Switzerland – Weeks 8-10


It has been a long time since I have written a blog entry. I have been very busy with my tasks; I am averaging 9-10hr. work days. It’s weird, though. I do not feel mad or upset about staying so late. Knowing that my time is limited, I want to maximize my presence and output while I am here. On that, note – I did extend my internship by one month! They wanted me to stay the full 6 months but… Geneva is incredibly expensive (I am paying over $1000 a month for a bedroom..yikes).

Anyhow, I have to admit that I feel like my posts are always filled with these awesome adventures throughout Europe. Despite my work being very important and exciting, talking about it isn’t very….sexy? With that said, I do have some great pictures from my trip to Chamonix, France where I went up to 12,605ft and -30F air to get near Mont Blanc.. But you’ll have to eat your vegetables, so to speak, and sit through my discussion on my interesting policy work 🙂

I can’t really express my work in words & pictures on this blog, I can hear everyone ..ZZZZZ’ing all the way here in Switzerland. However, to show you how I get my hands dirty, here’s a picture of my typical day in the office….

Typical Office Day

Exciting, right? This sums up my typical work day quite well…. It begins with highlighting through the latest policy research, looking for applicable policies within the ECE member States, then looking at energy data for said country, adding the numbers in excel, run some calculations, and trying to find any patterns and correlations. As sarcastic as I may sound, the findings are quite interesting.

At this point, I am beginning to do research on member States that have less than 100% modern energy access to it’s rural communities. I want to know:

a) where are these communities?

b) What are the factors that lead to these situations?

c) Are policies in place that allow for the development of micro or off-grid renewable energy systems?

It is one thing to review policies and exiting economic and energy data sets to try and come up with theories, but physically locating these regions is something that is above my pay grade, frankly. So far, I have learned to calculate Energy Intensities and Economic Energy Efficiencies (inverse of energy intensity) which is, essentially, how cheaply and efficiently energy is  produced and consumed by basing the Total Primary Energy Consumed over the countries GDP.. For example, a country with a high energy intensity means that it takes a lot of energy to produce a unit of GDP, meaning, the costs to produce the energy and/or consume it are high and vis versa. Another way to look at it is to see how effective the nation is at delivering energy and converting it to economic gain. My point in explaining that is because, not so surprisingly, is that the countries with areas with limited access have high energy intensity values. Furthermore, the countries in question are predominately found in the Caucuses region (former USSR), and have the same infrastructure from when they were the USSR… meaning efficiencies are poor, and the distribution network is limited.

Anyhow, that research is ongoing… hopefully soon I can make some better discoveries/understandings of how the energy situation can be remedied. But for now, enjoy the pictures from Chamonix!

Au Revoir!



Mont Blanc
Fellow UNECE Interns
No, it’s not the Planet Hoth, it’s actually looking into Italy.

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1 Comment

  1. so from what i understand you pick your own work hours meaning you didnt have to ‘clock in and out’ of work kind of thing? were you able to network or possibly create a personal connection to your supervisor? did you try to seek out employment opportunities with the UN in a different location? How did you balance work and enjoying europe, did you reward yourself or designate certaindays to ‘relax’ because the work you did seems a bit tedious and dry although its very important.

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