you are an American, get yourself a good accountant at tax time. Unlike other member states, when you hold American citizenship at the UN, you are responsible for paying back taxes. If you have dual citizenship elsewhere, file your information under that nationality so that you get the full spending power of your paycheck.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the red tape. Be more transparent.


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