''The Double MA in Europe and the World is a two year course, with a semester at the prestigious Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP) in Lille, France and a six month internship. I had already visited Aston University and knew that I wanted to study there. What's more, studying and living in the centre of a city as vibrant as Birmingham was another reason I was drawn to this university. I was also really lucky with regards to financial support at Aston University - I applied for two scholarships and was accepted for both! I chose the Double MA because I felt that such a unique qualification which combines academic work, the opportunity to improve my language skills as well as allowing me to gain practical experience in a related internship would make me stand out when applying for jobs.
Since graduating I secured a traineeship at the European Commission. I was a Blue Book Trainee in the Citizens Contact Unit of the Directorate General (DG) for Communication at the European Commission. One of my main roles was to liaise with directorate generals to find answers to complex EU policy-related enquiries sent to the Commission by organisations and the public. I organised promotional events, helped to write, edit and design publications and worked on internal and external communication including briefings and on social and online media. To gain a deeper understanding of the different policy areas on which I worked, I was also able to attend regular conferences, seminars, training sessions and press briefings. Alongside my responsibilities through the Citizens Contact Unit, I was elected the spokesperson for DG Communication which meant that I represented the trainees from my DG and was the link person between them, the traineeship committee and office of traineeships. One module I studied at Aston which I found to be particularly useful in this role was "International Political Communication, Advocacy and Campaigning". I thoroughly enjoyed this module and I was able to use the knowledge I gained from it in my work on communication campaigns at the Commission.
I am currently a Financial Services Research Assistant at a public affairs consultancy in Brussels. My role involves researching and monitoring updates in the EU institutions and in the press on different dossiers; attending relevant events; liaising with EU officials on developments on particular dossiers; drafting reports, bulletins and updates on EU policy, and attending debates and votes in parliamentary committees at the European Parliament.