Dennis Ikas

Dates of internship: June - July 2013
Nationality: German

Studying the rather broad course of Political and Administrative Sciences on a Bachelor-level I felt the need to gather some first-hand experience before choosing my future specialization and, in the long run, a possible line of work. As this would be my first placement in a multilateral organization, I saw the OPCW’s internship programme as an important first step into the field of international relations, especially since it also allowed undergraduate students to join.

I applied for the Secretariat for the Policy-making organs (PMO) and alternately worked with the Documentation and Reprographic Unit and the Conference Service Unit. My own duties ranged from tending to the physical archive and compiling mail orders for the States Parties’ embassies, to distributing documents and information to delegates during their meetings, and offering assistance to them at the Documentation Counter.

The most enriching experience during my time at OPCW was to see the detailed inner mechanisms of a globally active organization and to actively take part in it. Having personal contact with representatives of a huge variety of countries during one of the Executive Council meetings was certainly one of the highlights of my work experience. The internship definitely gave me an insight in the day-to-day routine work in the field of international relations and helped me to improve both my professional perspectives for the future and my understanding for the background procedures needed to maintain the functionality of an institution where nearly 200 different interests must be considered and conciliated.

The Hague is not only the seat of many international organizations but also a very beautiful and diverse city. Next to the more obvious sightseeing tours, the city and its surroundings offer many possibilities for day trips, hiking or for simply enjoying a relaxed drink at one of the many cosy bars. My advice for incoming interns would be: one of the most important activities during your internship will actually take place outside of OPCW. Socialising and networking should always be one of your first goals, regardless of your branch, as you will never find outside of The Hague so many different people of different backgrounds so close by. However, you should keep an eye on your budget as the prices tend to be high with that many high-paid diplomats around.

As for me, after finishing at OPCW I will continue collecting more work and study experiences abroad.

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