An interview with Vera Monaco. Looking forward to a career that will contribute to building a just and better society

Born in Treviso, Italy, Vera is obtaining her Master’s degree in Social Economy from the University di Bologna. Prior to that, she had received her Bachelor’s degree in Arts Management from Ca’ Foscari. Vera has recently completed an internship in the Educational and Public Relations department of the Musei Civici here in Venice and has also interned at Ca’ Pesaro and the Guggenheim Museum. On 1 April 2014, Vera joined the Executive and Coordination Unit for a 4-month internship in the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy).

We have interviewed Vera who will be with us up to 31 July. We hope her time with us has been so far an enlightening and challenging learning experience.

What is your background, and why did you want to intern at UNESCO?

I am currently studying Social Economy at Bologna University (Forlì campus), a Master’s degree aiming to provide students with a deep knowledge of theory and management related to non-profit organizations, NGOs and cooperatives. I started developing my interest in non-profit organizations since my Bachelor’s degree in Arts Management, especially related to museums, art foundations, and organizations and institutions devoted to the preservation of cultural heritage and promotion of the arts. During my university studies, I also tried to wider my horizons by exercising my foreign languages through several experiences in contact with foreign students. For example, I took part in the Erasmus Program in Spain, attending Universidad de Castilla - La Mancha in Toledo campus for one academic year. After a year living within a multi-cultural environment I considered it a good idea to try for an intern experience in an international organization. For this reason, when I got accepted for an Internship at the UNESCO Venice Office, I realized I was given a great opportunity.

What do you think you are gaining from your internship (so far)? What are the most important aspects?

During this internship I got the chance to work in the Executive and Coordination Unit (ECU), which is directly connected with the work of the Director and that aims to assure the smooth running of the others units, Culture, Science and Administrative. This experience represents a significant change in comparison with my previous ones, which were mainly in museums. In the past I gave my contribution only to projects dedicated to a limited and well-defined public, while now I’m getting confident with a different approach as the initiatives are conceived for having more a wider impact in pursuing UNESCO’s mandate. Thanks to this internship I managed to familiarize myself with different working methods and cultural practices; assisting the ECU gave me the opportunity to undertake an extended range of activities, from helping with general tasks necessary to run an office (correspondence, preparing briefing for meetings, travels arrangements) to the creation of a weekly news flash ‘Breaking the News to U(VO)’, drafting articles and providing support to the UNDAF 2016-2020 roll-out. 

What are your goals for the future? What will happen after the internship? How will your internship influence your choices?

The internship at UNESCO represents a precious and meaningful experience for my career. I am really grateful I had this rare opportunity to cooperate with an organization so deeply engaged in matters of priority importance. Working in such a motivating environment and with mission-oriented professionals, made me realize I would really like having the chance to work in international organizations or NGOs, especially those dedicated to cultural promotion and to the safeguarding of heritage, themes that I feel particularly close to. I look forward to starting my professional career in an organization aiming to build a just and better society. In addition, I hope to cooperate again with UNESCO and be able to contribute to the achievement of its mandate.