Anastasia Nikitinskaya

Dates of internship: February - August 2013
Nationality: Russian

During my Masters programme at Leiden University I became interested in Arms Control and Disarmament issues. After graduation I worked for a nuclear disarmament NGO, and when it was time to move on, the OPCW seemed like a natural step to enhance my knowledge in the field of disarmament.

I worked for the Implementation Support Branch within the International Cooperation and Assistance Division. My branch is mainly focused on capacity building within the Member States, and our primary work consists of organising different training courses and meetings of National Authorities. I was supporting the events that were organized by my supervisor, and that included maintaining correspondence with the States Parties, preparing the necessary documents for the course, assisting with participants’ travel arrangements, etc.

The best part of the experience is actually seeing the results of your work. I was able to do that at the Basic Course for the Personnel of National Authorities, which was held at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague. My supervisor and I worked very hard to ensure the smooth running of the event, and it was such a joy to witness the outcome of months of preparations. The least pleasant part is a logical follow-up to the best part. As an intern, you are not allowed to travel with OPCW missions. And most of the events that you helped to organize around the world pass without you being present. 

The internship was definitely useful for me. There is a lot about the workings of a UN agency that you will not get from the books, and doing an internship at OPCW can show you whether you are cut out for the life of an international civil servant.

The Hague is a nice and safe city, perfect for work. And the Netherlands is a small country so even if you find life in The Hague too quiet, you could always hop on the train and be in Amsterdam within an hour. I would advise interns to take the internship for what it is – an amazing experience - and enjoy their time here. As for me, I will return home and look for new opportunities

Constance Dijkstra
Dates of internship: February - July 2013
Dennis Ikas
Dates of internship: June - July 2013
Anastasia Nikitinskaya
Dates of internship: February - August 2013
Nino Gabisonia
Dates of Internship: February - March 2012