Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein

WTO Internships

WTO Internship


In 2019, the Australian Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO Mission) located in Geneva, Switzerland is offering the opportunity for Australians to undertake a voluntary internship on a self-funded basis.

The internship will take place from  late October to late December 2019. 

Applications will be open from 15 July – 2 August 2019.


Australian Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization

The Australian WTO Mission represents Australia in the WTO to promote Australia’s trade and investment interests, and to support the rules-based multilateral trading system. The WTO Mission also represents Australia’s interests in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).


The position

The work in this position will be varied and dynamic. Under the guidance of experienced officers from the WTO Mission, interns will support and advance Australia’s interests in the WTO, WIPO and UNCTAD. Interns will have the opportunity to attend formal and informal meetings and contribute to reporting on those meetings, undertake research and analysis on various issues, and carry out a range of other tasks. Interns will also develop networks with other interns and diplomats, learn first-hand about Australia’s diplomatic activity and gain a useful understanding of diplomatic protocol.


Who we are looking for

The WTO Mission seeks interns with the skills, education, knowledge and abilities to contribute to advancing Australia's national interests in the WTO, WIPO and UNCTAD. 

This position will require adaptability, ability to build relationships and a capacity to develop quickly an understanding of government policy and protocol/procedure in the WTO, WIPO and UNCTAD.

The candidates we are looking for are:

·         talented, highly motivated and committed to advancing Australia’s policy interests

·         good communicators with excellent oral and written communication skills

·         strategic thinkers and practical problem-solvers

·         able to build relationships and are team players

·         flexible, adaptable and resourceful

·         sensitive to, and appreciative of, diversity

·         able to work under pressure with (at times) limited guidance

·         equipped with prior exposure to, or demonstrated knowledge of, the WTO system (highly desirable although not essential).

A second language is not required.  

Many interns come into the WTO Mission while continuing their university studies. Others have recently completed their studies, and join us from the workforce.


Minimum Requirements

Before lodging an application for an internship please ensure that you meet the minimum criteria listed below.

You must:

·         be an Australian citizen

·         have completed, or are completing, tertiary studies in economics, political science, international relations, international trade, law or international development

·         be willing to undergo a mandatory police check

·         be willing to re-locate to Geneva for a period of approximately two months, on a self-funded basis (which includes travel, visa, accommodation, and health insurance arrangements).


Conduct and Ethics

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

In agreeing to participate in the WTO 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 WTO Mission is not able to provide financial assistance to successful applicants. Interns are responsible for their own travel, visa, accommodation, and health insurance arrangements. The cost of living is high in Geneva. Interns should plan for living costs of around AUD2,000-3,000 per month, in addition to flights.


How to apply

Applications for the 2019 internship will be open from 15 July until 2 August.

Please note that applications received outside these dates will not be considered.

To apply you will need to submit:

1.       your Resume/CV

2.       a written reference (no more than one page); and

3.       a document setting out answers to the questionnaire below.

If you are a student, we particularly welcome applications that include a reference or letter of support from your university.  

All applications should be emailed to [email protected] Please include the subject line "SURNAME, first name: WTO Internship Application".



We ask applicants to answer the following four questions. Responses should be no more than 200 words in length 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 WTO Mission.

1.       Describe a challenge facing the WTO and how Australia should address it.

2.       What are your particular interests or experience in international trade or the multilateral rules-based system generally?

3.       How do you hope this internship will contribute to your professional development?

4.       Outline a recent achievement, project or task that demonstrates your analytical, communication and relationship building skills.



Short-listed candidates may be interviewed via phone or in person (in Geneva) if convenient. Successful candidates will be advised in writing (by email). The position will be subject to a police clearance.

Requests for further information should be emailed to [email protected]