Applying for European Commission Traineeships: Tips from a CEU Alum

January 16, 2019

CEU students, who hail from over 100 countries each year, gain international exposure and access to an array of learning opportunities. It is up to students to make the most of this global environment. When it comes to preparing for the future, they can rely on the help of the university’s Career Services Office.

A recent Career Services event, “EU Commission Traineeship – Careers in EU”, relied on CEU’s excellent videoconferencing technology to allow Oleg Pasternac (SPP ’17) to speak remotely. Pasternac is participating in the European Commission Blue Book Traineeship, a competitive, five-month program open to European Union citizens and international students. Trainees gain insight into the processes and policies of the European Institutions, practical experience and the opportunity to put academic theory into practice.

During the session, Pasternac explained key points to keep in mind when applying for the “Blue Book” Traineeship. His advised CEU students to do research into the different Directorate Generals in order to tailor their applications and recommended looking into the relative costs of living in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, the three cities where trainees are placed. He also recommended demonstrating a strong commitment to the EU mission and highlighting specific relevant achievements and knowledge in the application. Oleg shared information about his day-to-day work, which—in his particular placement as a trainee—involves a lot of Excel, and described the benefits of working in an international environment. Becoming part of a network of EU professionals is another benefit he mentioned.

The Career Services Office will offer a second event focused on Careers in EU in winter term. In the meantime, if you are thinking about applying for the Blue Book Traineeship, bear in mind that applications for traineeships starting on October 1, 2019 will be accepted from January 7 to February 4, 2019. Other EU institutions also offer traineeships; learn more at this link. A note: Read carefully before applying! Not all EU traineeships accept applications from candidates who are not citizens of an EU member state or a country which is a candidate for accession.

-- Reported by Nikkon Balial (INTR '20)