Zahra Lodhi: Social Affairs Expert
Who am I? Hi I am Zahra Lodhi. I hold a post graduate degree in Economics, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics & Finance. I am currently a doctoral student of Public Policy in the US. I have worked as an Associate Officer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with one of the world’s largest protracted refugee caseload, and as a Young Professional Officer with the United Nation Development Program where I contributed towards crisis prevention and recovery of internally displaced persons. Owing to my work with the United Nations, I gained extensive experience in the social affairs domain. Once I complete my doctoral degree I would move back to my work family – the UN!
Why am I inspired by YPUN? When I took the Young Professional examination there were no platforms like YPUN that could help one prepare and succeed in every step of this lengthy process. Given most of the test takers work or study full time while preparing for the test it becomes really difficult to stay focused and on track. This is where the YPUN helps! You have a clear study track with helpful study materials that are prepared using past examination questions by subject experts who have worked with the UN or have already cleared the YPP examination. I have loved every second of my work at the UN and I feel now is the time for me to pay back the UN system by providing my services in directing test takers and equipping them with the learning they need in order to succeed.
What do I do at YPUN? As I have worked in the social and public policy domain throughout my career, I feel pleased to help test takers in the Social Affairs family. I develop preparation materials, draft model essay answers, provide feedback on the essays you write and hold consultation sessions. During the consultation sessions, the test takers can discuss with me all and any of their queries related to the exam preparation, material, and even setting realistic study goals. In short, I love solving your problems.
What is my advice to you? There are no short cuts to success and hard work is the only way. However, rather than working hard you should work smart in this busy hectic world. Don’t forget that the exam is also taken by staff members of the UN who are working in general categories and want to move to the professional categories. They definitely have an edge over you as they are familiar with the day to day events and procedures of the UN. I’ll advice you to print the outline and list all possible topics in advance. This would leave you with room to read, read and read. Color code or highlight the new developments, dates and policies. While reading make sure you understand graphs/charts and try to interpret them. In case you need support, YPUN is here to help. Don’t hesitate asking questions in order to clear your concepts. Lastly, in case you are working, take a week off before the examination so that you can completely devote your energies to it. I wish you all the very best.