Harnessing the Power of Our Alumni Network: Global and European Studies Institute Hosts Session on EU Careers and Global Citizenship

Last week, the Global and European Studies Institute hosted a virtual workshop on global citizenship and careers in European Union institutions. With over 100 students and alumni in attendance, the session was lively, informative, and inspiring! 

In January 2021, the Global and European Studies Institute offered a virtual workshop entitled „How Can EMGS Benefit the EU? A Look at EU Career Opportunities.“ Proposed to the GESI by Global Studies alum Federico Foti after last November’s EMGS Alumni Conference, the session featured an impressive line-up of two European Commission employees, including Federico and his colleague Matteo Sulfaro, as well as Global Studies alum Jülide Asci. Jülide is currently a PhD candidate at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Research Fellow at the Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN), where she has been conducting research on global citizenship. The session was attended by over 100 Global Studies and European Studies students and alumni.

The workshop began with a presentation from Jülide, who briefly discussed three different perspectives on global citizenship which she had identified through her research: soft global citizenship, hard global citizenship, and critical global citizenship. She hinted that critical global citizenship, which involves self-critical reflection as well as active striving for societal progress, was an essential feature of the Global Studies and European Studies master’s programs, and indeed an important aspect to highlight on one’s CV. She ended her presentation by asking the attendees at the session to answer the question, „Which aspects make you a global citizen?“ using a polling and visualization website. Dozens of attendees responded, creating a word cloud which clearly displayed the importance of critical thinking in their respective worldviews.

Federico’s colleague Matteo, who agreed to speak at the workshop in a personal capacity, followed Jülide with his presentation. He told attendees about the principal points of entry into the EU, including Blue Book traineeships and European Personnel Selection Office competitions. Throughout his talk, he stressed the importance of carefully reading through all materials provided by the EU before applying, and of reaching out to European Commission employees personally whenever possible. After all, he noted, „You have nothing to lose!“

Finally, Federico offered his presentation, delving into his own career path—in which professional networking and EMGS connections played a pivotal role—before offering some last-minute advice to students and alumni interested in pursuing careers in the EU or similar structures. His main points involved the importance of visualizing your career path, carefully assessing your skillset and understanding which positions are within your reach, staying as involved as possible in an international environment, and building up networks. Indeed, as he suggested, „At the end of the day, your time might be better spent going out for an evening with friends and colleagues than applying for more positions.“

Following these three presentations, students and alumni were invited to send in their questions, which largely focused on practical advice for applying within EU structures. Our three speakers all graciously stayed for several minutes longer than planned, allowing the students and alumni in attendance to make the most of the Q&A session.

All in all, the workshop was highly informative, offering attendees the opportunity to reflect on their own education with relation to the job market and to receive actionable advice on applying to the EU. The GESI was thrilled to host this event, and we hope to be able to offer similar career workshops in the near future!

By Therese Mager

Are you a Global Studies or European Studies alum looking to give back to your educational community? Would you be interested in offering a Zoom workshop or lecture to help fellow alumni and students navigate the job market? The Global and European Studies Institute would be happy to organize such an event! Please reach out to us at or . We look forward to hearing from you!