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Case Study: Béatrice Goddard

Personal details
Degree:International Relations Profile picture
School(s): School of International Relations
Year of Graduation:Jun-2011
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: European Commission
Job title: Blue Book Trainee
Occupational Sector: International Development/ Organisations
What has been your route to getting your current position?
Following my MA International Relations, I spent a year as Volontaire de Solidarité Internationale with a French NGO called Enfants du Mékong, working as Programme Coordinator in Vietnam. I then did a MSc Modern Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford. After a summer internship in Public Sector Consulting, I started my internship at the EU Commission.
What does your job involve ?
I am working for DG Development and Cooperation - Europeaid, in the Geographical Coordination unit for Asia and Pacific. I have worked specifically on EU development projects in Myanmar. This has involved assisting their Head of Operations in HQ in the preparation of briefs for the EU Commissioner for Development in the context of the first EU-Myanmar Task force in November 2013, reviewing potential development projects in the country, as well as inevitable administrative tasks!
What are the best bits of your job ?
Having access to the EU institutions, evolving in an international environment, being behind the scenes of high level international events, and excellent networking opportunities.
Why were you successful?
Language skills (French/English), UK nationality is a considerable advantage, academic record and perseverance (importance of lobbying, being in touch etc to be noticed).
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
Studying International Relations gave me a sound grasp of international affairs generally. When I studied at St Andrews, there were no EU and EU-institutions focussed modules however, which would have been helpful in acquiring a clear understanding of how the EU functions, sooner.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
Apply! British trainees are at an advantage in applying as relatively few British nationals apply in comparison with other nationalities so they have a comparatively higher chance of making it through the selection phase. It is then useful to be quite insistent in getting in touch with the different DGs and units of interest in order to be noticed. Also, once in Brussels, get in touch with the UK Representation there, as they are very helpful in connecting people and offer training opportunities for British nationals wanting full time positions in the EU institutions.