The October 2021 session of the Blue Book traineeship is now coming to an end. We will all be very sad to say goodbye to our colleagues here at REA and our fellow trainees. However, there is also a sense of excitement as we embark on new adventures both in Europe and abroad, having learned so much during our time working within research and innovation and other EU programmes managed by the REA. In this article you will discover more about our backgrounds before starting at REA, and what we have gained from this experience.
Alice Coffey, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions / External Communications
My name is Alice, I am 24 and from Dublin, Ireland. I have always been fascinated by European culture, languages and history. I studied French and Italian at Trinity College Dublin for my bachelors and specialised in French political history. I then went on to do a Master’s in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge and wrote my dissertation on Euroscepticism within the EU institutions. It was wonderful to experience the inner workings of the EU and I have really enjoyed gaining an insight into the world of research and innovation at such a crucial juncture in our planet’s history. In particular, while working on the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, I have loved to touch base with the researchers themselves, hearing about the essential work they are doing within the programme and seeing the incredible accolades they have achieved, including Nobel Prizes.
Saul Kenny, External Communications
My name is Saul and I’m 24 years old. I’m Irish but was born and raised in Italy. For my bachelor’s, I studied Philosophy, Political Science, Economics and Sociology at Trinity College Dublin. After, I did a Master’s in European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. I’m extremely grateful for this experience at REA; it has provided me with a better understanding of the essential research the EU funds, interesting insights into various projects, and knowledge of REA’s role in Commission policy implementation. It has taught me a lot about external communications—something I didn’t have much prior experience in! I’ve also really enjoyed living in Brussels over the past five months.
Reshma Anwar, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
My name is Reshma. I was born and brought up in Leipzig, Germany. I am a second-generation immigrant of Indian and Pakistani parents. Hearing the struggles of my parents as immigrants, I am very fortunate to be an EU citizen with the ability to move freely. My background lies in the performing arts. I studied Dance and Music Business at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I worked as a dance artist while also employed by NGOs. There, I volunteered to build dance programmes, to foster resilience in developing contexts, such as Jamaica and Haiti, as well as with homeless shelters in Miami, Florida. I then went on to do my Master of Public Administration with a focus in International Development at the LSE in London. In July, I gained experience in the private sector and now I am finishing my Blue Book traineeship at REA. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity, gaining an insight into the inner workings of the EU commission. I enjoyed learning more about the administrative processes of research, the great potential of policy feedback and the technical details of the Innovation Radar and Horizon Booster programmes. My favorite aspect was the hands-on work of implementing and evaluating an EU survey, together with the guidance of my colleagues.
André Farias Cavaco, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)
My name is André, I am 33, I was born in Brazil but I am also Portuguese because my grandparents were immigrants from Madeira Island. I am an architect and I worked as civil servant within cultural heritage conservation in Brazil. I decided to apply for the Blue Book internship while doing a Masters in Italy. I felt that a work experience could contribute a lot to my period abroad. More specifically, I wanted to experience working in an international organisation and to improve my English.
The work in the A2 unit, with the evaluation of proposals of the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2021 Call (that coincided with my internship period), was an amazing opportunity to experience an entire process inside such a high-level public administration institution. I developed an understanding of project management, as well as the scientific project lifecycle.
Vasiliki Rousopoulou, Farm to fork, Communities Development and Climate Action
My name is Vasiliki, I am from a city in Central Greece called Larissa and sadly not from an island! During my studies abroad, I was always eager to work for the European Commission and later to become a diplomat, since I love learning new languages. My Bachelor’s was in Earth Sciences and Geodynamics and I specialised in Geophysics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. During my studies, I went on Erasmus+ to Krakow, Poland. It was an amazing experience which made me want to continue studying abroad. And…. the journey led me to a Master’s degree in Delft, Netherlands in Applied Geophysics as part of which I then moved to Switzerland to ETH Zurich, and on to RWTH Aachen in Germany. Finally, I ended up back in Zurich where I completed my dissertation in an underground lab working on deep geothermal energy. Since I am passionate about research and science, I was excited to be selected as a trainee in REA and managed to learn more about the aims of the Horizon Europe programme as well as the European Green Deal. It is fascinating to see all the different aspects of these programmes and policies in practice which provide for a more sustainable Europe that all citizens deserve.
How to apply for a Blue Book Traineeship at REA
REA offers insightful and career- enriching traineeship opportunities as part of the Commission’s Blue Book traineeship programme. We look for trainees with a background in:
- External and internal communication
- Human resources
- Project management (in particular with an expertise in the topics managed by the REA)
If this is you, consider applying for a traineeship with us at the European Research Executive Agency (REA). You will gain first-hand experience and knowledge about the exciting, diverse projects and activities REA manages. Please select the ‘European Research Executive Agency’ as your preferred Directorate-General (DG) for a possible internship with us.
Applications for the March 2023 Blue Book traineeship will open in August 2022. Find out more on the EC Blue Book Traineeship website and consult our organisation chart. We hope to welcome you soon to the REA family for a mutually rewarding experience!
- Publication date
- 28 February 2022
- European Research Executive Agency