Ayush embraces diversity in UN role

Through various roles working for the United Nations, Master of Communication and Media Studies alumni Ayush Karki is helping make a difference to developing countries.

After starting as an intern and volunteer, Ayush’s perseverance paid off with a paid gig at the United Nations Children’s Fund in Nepal.

Ayush Karki

Here is his profile…

Name: Ayush Karki

Course: Master of Communication and Media Studies

Campus: Caulfield

Year graduated: 2014

Current position: Communication Officer at United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Nepal

How did you land your current job?

Following the completion of my Masters program, I first worked as an intern in the United Nations Economic and Social Commission of Asia Pacific (UNESCAP) in Bangkok, Thailand. In those four months of my internship, I got an opportunity to work in its Communication department, where I learnt how the United Nations communicates with various audiences such as public, development partners, staff, etc. It was a great learning experience, as I learnt to use communication tools such as social media, traditional media, websites, event management, etc.

On the final month of the internship, there was a massive earthquake in my country, Nepal. Following the earthquake, most of the development agencies expanded their work to respond to the disaster. I was fortunate enough to serve as a UN volunteer in my country during the greatest disaster suffered in 80 years. The United Volunteers program (UNV) deploys skilled volunteers in coordination with various UN agencies. My role in UNV was to support the management and deployment of volunteers and communications of my agency. In my 18-month tenure as a UNV, I photographed, documented and promoted the work done by over 200 UN volunteers who worked as first responders. The work done by them was truly inspiring and it was an honour to disseminate UNV’s work through various platforms.

I have recently joined UNICEF Nepal as a Communication Officer. UNICEF has been working in Nepal on children’s issue such as child rights, health, education, etc. This role requires me to manage the digital platform of UNICEF’s communication department.

How did Monash help get you to where you are now?

Monash played a significant role in taking me to where I am now. It taught me essential skills such as research and analysis, improved my writing skills and made me more comfortable with public speaking.

However the most important thing I learnt in Monash and Melbourne was to embrace diversity. I was very lucky to have people from all over the world in my program at Monash. Interacting and working with them helped me be more open minded and understand global issues much better. As United Nations’ name suggests, there are staff from all over the world working in this organisation. After experiencing a multicultural environment in Monash, it was a piece of cake for me to get along and network in the UN.

What advice would you give your first-year uni self?

My advice to my first year uni self would be not to stress too much about my future and career. The future is something you don’t really have control over, no matter how hard you try. So live in the present. Try to make the most out of the opportunity you are receiving at Monash. As a student of communication and media studies, you should try to be friends with all the students in your class. You learn a lot by just interacting with people. This will help you a lot in making you a better person. Join different clubs and skill development training offered by the university. Most importantly enjoy every moment there, you will not get this time again.

What did you wish you knew before going out into the workforce?

I wish I knew how to be more patient and handle rejections better before getting into a workforce. Yes, we do hear that rejection is part of life. But, you won’t realise that rejection is part of your daily life. For example, I must have applied for internships or jobs with at least a thousand organisations before I got my first internship or job. Yes, there will be some classmates who will get a job even before they graduate. It’s not a competition. You need to be very patient and not lose hope. I guess you can’t teach that in a classroom, it can only be learnt through experience.

Who has been your biggest mentor?

There have been a lot of mentors in different stages in my life ranging from teachers to former bosses who all made big contributions to my life and career. However my parents are by far the biggest mentors in my life. Without their support and guidance I could have never made major decisions that worked in my favour eventually.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

In 10 years I still see myself in the field of development, maybe in my own country or maybe in another underdeveloped or developing country. Only difference is I see myself in a position with more executive powers that will help to implement my vision.

What was your very first job?

My first job in Australia was at a factory that produced customised notepads, calendars and greeting cards for primary schools. However, my first job was as an intern, then journalist in Media House in Nepal. I worked as a journalist for two years after my under-grad. It was during my time as a journalist that I decided to pursue my Masters in communication and media studies at Monash.

Were you more of a planner or a crammer when it came to studying?

Initially, I was a planner. My first semester at uni was well planned and organised. All my assignments were submitted before the deadline. By the time I reached my final semester, I turned into a major crammer, having multiple deadlines on the same night.

Any hidden talents?

Way too many to mention.

Any pets?

Unfortunately no. Although I am a dog lover, my current apartment doesn’t allow pets. Hopefully I’ll get one soon.