Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
Address: Chemin des Fins 2, Case Postale 102, 1211 Geneva 19 - Telephone: 022 799 9100 - Fax: 022 799 9178

WTO Internship

The Australian Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva is offering the opportunity for Australians to undertake a voluntary internship on a self-funded basis during the first half of 2013.

The Permanent Mission seeks a person with the skills, education, knowledge and abilities to contribute to advancing Australia's interests in the WTO. Applicants should possess relevant qualifications and background, with preference being given to those who have completed, or are completing, tertiary studies in areas such as law (including international law and/or international trade law), economics and international trade. Prior exposure to, or demonstrated knowledge of, the World Trade Organization would be desirable.

We envisage the internship will cover a range of WTO meetings and activities in Geneva, including the work of the WTO dispute settlement system. The selected intern will work under the guidance of experienced Australian government officials.

The internship will likely be for a period of around 12 weeks, with final dates to be settled once the intern has been offered a position and depending on the work schedule in the WTO. We anticipate the internship will most likely take place from around April to June 2013.

Applications will be open until 15 November 2012. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

Our internship training

The training provided to interns at the Mission is very much “on-the-job”. You will learn first-hand how the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade functions and gain a hands-on understanding of how the WTO operates. In the course of your internship, you will need to develop networks with representatives of other WTO Members and the WTO Secretariat and come to grips with, amongst other things, the complexities of WTO meetings and the rules of WTO dispute settlement system. You will be involved in formal and informal WTO meetings and negotiating sessions and various meetings relating to the WTO dispute settlement system.

Who we are looking for

In addition to a relevant academic background, the candidates we are looking for will be:

Obligatory Requirements

Before lodging an application for a position, please ensure that you meet the minimum criteria for consideration listed below.

You must be an Australian citizen to apply. If you are not an Australian citizen, you should not submit an application.

You should:
• possess relevant qualifications and background;
• be willing to undergo a mandatory police check;
• be willing to re-locate to Geneva, on a self-funded basis, which includes arranging travel, visa, accommodation, and health insurance.

Conduct and Ethics

The Permanent Mission demands the highest standards of professional conduct from its employees. Ethical conduct by staff and interns contributes significantly to the efficiency and effectiveness of the workplace and to the standing of the Permanent Mission and its employees in Australia and internationally.

In agreeing to participate in the Permanent Mission’s Internship Program and undertake duties as directed, interns are required to comply with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Locally Engaged Staff Code of Conduct, which takes account of the particular significance of the department's representational role outside Australia.

Self-funded and voluntary

The Permanent Mission is not able to provide financial assistance to successful applicants. You will be responsible for your own travel, visa, accommodation, and health insurance arrangements. Be prepared, the cost of living is high in Geneva. Be prepared for a cost of two to three thousand dollars per month in addition to your flights.

Applicants may not be given much notice before the internship commences. We urge you to consider this when making your application and ensure that you are prepared both for the financial and time considerations of a successful application.


Applications should comprise a short covering letter summarising relevant claims for the position, a brief CV, and the completed internship questionnaire (see below). Applications should be emailed to


Applicants are asked to complete the attached internship questionnaire. Responses should be no more than 150 words per question. The questionnaire is designed to assess your suitability to perform the duties of the position including personal qualities, experience, skills and knowledge relevant to the work of an intern at the Permanent Mission.

Internship Questionnaire

  1. What are your particular interests in the WTO and the WTO dispute settlement system?
  2. Briefly outline a recent achievement, project or task that demonstrates your analytical and research skills and your ability to think strategically.
  3. Provide one or two examples of how you have used your written and oral communication skills to achieve an outcome, in the workplace, or elsewhere.
  4. Tell us about your organisational skills and your ability to work under pressure with limited guidance and to manage conflicting priorities. Use one or two specific examples.
  5. It is essential that our interns can work effectively within a team and demonstrate significant flexibility in their approach to the work of the Permanent Mission. Describe some examples that demonstrate your team skills and flexibility.
  6. Please list any countries outside Australia in which you have lived in the past 10 years.


Short-listed candidates may be interviewed via phone or in person (in Geneva) if convenient. Successful candidates will be advised in writing (usually by email), after which they will have to undertake a police clearance.