A trainee's experience - European Monitoring Centre on Change

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My name is Charlotte and I’m from the Netherlands. I have a Bachelor degree in Sociology from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and hold Master degrees from University of Amsterdam, the University of Deusto and the University of Osnabrück following the completion of the Joint European Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in International Migration and Social Cohesion (MISOCO). After my studies I started working as a trainee in the ‘Employment and Change’ unit at Eurofound.

Throughout my studies there was a strong emphasis on the development of research skills. I always enjoyed tackling the many challenges that arise throughout the research process, and was keen to explore how research was conducted in a non-academic setting. A traineeship in a research unit at Eurofound offered precisely such a setting, thus I could not resist applying when I came across the vacancy notice.

As a trainee, I had the privilege of contributing to a range of projects. I was involved in projects under the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM), such as the updating of the Restructuring Events Database by reviewing and editing information supplied by the European Network of Correspondents through fact sheets. I also helped edit and update the Restructuring Support Instruments and Restructuring Related Legislation databases. Furthermore, I reviewed and tagged approximately 150 case studies on Restructuring in SMEs according to the indicators presented in the ‘EU Quality Framework for Anticipation and Change in Restructuring’ for the creation of a new case study database. Lastly, I wrote an article for the quarterly newsletter on the effect of Russian sanctions on restructuring in Europe. These tasks were particularly interesting to me, as I gained insight into how data collection for such large databases is conducted.

I was also heavily involved in the preparation and conducting of research for a comparative analytical report on ‘Start-up support for young people.’ This project consists of a policy evaluation of policies and schemes across the EU Member States for the support of young people hoping to start an enterprise. I had the good fortune that the project was just starting when I arrived, so I was able to witness precisely how such a project was launched. I helped in the literature review, drafted the first questionnaire, communicated with the various correspondents across the EU, reviewed and commented on the initial drafts of information supplied by the correspondents and helped brainstorm as to how the project would take shape. I greatly appreciated the level of freedom and responsibility I was given throughout this project, and am proud of the contribution I was able to make.

The colleagues at Eurofound were extremely helpful and welcoming, and I was frequently invited to attend meetings or conferences organised at Eurofound. As a result, I have witnessed how this tripartite European Union Agency operates within the broader framework of EU agencies and institutions. The traineeship therefore not only gave me the opportunity to apply and develop my research skills, but my interest and understanding of the EU policy making process also increased significantly.

I highly recommend applying for a traineeship with the Employment and Change Unit to anyone interested in EU policy making and pursuing a career in research. This unit covers various research topics relating to the labour market, so there are always a range projects that you can involve yourself in, depending on your research interest. To get an idea of the kinds of projects that fall under the Employment and Change Unit, click here.

Good luck with the application!  

Charlotte

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