April and May 2020
The second semester is a time when students focus on writing their Master's thesis (submitted mid-May) and on the upcoming exam session (May-June), while at the same time they start to actively look towards the future in terms of their career plans. During this time, we offer various forms of support to help them prepare themselves and strengthen their confidence to effectively apply for jobs and internships of their choice.
"I am very impressed with how proactively and open-mindedly students at Natolin approach their professional development, from their engagement in student societies, online debates and conferences, to professionally prepared job applications. It is a real pleasure to work with them and be able to support them in the current situation at this important stage of their lives."
– Łukasz DOBROMIRSKI, Head of Careers and Professional Development Office
One-on-one career consultations
One-to-one career tutorials or small group meet-ups have long been part of the offer of the Natolin Careers and Professional Development Office. This year we have quickly switched to the new situation, and all consultations were conducted via digital means with at least 10-15 Zoom consultations offered every week. During the one-on-one online consultations, Natolin students reviewed their CVs, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles, and practised for interviews through role-play exercises, where we prepared them for answering questions about their skills, experience and motivation.
On the Natolin Careers Service LinkedIn profile we regularly share relevant and interesting job and internship opportunities, and at the same time we highlight selected vacancies with our students via an online register.
Consultations for students pre-selected for the BlueBook traineeships in the EU Institutions
For students who were pre-selected for the Blue Book traineeships, we organized a group videoconference session with Dr Lieven TACK, where he shared his experience and advice on applying to specific European institutions, submitting documents and preparing for interviews. This group session was followed by a number of individual online consultations where students could discuss and plan in detail their approach to the next stages of the application process.
"Meet the Professionals"
As every year, we help students to learn from the experience of others, about how it is to work in specific sectors and institutions. In April and May there were the following sessions organized via videoconference:
- 17/04/2020 – "Meet the Professionals" with Dr Agnieszka SMOLEŃSKA and Professor Jean-Pierre CASSARINO on applying for a PhD at the European University Institute in Florence
- 18/04/2020 – "Meet the Professionals" with Ms Paula REDONDO ALVAREZ PALENCIA, Policy Advisor for Human Rights and Multilateral Issues at the EU Delegation to the United States
- 30/04/2020 – "Meet the Professionals" on career perspectives in embassies with representatives of the Embassies of France, the USA and the UK in Poland
- 04/05/2020 – "Meet the Professionals" on careers in digital diplomacy with Ambassador of Belgium to Poland, H.E. Luc JACOBS and Mr Laurens SOENEN, Digital Diplomacy Officer and Communication Strategist at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgium and Natolin Alumnus
- 22/05/2020 – "Meet the Professionals" with Ms Ana ANDGULADZE, PhD Candidate and Teaching Assistant at Université libre de Bruxelles, and Ms Teona LAVRELASHVILI, European Party Monitor project manager, PhD Researcher, KU Leuven, both alumnae of the College of Europe in Bruges, about the legalization of stay in Belgium for non-EU nationals, the job market and living conditions in Belgium
Sector-specific career advice
In cooperation with an executive coaching and training consultancy, which provides professional career support to top higher education institutions across Europe, the Natolin Careers and Professional Development Office has also organised three specialized career advice sessions for our students:
- 24/04/2020 – Communications jobs in the "Brussels Bubble" and beyond
This workshop provided students with a comprehensive overview of opportunities related to a career in political communications.
- 02/05/2020 – Careers in Migration: with a focus on NGOs & Think Tanks
The workshop focused on how to address human rights and related policy in a variety of possible professions with a particular focus on NGOs and think tanks. It offered insights into the EU capital’s working realities but also looked into the situation of different Member States.
- 08/05/2020 – How to get an internship at the European Parliament?
The European Parliament offers several options for traineeships. During this workshop, the focus was on obtaining internships in the offices of Members of the European Parliament through spontaneous applications and networking.
Other development workshops
- 12/05/2020 – The Vision Workshop
This session allowed Natolin students to get a clarified sense of direction for their careers and practical steps for achieving that vision. They were guided through this introspective process with theories, models, a workbook, team-work and individual consideration.