UNICEF, Copenhagen, HQ
Education: BS, Islamic Azad University (Iran)
Field of Study: Industrial Engineering
Languages: English, Persian (Farsi), Dari
“It has been my ambition since childhood to pursue a career in international development and UNICEF is simply the best job I’ve ever had; the satisfaction of working for children and saving lives is my best UNICEF experience!”
The disastrous earthquake of Bam in December 2003 touched me in a way that I gave up my career in the field of Engineering and I applied for a temporary post at UNICEF as a Supply Assistant.
I started working at UNICEF Iran as a Supply & Logistics Assistant in June 2004 and got associated with the BAM emergency programme. After the closure of that programme in 2007, I was appointed as the Head of Supply and Logistics Unit in the same office. I also was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to work in Southern Sudan for more than three months as a Contracts Officer on mission. I was subsequently appointed as Contracts Officer in Supply Division of the Vaccine Centre in Copenhagen as of December 2010.
My work mainly involves the preparing and issuing of quotations, or cost estimates for vaccines. I lead a cross-functional team and on a typical day I work with individuals in Planning, Finance and Purchasing. My job includes serving as a liaison with our contracting units, providing information to UNICEF country offices and ensuring that the business meets our partner needs. The key challenge is to guide countries throughout the whole complex procedure and provide them with the appropriate items and best possible delivery window.
It is a daily challenge to act as a mediator between country offices and contracting units in the Vaccine Centre, recognizing the challenges suppliers are faced with, while knowing that developing countries are struggling and are in need of specific products. We constantly have to find solutions that satisfy both parties, while always making sure we put the needs of children and mothers first.
My advice to aspiring UNICEF applicants –Be brave, open and try to make the best out of it. If you want to make a difference, UNICEF is the best place. No matter what your function and level of your position, we are all here for children and believe me; your voice is going to be heard. It might be that you are not feeling that much in your daily duties, but somebody, somewhere in the world is appreciating what you are doing for them!