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Alumna working for UN joins WGS MUN online

Year 12 students Imaan & Safa Saeed were part of the committee organising this year’s Withington Model United Nations Conference. For the first time the conference, involving 22 other schools, would have been held over two days. Although the conference was unable to go ahead, the girls, working with the Development team, set up an online session for Withington MUN students with the keynote speaker, herself a WGS alumna.

“On Tuesday 30th June, former Withington pupil, Pallavi Sekhri (Class of 2000), who is currently working as Legal Counsel at the United Nations in New York, very kindly delivered an online talk.

Ms Sekhri was due to attend our MUN conference this year as the keynote speaker for our very first two-day conference but unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, the conference had to be cancelled. Nonetheless, Ms Sekhri delivered an inspirational and thought-provoking speech about her career and life since leaving school. She spoke to us about her work as a Legal Officer for the UN, and how she has worked as Counsel for the Secretary-General. This work in the UN particularly fascinated us, as it brought the model United Nations experience to life.

Aside from working in the UN, Ms Sekhri also explained how, after becoming a practising lawyer, she spent much of her free time working on pro-bono cases, eventually spurring her to move to Rwanda, where she set up a government programme. The vast range of careers and projects Ms Sekhri has worked on provided her with many life lessons which she shared with us. Her advice about building a vision and resilient attitude resonated with a lot of us. We particularly enjoyed this aspect of her speech, as she was able to intertwine her own experiences with thoughtful advice which she thought we may find useful, considering she too was once a Withington pupil.

The Q&A session after the talk allowed many pupils to ask specific questions, all of which Ms Sekhri answered keenly. It was a great privilege being able to listen to Ms Sekhri and we hope to be able to welcome her to school next year for our conference.

We are delighted with the feedback from the talk:

‘A fascinating talk about future careers in both law and the UN, which certainly inspired those who attended.’

‘A really good insight into how to progress after leaving Withington.’

‘Pallavi was an inspiring speaker, who really did capture the audience with what she had to say about the UN and how she makes a difference.’”

By Imaan and Safa Saeed