Defying the Smashed Avocado Sterotype: My Journey to the United Nations
May 07, 2019
Victoria Brownlee, Alumni Development, AK Uni
Defying the Smashed Avocado Sterotype: My Journey to the United Nations

In 2018, Victoria Brownlee became the first New Zealand woman to intern with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. She will be discussing her internship experience and sharing her story from New Zealand to New York.

Originally from West Auckland, Victoria pursued a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and International Relations at the University of Auckland.

Recently, Victoria co-directed a month-long study tour of the US for sixteen New Zealand university students and arranged meetings with 55 speakers at 32 organisations ranging from Google to the World Bank. She also took the delegation to the Harvard National Model United Nations conference where she fell in love with the feeling of possibility in New York and set herself a goal of returning within a year.

Four months later, she was offered an internship at the United Nations. With the support of the University and the Peace & Disarmament Education Trust, she was able to relocate from West Auckland to NYC, where she worked for the Strategic Planning Unit in the Office for Disarmament Affairs. She advised on many issues including nuclear weapons in North Korea and the role of artificial intelligence in security.

Aside from her UN job, Victoria also worked for the University of Auckland as a Special Project Lead for New York. Her role involved interviewing alumni in the US with a view to creating a new global alumni engagement strategy.