European Commission - Johannes Leuschke
Johannes did a Politics in Action placement at European Commission’s Representation to the United Kingdom. He is planning to pursue a career in public service.
I did my Politics in Action placement at the European Commission’s Representation to the United Kingdom, where I worked in the political sector from October 2016 to March 2017. During that time, following the June referendum on the British EU membership, I dealt primarily with issues regarding the upcoming Brexit negotiations. Within the sector, there are a number of political officers who report to the Commission headquarters in Brussels and analyse political developments in the UK. As an intern, I worked with several of these officers and received research and reporting tasks in a variety of policy areas. For example, I would be asked to follow a discussion in the Houses of Parliament or attend a think tank event and then feed this information into the reports to Brussels. I would also be asked to write my own assessments and political analyses on topics such as UK foreign policy or British party politics. In addition to that, I worked on a long-term research paper regarding specific questions that would come up in the Brexit negotiations. All this allowed me to take responsibility and proactively support the team during a very intense period.
Interning at the Representation, especially during this critical time, offered me an extremely exciting insight into the world of employment. Through the various tasks, I was often required to read up on new policy areas and acquire knowledge of processes, arguments and problems. Not only did I learn more about the practical politics of the European Union but also experienced British politics in action. The ability to comprehend complex political, economic and legal subject matters and the structural knowledge I gained will definitely help me in my future career. In addition to that I developed transferable skills such as concise writing, political reporting and in-depth research. Although a career in the European Union is not at the top of my list, this placement was a great step in my career development and taught me many practical methods and substantial expertise for a career in public service.
In general, I would advise students to look for a placement at which you work on a wide range of topics and tasks, including areas that you are unfamiliar with and which might challenge you. Politics in Action is a unique chance to grow career-wise, academically, but also personally. The European Commission Representation in London certainly offered me that experience!