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THOMAS COLE POLICY OFFICER, EUROPEAN COMMISSION. From the UoE to the EU Thomas Cole MA History & Politics 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "THOMAS COLE POLICY OFFICER, EUROPEAN COMMISSION. From the UoE to the EU Thomas Cole MA History & Politics 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 THOMAS COLE POLICY OFFICER, EUROPEAN COMMISSION

2 From the UoE to the EU Thomas Cole MA History & Politics 2006

3 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

4 1. Post-Edinburgh life: beginnings  Graduated in 2006  Master's Degree at the LSE in Global Politics  EU Delegation to the United States

5 1. Since 2008: tough but possible  UK Magazine Industry  EU-wide public affairs in Brussels  European Commission since April 2012

6 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 ongoing

7 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

8 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

9 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

10 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)

11 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)

12 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 ad- hoc basis – If at first you don't succeed, don't worry, exams are held every year

13 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

14 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)

15 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

16 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/ (always re-read!) – Focus on the job – 1 page max + bold key points if necessary  Follow-up with a phone call, if necessary

17 4. Hints and Tips – practical 2 Example of cv: (always have top line summary)

18 4. Hints and Tips – practical 3 Example of online CV:

19 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!

20 Useful EU careers' websites  EPSO  EC traineeships  JPD programme  Euractiv  Eurobrussels  W4MP jobs jobs  CVs/Cover letter advice

21 Thank you! – Any questions?


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