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Life as a JPC with IOM Ukraine

By Lauren Tilley

Disclaimer: The views are those of the author's alone and do not represent the views of UNA-Canada.

My name is Lauren Tilley, and I am currently working as a Junior Professional Consultant (JPC) with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ukraine. IOM is the United Nation’s principal agency working in the field of migration. I have been working remotely with IOM Ukraine since October 2022 in their new Policy, Liaison, and Program Development unit. Read below to learn more about my experience as part of the International Development and Diplomacy internship program!

Image 1: Photo of JPC Lauren Tilley

As I am currently based in New Brunswick, Canada, I am 6 hours behind Kyiv time. This means that I usually start work around 7 am to ensure that there are at least a few hours of overlap between myself and my colleagues in eastern Europe. While being an early riser hasn’t always come naturally to me, I have begun to really enjoy the early starts and early finishes. I have been working remotely at various jobs since before the pandemic hit, so I have had a lot of time to adjust to working from home. To stay productive and professional during my workdays, I always make sure to get up on schedule, get fully ready for the day before starting work, schedule breaks for myself, and go outside at least once a day. These Work from home boundaries have helped me to stay productive, focused, and professional.

In my JPC role, my main task is to write the Security Updates section for IOM Ukraine’s internal Situation Report, which goes out to all staff, partners, relevant government ministries, and more at least twice per week. The purpose of the Situation Report is to give the people in charge of programming and policy-making the information they need to best address the current situation and to reduce redundancy by eliminating the need for every department to individually do this research. I research and include updates on civilian casualties, attacks on critical infrastructure, news on human rights abuses, and any other updates relevant to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. I also proofread the final reports before they are sent out. In addition to the Situation Report, I have worked on a few ad hoc projects, such as drafting a briefing on the environmental impacts of war in Ukraine.

Image 2: Conducting research for the Situation Report from Ukrainian news outlets

After having completed an MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies this year, I am very content to have a position that lets me expand upon my theoretical knowledge with practical experience. These tasks have taught me a lot about working in complex conflicts and delivering humanitarian responses, and I am excited to continue this line of work throughout my career.


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