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Portfolio Intern

Geneva (Switzerland)

Background Information - Job-specific

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is the largest service provider in the United Nations System, working on behalf of more than 30 UN departments and organizations as well as for International Financial Institutions and host governments.

Local and international partners call upon the UNOPS Geneva Office for expertise in fund management, project management, procurement of goods and services, and human resources administration to ensure successful delivery of their projects. Focus areas include health, water, and sanitation. These partners’ programmes are global in nature, with the majority being located in Africa, Asia, Europe, former CIS countries and the Middle East.

The Office recently established a new UN Portfolio composed of projects and hosting initiatives which are closely linked to the UN and humanitarian assistance managed from Geneva.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Portfolio Manager and in close collaboration with the other Portfolio Team members, the intern will assist with the functions of a Portfolio/Operations Assistant. His/her main tasks will be:

  • Review of the operational aspects of the proposed projects, to meet operational objectives under the supervision of the Portfolio Manager and in collaboration with project personnel and UNOPS teams;
  • Support with projects’ financial transactions; facilitate approval of service payments, purchase orders and other disbursements for the projects;
  • Ensure timely follow up on HR contracting request received from project partners and follow up in ERP system 
  • Process of travel requests and support to travel related requirements;
  • Support to the drafting of Terms of Reference for subcontractors and consultants; proposals of suitable firms or institutions and individual consultants; evaluation of proposals received; recommendations for contract awards; negotiations with successful bidder, for approval within the team;
  • Establish and maintain working files for the projects under his/her responsibility;
  • Contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice;
  • Demonstration of professional and personal ethics, transparency and openness to encourage respect and similar behaviour from colleagues;
  • Perform other related duties as required.

The Intern will be given the following training components and learning elements:

The intern will be part of a team and will be learning on the job on a daily basis.  Dedicated time will be allocated by the supervisor for understanding the functioning of UNOPS and the UN development agency world in general. The proximity of other UN agencies and UNOG offers opportunities for numerous briefings and presentations. 

Training in ERP system OneUNOPS, travel management and simple HR and procurement procedures. 

The intern will be able to participate in other different trainings offered by UNOPS, including online language and project management courses. Other opportunities will be discussed with the intern upon arrival. No travel missions are foreseen from the outset.


Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Functional competencies

-          Professionalism;

-          Integrity;

-          Respect for diversity;

-          Good interpersonal relationship;

-          Teamwork and multi-tasking capabilities; 

-          Ability to prioritize and organize tasks;

-          Ability to perform a variety of repetitive and routine tasks and duties related to screening, collecting and    preparation of documentation, data input, transaction tracking and filing;

-          Ability to review data, identify and adjust discrepancies;

-          Ability to produce accurate and well documented records conforming to the required standard;

Computer Literacy

-          Knowledge of Excel essential;

-          Experience in administrative and procurement (clerical, secretarial) services, technology and software              use and application is desirable.

-          Knowledge of ERP systems an asset;


Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in Business Administration, Public Administration, Social Sciences or related fields is required. Master's Degree in same fields is an asset. 


Internship-related experiences not required, but previous working experience would be an asset.


Fluency in English, written and spoken, is a requirement. Knowledge of another UN language is an asset.

Contract type, level and duration - Internship

Contract type: Internship
Contract duration: 3 months

This internship is not designed to lead to a staff position with UNOPS. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of the internship.

Interns may be eligible for a monthly stipend  from UNOPS provided that they do not receive funds from other institutions. Further, UNOPS may provide a one time travel lumpsum of 500 USD. However, they must make their own arrangements for accommodation, travel and necessary visa arrangements.

For more details about UNOPS internships please follow this link:

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.


Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2017-08-18

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