Where Are They Now? CMS Intern Alumni Sana Sandra Karbal

An internship at the CMS Office – Abu Dhabi provides an exciting opportunity to gain experience in a multi-disciplinary environment, as well as a first-hand impression of the day-to-day functioning of the Dugong MOU Secretariat and the Coordinating Unit of the Raptors MOU.

If you are considering entering the world of international diplomacy, sustainability or conservation policy, an internship at the CMS Office – Abu Dhabi could be the ideal start for you. Internship opportunities are advertised at the UN Careers Portal every 12 months [Please apply directly through the online recruitment platform, Inspira.  Applications outside of Inspira cannot be considered].  

Below is a profile from one of our previous interns where you can find out why they chose to intern at CMS Office – Abu Dhabi, where they are now and the advice they would give to those considering applying for a similar internship.



Name: Sana Sandra Karbal

Education: Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) (Hons), University of Surrey

Nationality: USA

Language skills: English, intermediate fluency in Arabic and Spanish


  • When were you at CMS? Why did you choose to apply for an internship at CMS?

My UN internship ran from May to November 2016. I was set on working for the UN due to my heavy involvement in Model UN for years. I was incredibly interested in the work being done by the Convention, and could not pass up the opportunity.


  • What are you doing at present?

Currently, I work for the Legislature in Minnesota, USA. I am a Writer/Editor for the Office of the Chief Clerk in the House of Representatives. My work focuses on handling the Index of Bills. I compose short summaries of all bills introduced, and read the Journal of the House – the historical, legal record of all legislative proceedings – to make edits to specific bills, such as adding an author, re-referring it to a committee, or including the Governor’s signature when it becomes law. When a legislative session adjourns at the end of May, I proofread the Index to double-check its accuracy against original bills before it is published, as mandated by our state Constitution. These are my day-to-day duties, but on a fundamental level, the Office of the Chief Clerk, and by extension my role, provides non-partisan assistance and advice to House Members and staff in meeting legal and parliamentary requirements of the legislative process, as well as disseminating information to members of the public.


  • What do you consider as the most valuable skill or experience gained from the internship?

I would certainly state that my experience with CMS has aided me in my currently role. Working under Nick Williams in the early stages of the Vulture Multi-species Action Plan was a formative experience. I had an opportunity to draft funding agreements, perform due diligence, and overall get a real understanding of the intricacies of project coordination. The sense of attention to detail I worked on developing has carried on into my writing and proofreading. 


  • What advice would you give to anyone wishing to intern at CMS?

My advice for prospective participants of the UN Internship Program at CMS would be to seek out a variety of work. I feel that by volunteering your efforts to certain projects or tasks, you come away with a better understanding of the overall interconnectedness of the work around you. Additionally, I recommend beginning the program with clear goals and objectives with regards to skills you would like to develop, so that you may tailor your workload around that.


“The United Nations Internship Program offered me a formative insight into the work that drives significant change around us. It solidified my belief in public service, and instilled in me the importance of working conscientiously, which I have carried on to this day.” 

Last updated on 04 December 2018