Jack Mullan – Trainee in Working Life Unit

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I joined Eurofound as a trainee in July 2017 after completing a master’s degree in public policy. Prior to that I had some experience working in academic research and legal advocacy, and had studied political science for my bachelor’s degree. During my master’s I studied at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague and the Institute of International Studies in Barcelona (IBEI), mainly focusing on citizenship, labour migration and social rights in the European Union.

I first learned of Eurofound in the process of writing my master’s thesis, when I greatly benefited from accessing their publications, databases and other virtual resources. I was impressed with the depth of the agency’s work and was particularly drawn to its role in guiding and informing policy debates. Coming to Eurofound as a trainee was therefore a great opportunity, as it offered a place for me to develop my abilities as a researcher and deepen my knowledge of policymaking at the EU level, all while pursuing my interest in social rights and labour relations.

Over the past few months I have had the pleasure to work on a number of projects in the Working Life unit. Immediately after taking me on board, my supervisor entrusted me to contribute to the research and writing of a publication on working conditions for employees of different ages in the EU. This work entailed reviewing literature on the topic, analysing data from the latest European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) and helping draft the final report. I have been involved in a similar capacity on a different project that explores the experiences of women managers, and I recently began assisting with the methodological work for the preparation of the next EWCS in 2020.

My involvement in these projects, and my time at Eurofound as a whole, has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Colleagues in the Working Life unit are eager to engage me in the work process, and staff across all departments are always keen to share knowledge and insights from their latest research. I particularly appreciate the diversity at Eurofound, which creates a great learning environment by incorporating perspectives from a variety of cultures, academic disciplines and professional backgrounds. Above all, the agency’s commitment to improving working and living conditions is certainly reflected in how it treats its own trainees!

As an Irish citizen with family in Dublin, coming to work here was not such a big transition as it might be for others. The city is fast becoming a very attractive place to live for young professionals, with much to do and see, but potentially at the cost of reasonable accommodation. However, there is a strong support network at Eurofound that will help trainees to overcome any obstacles, finding housing or otherwise.

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