Event took place on 18th of November 2019 at University of Economics. Our guests and panellists were:
- Nicole Grmelová – EPSO expert, lawyer linguist for the European Parliament in Brussels 2004-2008
- Jáchym Hercher – Staff Ambassador, Policy Officer for the European Commission, from 2014
- Jan Kotik – graduate of Faculty of International Relations and former Blue Book Trainee at the Cabinet of Vice President Maroš Šefčovič for Energy Union 2018
We are very grateful that almost 60 people from different universities and of different nationalities came to the discussion to hear from our expert guests and gain more information about possibilities of working for EU institutions or getting an internship there.
It might look like a long-shot and a difficult process to undertake, but as doc. Grmelová told the audience, sometime you can get the job even by chance. She applied when she was teaching about career opportunities at our University, and her students wondered whether it would be possible to get the job without having any contacts there. So she tried applying and passed the EPSO test – and as a result got a job in Brussels and ended up living there for 5 years. “…and I am absolutely happy for it” – said Nicole.
Jáchym Hercher has always thought it kind of funny to work for the government. In his opinion it didn´t matter whether it was work in Brussels or in Czech Republic. In the end he decided to give it a try and has ended up enjoying the work. As did Jan Kotik, who was in Brussels only for a period of time as a Blue Book trainee in the European Commission, but found the whole experience enriching.
Our panellists offered lots of advice about the application process, which doc. Grmelová also teaches as a course at our University. They also talked about their Brussels experience – from living conditions (one tip – beware of a flat description trés charmant), working in an international community (as Jan put it, Brussels has this beautiful spirit of international cooperation and global friendship) and the Brussels itself; we have learnt of a strange Brussels weather phenomena from Jáchym – apparently it doesn´t rain only when you need to cycle to work!
And a few advice and tips we got from our esteemed panellists: do not lie in your CV and motivation letter, it will be checked and can get back at you; try to prepare for EPSO tests beforehand, don´t leave it for the last minute; enjoy every moment you can, and definitely the coffee breaks – that´s when most of the decisions are made but also when you gather important contacts; and lastly – you don´t need any previous experience when applying for an internship, so definitely try it!
We would like to thank all our guests in the panel, as well as audience, for not only coming to the discussion but actively participating as well. We hope you gained some useful tips for your future, and motivation to apply! We´re looking forward to seeing you at our next events!