THOMAS COLE POLICY OFFICER, EUROPEAN COMMISSION From the UoE to the EU Thomas Cole MA History & Politics 2006 Presentation overview 1. My career to date post-graduation 2. My role in the European Commission 3. Jobs in the EU institutions 4. Careers' hints and tips 1. Post-Edinburgh life: beginnings Graduated in 2006 Master's Degree at the LSE in Global Politics EU Delegation to the United States 1. Since 2008: tough but possible UK Magazine Industry EU-wide public affairs in Brussels European Commission since April 2012 2. European Commission? I work in the Directorate-General focusing on Enlargement – countries wishing to join the EU • Currently 27 EU member states, who is next? • Current candidates are Croatia, Iceland, Turkey, Montenegro; Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, FYROM, Albania, (Northern Cyprus) • I focus primarily on Iceland Applied in 2009, negotiations started in 2010 - ongoing 2. European Commission? My role: – Political background briefings – Liaising with diplomats (ICE, MNG, etc) – Negotiations on agriculture, environment, budget Useful Skills: – IR + EU interest – LANGUAGES – Flexibility, analysis, quick-thinking, own ideas, team player, culturally aware 3. EU jobs - internships "Bluebook Stage" – internship – 5 months, based in Brussels – Either Oct-Feb OR Mar-Aug – Very competitive, €1100 per month "Delegation Stage" – internship – Up to 5 months in an EU Delegation (embassy) – Very global (US, Russia, Japan, China, India, etc) – Usually unpaid but less well-known 3. EU institutions - JPD Junior Professional in Delegation Programme – – – – 2x 9 month placements in Delegations Strong competition (only ca 80 candidates every 2 years) Masters' degree required Fantastic opportunity at an early career stage 3. EU institutions – non permanent Temporary agents (TA) – Open to all; high expertise required Contract agents (CA) - me – Exams held ad-hoc, either 3 years contracts (in Brussels) or unlimited (Delegations) – good starting point in EU institutions Interim positions – To fill short term gaps (very short contracts) 3. EU institutions – Officials Officials ("functionnaires") – Full time international civil servants – Have to be from an EU member state – Options to move across policy areas – Options to move across institutions (Commission, EEAS, Parliament, EU Delegations) 3. EU institutions – how to start? EPSO – European Personnel Selection Office – Exams 1x per year for functionnaires (like UK civil service fast stream) – Revise, revise, revise!!! (online practice/exam books) – For all other positions, exams/openings on an adhoc basis – If at first you don't succeed, don't worry, exams are held every year 4. Hints and Tips - general Have a career goal in mind (UN, FCO, EEAS) Always try - never give up dare to live your career dream Ask others for feedback and advice Be patient There are many paths to your goal 4. Hints and Tips - personal What has been useful for me in my career: – Languages – travel – Good education (Edinburgh) – Networking – Living abroad – Support from friends and family (Edinburgh) – Volunteering (see next slide) 4. Hints and tips – volunteer! Voluntary project in Peru Edinburgh Global Partnership project in Swaziland Lib Dem Campaign trail at 2009 EP elections LSE alumni society - events + contacts Edinburgh Brussels society – talks + events YPFP – Ambassadors, diplomats, public speaking 4. Hints and Tips – practical 1 CVs/Resumés (always re-read!) – Always tailor the CV to the job – Max 2 pages (Precision and focus) – Easy "verbal" language + 1 line bullets – Online? Linkedin very useful Cover letter/e-mail (always re-read!) – Focus on the job – 1 page max + bold key points if necessary Follow-up with a phone call, if necessary 4. Hints and Tips – practical 2 • Example of cv: (always have top line summary) 4. Hints and Tips – practical 3 • Example of online CV: 4. Hints and Tips – practical 3 Networking is important – Go to careers' events – Introduce yourself to people – Chit-chat + small talk Helps if you are on the ground – meet people in the area where you want to work – Informal coffee meetings (get to know people) – Ok, it's timely (& expensive)…but it works! Useful EU careers' websites EPSO http://europa.eu/epso/index_en.htm EC traineeships http://ec.europa.eu/stages/ JPD programme http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/jed/ Euractiv http://jobs.euractiv.com/ Eurobrussels http://www.eurobrussels.com/ W4MP http://www.w4mpjobs.org/SearchJobs.aspx?search=all jobs CVs/Cover letter advice http://www.eurobrussels.com/cv_guide.php Thank you! – Any questions?