LOL. So, my first post here will actually not be about acting (I was going to post about something else—something of equal importance… NOT! Wait, no).
On Sunday, I decided to share some study material with YPUN.org (because I’m no kiasu hoarder). YPUN is a lot like UN YPP Facebook and mailing-list study groups, except it covers all job families. So I decided to host the files at Scribd (why, you ask? Because I’ve never used it before and I’m always trying new things just because, plus I’m too ADHD to have noticed that Scribd isn’t free). And I even got super puppy-excited, and started wagging my little tail, and infodumped to the EFF (because apparently it’s Open Access Week and the theme is academic research) and I thought it was a funny coincidence that I should set up a Robin Hood account on October 20 (the first day of the Open Access Week) only to have someone point out to me that, ironies of all ironies, blunders of all blunders, Scribd IS a paywall. Faux pas doesn’t get any better than that. Jeaaah, Robin Hood’s a sell-out, he hangs with Big Paywall now… *Facepalms*
So I’m hosting the good stuff here instead (and maybe I don’t want to be defined by “actress” and putting all your eggs in one basket is bad, anyway). Here are the URLs for sharing:
- ABC des Nations Unies on Issuu (this is the 2011 version of “Basic Facts About the UN” en français, I have this in PDF in both languages too if you want—I just can’t upload it here right now, sorry. The lady at UNIC gives hardcopies of this stuff out to people sitting the YPP for FREE anyway, so I assume it’s cool to share PDFs of it around. You will need this for the MCQs! Also, keep in mind that this is a slightly outdated version, so make sure to Google stuff like current non-permanent UNSC members and active UNPK missions and such)
- UN YPP answer booklet
- UN YPP précis writing workshop handout (I didn’t actually attend the workshop, either someone shared this in one of the Facebook study groups or I found it through a deep-web search)
- Tackling essay questions (I have no idea who to credit for this! Most likely written by someone who works at HR, or a UN YPP examinee who passed the exam—CMIIW)
- A Guide to Writing for the United Nations (by W.H. Hindle)
- Example of a good motivation letter (courtesy of The Jobless Network)
- UN YPP presentation by a Janos Tisovszky in PDF and PPT formats (this gets interesting starting page 30)
Application process and employment information:
- August 11, 2014 – Briefing for staff about the 2014 Young Professionals Programme (YPP).
- Handout from G-to-P workshop for Social Affairs
- Inspira instruction manual
- Gender percentages of top echelon officials (because of course you’ll want to know).
- Salary guide by position by category/level (this creature, I think, was lurking in the deep web circa 2012, but I believe this kind of information should be made public anyway considering UN staff are international civil servants and they preach transparency—and lots of applicants ask. The numbers may not be current, but if you like playing ratios, it could be fun to muck around with).
- Insider’s Guide to United Nations Jobs and Internships (lots of YPP info here)
- UNGA 69th session – Item 136 of the provisional agenda (HRM) – A/69/150 — Overview of human resources management reform: the YPP (gets interesting starting page 7, which explains how the HR determines who gets to be P1 and P2, as well as possible changes to the process in the future)
Understanding the application process probably won’t help you pass the exam. But for certain people, understanding the bigger picture and having a sort of ‘mind map’ of the happenings makes the studying process a lot less overwhelming since it’ll give you a sense of what you’re up against.
Here’s a note I included in the description of the sample answer sheet, in case my Scribd account gets deleted:
Sample answer booklet. Seriously, look at this. Stare at it real long. It’ll be less disorienting to you on the exam day, if you do! I promise. For the précis writing (GP) section, it helps to limit your lines for a certain number of words (for example 10 words per line). That way, you’ll have an easier time counting your words to make sure you don’t exceed the limit. Practicing on articles that use big words (such as ones on The Economist) also help and will make the actual exam feel significantly easier. The exam is about ~4 hours and you will be handwriting non-stop during that period, so make sure you practice (otherwise, your hands will start cramping by the time you’re halfway through the SP).
ETA: The Economist is paywalled too—it limits you to a certain amount of articles for a certain amount of time and the real-life magazine is crazy expensive, but if you click “Print” and choose the PDF option, you’ll get to save it in PDF and if we all save different articles (assign each member to save a different one) and share those articles in study groups, we can have them aaalll… Muahah-muahahahahaaa! World domination!
