ATLANTA–Vasylisa Badan of Kharkiv, Ukraine, chose to study public administration when she realized the program would help her help others while opening the door to a career quite different than those of the journalists, computer scientists and dentists among her family and friends.
“Public policy and administration is an extremely uncommon field of study in Ukraine. It intrigued me,” she said.
Globalization and the need for international intergovernmental administrators furthered her interest in the field. So, when she completed her graduate degree in German philology and foreign languages at the Kharkiv Karazin University in Ukraine, she came to the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University as a Dan E. Sweat Fellow.
“I decided I’d look at the schools that produce the best academic value, and Georgia State was on the top of that list.”
Badan took full advantage of the internship services and career fairs offered by the school’s Office of Career Service & Alumni Relations. With their encouragement, she applied for the United Nations internship online and was accepted for the three-month summer program in 2018.
The internship took Baden to the United Nations Secretariat’s Department of Field Support for Peacekeeping Missions in New York City, where her primary responsibility was to develop a training course in continuous improvement for the senior officials of the department. She also conducted budgetary analyses for its peacekeeping missions.
“While I developed the course, I had several supervisors who provided help and advice. The training will help cut costs and make work more efficient. It will be used later on as a part of the general reform being implemented at the United Nations,” she said.
For the budgetary analyses, Badan analyzed all costs incurred during peacekeeping missions and looked for ways to reduce them. She then developed standard information packages for U.N. colleagues whose main jobs are to conduct financial analyses and comparisons of all missions.
Badan hopes her United Nations experience will lead her to a future that will allow her to work on peacekeeping missions.
“I always wanted to use my analytical and communication skills to further social good. If I could, I’d like to promote the economic development of areas torn apart by war and internal political strife,” she said. “There’s a lot of work to do. I will go anywhere that allows me to be useful to society.”