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Case Study: Hendrickje Catriona Windisch

Personal details
Degree:MA Joint Hons French and International Relations Profile picture
School(s): School of International Relations, School of Modern Languages
Year of Graduation:Jun-2012
National of: Germany
Employment details
Organisation: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France
Job title: Consultant
Occupational Sector: International Development/ Organisations
What has been your route to getting your current position?
My research on vocational education and training (VET) as a trainee at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in Bonn in 2009 enabled me to continue working on VET in 2011 within the framework of a three-month traineeship at the OECD Headquarter in Paris. Based on my performance, I was subsequently invited to work as an OECD consultant after my graduation in June 2012.
What does your job involve ?
  • Assistance with the research work of the VET-Learning for Jobs Unit of the Skills beyond School Division of the OECD Directorate of Education. 
  • Participation in research meetings, international conferences.
  • Country visits to OECD member states. 
  • Drafting research papers on vocational education, reviews of the vocational education and training systems of the 34 OECD member states, and formulating policy recommendations.
What are the best bits of your job ?
  • Very international working environment
  • Location of the OECD headquarter in Paris, France
  • Interesting focus of work and visible impact of work on social realities, i.e. changes in educational policies
  • Business trips to countries which are subject to country reviews 
Why were you successful?
I recommend using the summer vacations to gain insight into various professional domains. Thanks to my traineeships, I met people from other organisations and institutions and I have thereby eventually found my consultancy job at the OECD.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
  • Foreign language skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Research skills
  • Working under time constraints
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
  • Enjoy your university studies
  • Try to create social networks
  • Ask people how they got their jobs
  • Attend internships