Our founding fathers: Meet the 80%

DanMUN was founded 10 years ago by an energetic, eager and close group of friends. After attending an MUN abroad, they came back inspired since they knew that Denmark was lacking a university MUN, and so DanMUN was born. Today, 80% of DanMUN’s founders work for the UN.

The journey towards where DanMUN is today has been far from straight, however the shared belief in, passion for and commitment to the idea of institutionalizing the MUN concept in Denmark, has led to DanMUN currently being an NGO that inspires people.

 

DanMUN members, from the beginning, have been volunteer students, yearly passing on their knowledge to new students to make DanMUN continuously vibrant and lasting. But what happens to those who graduate and leave the organization?

To find out, we contacted some of the DanMUN founders to see what skills from the association they have brought with them and where they are now.


 

Who are they?

We had the pleasure to speak with Katrine Sørensen, Julie Høy-Carrasco and Jakob Øster. They are three of the DanMUN founders and, most importantly, they are part of the 80%

Katrine is an Associate Program Officer for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the Conflict and Disaster Program in Geneva. She manages their sustainable energy program portfolio in Haiti, which mainly focuses on increasing access to energy since less than 12% have access to electricity and it’s one of largest obstacles for development.

 

 

 

Julie Høy-Carrasco started her United Nations carreer in 2011 when she started as a Junior Professional Officer (JPO) for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Nairobi, Kenya. She is now embarking on a new position as Associate Programme Officer supporting maritime law enforcement authorities in Somalia.

 

 

 

 

Jakob Øster, after leaving DanMUN, was selected for a Junior Professional Officer (JPO) position by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Today, he is an Associate Livelihoods Officer in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Jakob works daily to improve the lives of 50 million forcibly displaced people.

 

 


 

The DanMUN Experience

“DanMUN introduced me to the works of the Security Council and the UN language for policy making. It was definitely a determining factor in my wish to join the UN after my studies. DanMUN was extremely inspiring for a young student.”

Katrine Sørensen, Associate Program Officer for UNEP

“DanMUN is an organisation for youth that are passionate about international affairs, particularly the UN. It is a great environment in which to indulge in this passion among like-minded peers. The organisation of the annual conference is good practice in juggling academic, logistical, and strategic priorities in a team context; it is also a lot of fun! It is furthermore a great opportunity to engage and network with students and professionals from fields of work associated with the UN.”

Julie Høy-Carrasco, Associate Program Officer for UNODC

This is still true to this day. The DanMUN experience is like no other; it is professional, relaxed, challenging, interest but most of all, it is fun! DanMUN gives you hand-on experience in event planning, project management, leadership, marketing and so much more.


 

Because of DanMUN…

“Today, as a direct consequence of my engagement in DanMUN, I am fortunate enough to work to improve the lives of more than 50 million forcibly displaced people around the world through my job as Associate Livelihoods Officer in the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Refugees carry with them more than their clothes on their back – they carry with them their skills, knowledge, hopes and dreams – and in UNHCR I work to enable displaced people to improve their livelihoods and become self-reliant.

I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for DanMUN”

Jakob Øster, Associate Livelihoods Officer for the UNHCR

“I believe that the commitment to the UN displayed by carrying out voluntary work through organising DanMUN strengthened my application for my position as JPO with the UNODC Maritime Crime Programme.

I have often applied experience from my time as DanMUN organiser in my work as JPO for the UNODC in Nairobi, especially in the early days. I suspect I will continue to do so as I embark on my new position as Associate Programme Officer supporting maritime law enforcement authorities in Somalia.”

Julie Høy-Carrasco, Associate Porgramme Officer for the UNODC

 

“I never did an internship in the UN, so showing some kind of interest in the UN system through DanMUN, I think was very important.”

Katrine Sørensen, Associate Program Officer for UNEP

Many years have passed for Julie, Jakob and Katrine but DanMUN is still close to them. DanMUN was created by a group of friends and this aspect has not changed. DanMUN has a great legacy and today’s DanMUN organizers are also embarking into great careers in and outside the UN. DanMUN offers a variety of opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere.

“On the dark days, when the reality of a UN system, that is a big and heavy bureaucratic machine, weighs heavily on me, I recall the enthusiasm and belief in the UN system I felt when I was part of DanMUN and in that find motivation to keep going.”

Julie Høy-Carrasco, Associate Porgramme Officer for the UNODC

DanMUN exists to continuously motivate and inspire. As a professional product running on voluntary passion and commitment, it stands clear that it is a breeding ground for passionate, go-getters that will stop at nothing to be part of the world they are surrounded by.