Saturday, May 18, 2013

Internship: Interviewing, Business Culture, and Academic Experience

My interview experience in Brussels was much different than my interview experiences in the United States for several reasons. In the United States, I have gone into an interview knowing the person who would be interviewing me, either through a classmate, friend, or previous supervisor. As a result, I somewhat knew the person who was interviewing me as well as knew what to expect within the interview. In Brussels, my interview experience was completely different. I had no knowledge of the place I would be interviewing at until a day or two before I was supposed to be there. I had no knowledge of the person who would be interviewing me. Each interview was different as well. At one interview in Brussels, I was asked to demonstrate my skills, which is not unlike one interview experience I had in the United States. At another interview in Brussels, I interviewed with a group, which was a completely new experience for me. Overall, the interview experience in Brussels was much more challenging for me.

My impressions of the Brussels/European business culture thus far is that the offices are much smaller, usually comprised of only two or three people. However, this doesn’t mean that there is less work to be done. Organizations appear to be extremely focused on one area instead of being comprised of multiple different offices working on different things within a broader context.

As I begin my internship, the classes that I have taken that focus on the policy process and policy analysis, I think, will be the most value to me because these courses have taught me about agenda setting, policy formation, policy adoption, policy implementation, and evaluation, all of which I think is applicable to the EU Parliament. Through these courses, I have also gained the experiences of writing memos, which I believe will be something I will have to do at my internship.


  1. Emily,

    Good comments here on the similarities and differences in the interview process that you experienced in Brussels vs. the experiences you've had in the US. Where exactly will you be interning? I gather it is with one of the MEPs?

    1. I will be interning for MEP Roithova from the Czech Republic. I'm very excited about the opportunity. It appears that her assistants will be giving me a lot of responsibility. On my first day, we went to a technical writing meeting that was working towards an agreement of the language within a directive between the Commission, the Council, and the Parliament. Next Monday, I'm suppose to go to the final meeting for this by myself to take notes for MEP Roithova. It's great that they are giving me a lot of responsibility so quickly; however, it can be a little overwhelming as well.