From the beginning of the academic year, College of Europe students are made aware of the need to prepare their entry into the labour market as early as possible. Indeed, while the students' everyday life is intense and demanding, setting up a career plan also requires time.
Throughout their stay at the College, the Careers Office strives to organise activities that will foster the success of the steps taken by the students. Such activities may even be accompanied by initiatives from each of the study departments.
Job search training sessions
These training sessions are designed to help students explore different career opportunities, prepare for the job search and guide them throughout the process. In particular, they involve the search for information, drafting a CV and a cover letter, or even preparing for a job interview.
The two main objectives of this training are to:
- Provide students with the necessary tools to find a job in a very competitive labour market;
- Develop a student body capable of meeting the expectations of the workplace.
These training sessions can be supplemented by individual interviews with the head of the Careers Office.
In addition, the Language Service of the College organises courses designed to advise students on writing a CV or a cover letter.
Preparation for the European Union competitions
The Careers Office is in charge of organising preparation sessions for the students who wish to enter the competitions organised by the European Union, and more specifically by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO). They focus on how to complete the application file and on the first stage of the competition (psycho-technical tests on computer). It is also possible to organise individual training courses (involving costs for the student) in order to prepare for the second stage of the competition (assessment centre).
Furthermore, it is worth stressing that these courses, especially since the reform of "EPSO" competitions, may attract students who are considering taking other examinations, many of which share the same type of tests (as well as some recruitment processes in practice in the private sector).
On career days, recruiters are invited to the College campus in order to hold selection interviews with students in the aim of filling a job vacancy or an internship. For the most part, these recruiters come from the legal world, since this particular sector is usually the one visiting university campuses in order to select candidates. However, some companies active in other areas may also express their interest for this type of recruitment and they, too, are most welcome.
These days are organised in March and April. However, selection procedures may be set up as the need arises during the academic year.
The "Networking" evening is an opportunity for students to talk informally with alumni in order to better understand and grasp the different sectors of the European labour market.
This event takes place at the beginning of the second semester to allow students to use it as a springboard for their job search.
Career Perspectives: Life after the College
The European Political and Administrative Studies Department enjoys a long history of preparing students for careers in Brussels and beyond. To help students better understand their options, the Department regularly invites back alumni. Guests come from a variety of sectors, and both established alumni as well as younger graduates participate. More information.
"Careers" Documentation Centre
This centre, located within the College of Europe library, provides students with reference material to help them develop a career plan and seek employment, namely:
- Books on writing a CV, cover letters, or on preparing for job interviews;
- Annual reports of European companies, recruiters directories, promotional brochures on companies, or any other information on recruitment drives or working life;
- Books and documents to help better prepare for institutional competitions and psycho-technical tests, among other things.
The Careers Office maintains and develops relationships with recruiters who might be interested in the profiles of students at the College. In addition to organising the above events, through its contacts the Office is able to disseminate job or internship offers specifically intended for (future or present) College graduates and thus provide them with the best opportunities.
These offers reflect the labour market related to European or international affairs and cover all employment sectors (European institutions, international organisations, private sector, national public sector, NGOs, etc.). They fit the profile of the College of Europe students and alumni, namely university graduates with a specialisation in European studies, who are proficient in several languages, and have acquired specialised professional skills (ability to negotiate and communicate, IT) and display personal skills, whether acquired or developed during their studies at the College of Europe (broadmindedness, critical thinking, ability to integrate into a multicultural environment).
The Careers Office communicates relevant information to students via the College Intranet and, if need be, by email. Furthermore, it connects them with the Alumni Association of the College of Europe which also publishes the offers it collects thanks to its membership network.
Lists of websites related to the labour market specific to European affairs are also available to students.