Headquartered in New York City, N.Y., the United Nations (UN) is the go-between for governments around the world.
The financial assistance helps Concordia students pursue international research and academic opportunities.Nelson Dueñas, MBA 15, got his hands dirty with an internship at the UN — thanks to financial support from the Graduate Student Mobility Award.
“It was essential support for my trip,” says Dueñas, who interned at the UN’s office in Geneva, Switzerland, for five months beginning in August 2015.
“I was part of a team that examined and assessed the UN’s internal audit function,” he says. Dueñas also received the Mireille and Murray Steinberg Scholarship when he began his studies at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business (JMSB) in 2014.
The Joint Inspection Unit for which Dueñas interned monitors both governance and finance. It is the only external oversight body mandated with evaluations, inspections and investigations of the UN’s internal audit function system-wide.
“We held interviews, corporate questionnaires and surveys with managers, top-level decision makers and internal audit staff,” says Dueñas, noting that the UN overseas has an operational budget of US$40 billion.
Dueñas’ time with the UN informed his MBA research. His final project was a 60-page paper on accountability and transparency in non-governmental organizations.
Attracting international talent
From Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, Dueñas boasted an impressive resumé before coming to pursue his studies at Concordia in Montreal.
He was an adjunct professor of accountancy at the Pontifical Xavierian University in his homeland from 2010 to 2013. Dueñas has worked for such multinational companies as Halliburton and PricewaterhouseCoopers in Colombia.
“I wanted to study abroad, and Canada is renowned for the quality of its universities,” says Dueñas of the decision. “The support
I received improved my quality of life, and it’s an outstanding academic recognition.”
Among the Concordia professors who made an impact on him, Dueñas mentions Michel Magnan at JMSB’s Department of Accountancy.
“I translated an article by Professor Magnan about the financial crisis into Spanish,” says Dueñas, who is fluent in two additional languages: English and French.
The translation appeared in a Spanish-language accounting journal distributed throughout Latin America.
“It’s a great way to spread the knowledge produced by Concordia professors,” says Dueñas.