What my 2012 study group did was we all practiced on an Economist article, and then we’d do a peer-review (provide constructive criticism in the group email). Also, précis writing is a lot like tweeting. If you’ve been disciplined enough to have maintained a habit of tweeting without shortening words (using txt talk) or dividing your tweets into installments, as in you actually try to fit everything into 140 characters, you should be fine.
This is the most intense, most competitive thing I’ve done. Ever. The UN will tell you that you can take food and beverages into the exam room, but it’s all a liiie! A lie, I tell you, a lie! You won’t even have time to stop to munch at something. In 2012, I brought a banana, a chocolate/caramel bar, canned coffee, and a bottle of water (the idea was that the banana would increase brain power, the sugar/caffeine would then kill off the drowsiness—carbs do that sometimes, and the water would maintain hydration). But nooo… When you’re that busy trying to solve all the world’s problems, you won’t even have time to feel the hunger. So DO flex your handwriting muscles!
- NCRE 2006
- NCRE 2007
- NCRE 2008
- NCRE 2009
- NCRE 2010
- NCRE 2010 (Radio Producer: Arabic, Chinese, French)
- YPP 2007 (Legal Affairs)
- YPP 2008 (Social Affairs)
- YPP 2009 (Public Information)
- YPP 2009 (Public Information, General Paper)
- YPP 2009 (Social Affairs)
- YPP 2010 (Legal Affairs)
- YPP 2011 (Public information)
Leftovers from YPP 2012:
- Someone in the Social Affairs Facebook group had an eidetic memory*
- Another version (with possible answers) of the MCQs from the same/another person with a photographic memory
- A list of Social Affairs concepts (study checklist) someone posted at the Facebook group*
- List of stuff to bring (emailed from HR at presumably-HQ on November 2, 2012 for an exam on December 5, 2012)
- Indonesian MoFA were epically awesome for providing proper desks in 2012. You could put all the bananas you want on those babies. I actually took pictures of the venue that the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided for the 2012 exam, but unfortunately they are in my old BlackBerry and I’m currently living in an apartment temporarily and I have no access to it now. The desks are excellent, they’re proper classroom desks (they were not the foldable chairs that give you cramps from hunching over for 4.5 hours, but that was in 2012 and circumstances could change this year).
*NOTE: This is an old file and I can’t remember which study group member posted it, if I should be crediting this to someone and they don’t mind being credited for it, please let me know.
Leftovers from YPP 2014:
The UN, on their Examination Status page, posted these “instruction letter” things and reading lists for each job family this year. They’ll probably take it down in 2015, so I’m uploading them all up here for future generations taking the following job families:
- Economic Affairs: Letter and suggested reading
- Human Rights: Letter and suggested reading
- IT: Letter
- Photography: Letter
- Political Affairs: Letter and suggested reading
- Radio Production: Letter
- List of stuff to bring (emailed from UNDP Indonesia on December 2, 2014 for an exam on December 4, 2014)
Okay here’s something else:
- I answered some questions online, and I copied and pasted my answers into this document. HTH!
- What I can remember of the Human Rights JO’s exam
- Photos of the exam venue provided by the fine dudes and dudettes of the Indonesian MoFA
Leftovers from YPP 2015:
This is an extremely welcome development.
Facebook study groups by job family:
- UN YPP 2011 (all job families)
- Economic Affairs
- Humanitarian Affairs
- Political Affairs (I)
- Political Affairs (II)
- Public Information (2001)
- Social Affairs (2012)
- UN Careers Facebook Page: They post recruitment process updates here (including stuff like server overloads and force majeur delays like Hurricane Sandy)
- UN Careers on Twitter
- Check your examination centre
- Examination status page
- What’s new page (check this regularly)
Anyhoo, a little about me, me, meee: I sat the 2012 UN YPP (Social Affairs) exam, applied for the Public Information exam in 2013—but then Inspira’s evil algorithm weeded me out despite my the fact that my super-epically-relevant work experience more than make up for my irrelevant educational background, and this year, I’ve been convoked for the Human Rights job family. So if you have any questions that I may be able to answer, I’d be happy to try my best to help!
This blog post will be updated once I start finding my old stuff in my cloud and anytime I find relevant stuff in various random places on the internets.
Disclaimer-ish: None of these documents have been nicked directly from UN offices (I would never post online stuff I obtained during internships/jobs—and I’d like to think that I’m good at honouring confidentiality agreements). They were all found online. Out there for anyone who looked hard enough to find (and if files uploaded were only meant for internal use, then the UN should probably talk to IT. LOL).
Last updated on: January 15, 2014.