Laura Elina Pöntinen - Trainee in Social Policies Unit
I have a background in Economics from my bachelor studies in University of Jyväskylä in Finland, and afterwards I completed my master studies in Development Economics at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany. Prior to my traineeship in Eurofound I already had a strong interest in social development and migration issues, and my master thesis focused on the impact of education on the labour market performance of immigrants in Germany. My previous work experience had a solid focus on economic research and international development, as I completed internships in the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in München and in the United Nations Development Programme in Istanbul.
I came across the Eurofound traineeship advertisement as I was searching for suitable graduate internships in EU agencies. The traineeship in the Social Policies Unit with the focus on the European Quality of Life Survey specifically caught my eye, as I already had prior experience in survey analysis and topics related to quality of life – this traineeship sounded like a perfect opportunity to deepen my knowledge on quantitative research and social policies in the EU.
My main area of work during the traineeship is to contribute to the quantitative data analyses of the upcoming overview report of the European Quality of Life Survey. I am also involved in the other stages of the publication process, for instance data visualisation, literature search, internal checking of the calculations and draft editing. I work daily with Stata, SPSS and Excel, and the traineeship provides me with a great opportunity to improve my skills in these programmes. My main research topics include trust, participation in society, social tensions, work-life balance and care responsibilities, but I am also involved with other topics and projects of the Social Policies Unit in ad hoc basis.
Eurofound provides a wonderful working environment, as the tasks are very interesting and intellectually challenging. Moreover, I feel like I have been taken as a full member of the research team and the wider Eurofound community, and the positive and friendly work atmosphere among the colleagues makes me greatly enjoy my time here. Overall, the traineeship is a valuable experience in working for the EU, and it has provided me with tools and knowledge to analyse and understand social developments both in the European Union and worldwide. I truly feel that this traineeship is a step forward in my career and supports my professional development and future aspirations.