One of our students, Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations student Paula Oliver, has shared her experience with us.
Last month, three IE University students were selected to participate and attend the Young European Council event held in Brussels, where proposals are prepared to be presented to EU policy makers in different forums and institutions across Europe.
One of our students, Dual Degree in Business Administration & International Relations student Paula Oliver, has shared her experience with us.
How did you find out about this opportunity and why were you interested in applying?
I first learned about YEC through one of IE’s Talent & Careers Department emails. The email presented the opportunity and I found it interesting. I had considered the European Union as one of my potential career paths and I felt like YEC was the opportunity to know a little bit more about the EU and how I could fit, since it is not a simulation, but an example of actual policy making.
Can you tell us a little more about the YEC? What does it consist of?
Young European Council is an event run by Young European Leadership, an organization promoting youth engagement in Europe. YEC takes place in Brussels every year, and young people from all around Europe attend the event to work together and draft potential policy proposals on different topics on top of the European agenda. Participants pitch these proposals to special advisors who work closely together with the EU or are very involved with the issues discussed. At the end of the event, a Final Communiqué is drafted with the final result from all Councils and working groups within YEC. All our proposals are presented afterwards at different forums around Europe and listened by policy-makers in European Institutions.
What can you tell us about the selection process?
The first step is applying through the YEL website, filling up a form and choosing the Council you would like to work in. Each Council deals with a different topic and we need to briefly explain what we know about it in the application. After the first phase, a Skype interview is arranged, where you get to talk to Council Managers.
How do you think your IE Experience and the support of the IE Talent & Careers team help you to obtain this opportunity?
The IE Talent & Careers team helped me preparing the interview. I received advice on the type of questions that I should expect and the things that I had to keep an eye on in the days before the interview. Being an IE student has also helped me perform during experience, since we are constantly working on our public speaking and team-work skills. I believe that both of them were highly relevant in order to be selected to be part of the conference.
What do you think are the benefits of participating in an event like this? What about this experience would you highlight?
Personally, YEC has allowed me to clear up my mind on what type of career I want to pursue in the future. Also, it is a great opportunity to meet people from all over Europe, with different backgrounds and interests, but equally motivated and hard working. YEC is not only about negotiating sessions and draft proposals, but also about socializing events and getting to know a lot about people just like you and their countries.
What would you say to other students interested in applying in future editions?
Anyone interested in a career in the European Union should really make the most of this incredible opportunity. The only thing you need to do is keep an eye on the Young European Leadership’s website throughout the year and check out the different events organized. You do not need to be experts in International Relations, policy making or politics, you just need to be involved and show enthusiasm.