Saturday, July 4, 2009

2 Weeks In...

Time is moving quickly since I arrived in Rome 2 weeks ago. Learning a new job, a new language, a new city, and finding friends has proved to be exhausting but exhilarating.

I am finally in the swing on the internship. My direct supervisor has been great. She has carefully laid our my marching orders. My internship will consist of 4 key tasks:

1. Research implementation of the Agency's language requirement for new hires and compare against UN and WFP policy.
2. Conduct cost/benefit analysis of outsourcing language assessments to international language firms.
3. Manage interviews and surveys of current staff (Indefinite Contract and Fixed Term employees) to get feedback on WFP's current mobility policy and staff attrition from the organization.
4. Research social networking opportunities for the firm's recruitment efforts.

After figuring out where the commissary is and where to get office supplies, I began my research. The interesting thing about WFP is that the organization is governed its own policies but also at the macro level by the charter of the United Nations. This requires all new policies to be in line with the United Nations. Needless to say, I am spending a lot of time understanding the macro-frameworks of both organizations.

WFP staff serves communities around the world, therefore, needs a workforce with diverse language skills. WFP's policy requires all staff to speak English and one additonal language: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese. Since these policies were put in place 10 years ago it is likely they don't reflect the current needs of the organization. In implementation, nearly half of staff hired in the last 5 years do not meet this requirement. It is my job to determine if this policy is working and if not, how the policy can be amended to meet the firms current needs. I will blog again next week to let you know the results of my research and recommendations.

This summer will go by quickly given my workload. A couple of classmates from the MBA class of 2009 (Zach and Kristen) stopped through Rome on their way to Greece for a couple of nights. We went to Campo DiFiori for dinner the first night and had a home cooked Italian meal the 2nd night prepared especially by my Italian roommates. Given the economic climate back home and the strength (or weakness) of the dollar I don't expect to see many other familiar faces until my family comes in August. It is nice to know that even though I am 10,000 miles away from Davis I can still see familiar faces. :)

Ciao for now

Kendra

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