This past summer I interned with the European Institute for Asian Studies in Brussels where I worked as a Junior Researcher. EIAS was formed in 1989 and aims to contribute to the dialogue and improve relations between the EU and Asia. EIAS is a small organization where interns are given a great deal of responsibility from conducting our own research projects for the institute’s website to assisting with the logistics of events we held for Asian representatives.
Given my technology background and EIAS wanting to focus more on the area, my summer projects focused on Financial Technology in Southeast Asia and how the EU can play a role. I had the opportunity previously to travel throughout Southeast Asia and work as an English teacher in Beijing. This firsthand experience made researching the subject much more enjoyable and valuable experience. I appreciated the chance to work as a researcher and write papers that can be read by such a large audience. A big part of my internship was also networking with government and business officials who we hosted events for. It was eye-opening learning from their perspectives and experience and something that will be helpful throughout my career.
The most enjoyable aspect of my interest was getting to know my co-workers who were all incredibly talented. Each one of us came from a different country, which really helped to bring other perspectives into our conversations. I feel I learned the most just from our everyday conversations and it was something I really enjoyed. Overall my experience at EIAS was better than I could have imagined and will certainly help me as I transition long-term into my career.
Prior to my internship, the Platform had received two requests for literary exchanges in 2018 and two more for the fall of 2019. Since literary exchanges were a new development for the Platform, with more anticipated requests in the future, I was tasked with developing a policy recommendation report on how to evaluate exchange requests, choose appropriate literary actors and measure the outcomes and success of the exchange. As a new initiative, my goal was to set out a policy framework to conduct purposeful cultural diplomacy within the literary sector.
In tandem with this project, I worked with the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL), Creative Europe and Literature Across Frontiers to bring award-winning authors to the New Delhi World Book Fair and the Guadalajara International Book Fair.
My internship provided me the opportunity to attend the annual European Development Days — a two-day event that brings together actors in the development sector from around the world to exchange ideas and innovations as well as debate the globe’s greatest development needs. Culture, gender, sustainability, inequality, healthcare, technology and politics were topics of discussion.
As a Public Diplomacy student, it was a rewarding experience to take theories out of the classroom and implement them in tangible ways through the day-to-day activities of cultural diplomacy.
Michaela Eagan is pursuing a joint MAIR/MSPR at the Maxwell and Newhouse Schools at Syracuse University.
Being on the Atlantis program, a partnership between Syracuse University and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, means that studying at Maxwell only formed the first half of my postgraduate studies. But instead of finishing my studies in Germany immediately after completing my coursework in Syracuse, I decided to take a year out in order to gain some more professional experience. The first of three planned placements took me to Dublin, Ireland where I worked as a research assistant in Teneo’s strategy team.
Teneo is an international advisory firm integrating the disciplines of strategic communications, investor relations, financial advisory, corporate governance advisory and political & policy risk advisory among others. As part of my role, I worked on a wide range of projects and my tasks included everything from stakeholder analysis over media monitoring to pitching press releases to Irish national newspapers. One of my favorite tasks was certainly participating in brainstorming sessions at the beginning of new projects. Teneo’s approach to making business ties in exceptionally well with my studies in Public Policy and International Relations. This is because Declan Kelly, the founder and CEO of Teneo, has always understood that being successful in today’s world means working across borders and connecting experts from all disciplines.
Teneo also offered brilliant networking opportunities as the company has offices all around the world and works with the world’s biggest and most influential companies. I even had the opportunity to meet some leading Irish and European politicians as well as international sports personalities. Lastly, Dublin is a great city full of friendly people and interesting history.
I would encourage everyone who is thinking about a professional year to do so, as it brings invaluable experiences and enables you to approach the second year of your studies with a new perspective and clearer understanding of where your degree can take you. My next step will lead me to London where I have two more placements in communications firms lined up.
Soren Reischert is a MAIR/ATL student in the Atlantis Transatlantic Dual Degree program completing the MAIR degree from the Maxwell School in Syracuse and an MPP from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. He formerly interned at YCH Group in Singapore and is currently interning at Quiller Consultants in London.
I spent the summer as part of the Maxwell-in-Washington program. I’ve always wanted to live in DC and Maxwell’s strong reputation in the district is largely responsible for what drew me to Maxwell in the first place. In addition to taking a class with Professor O’Hanlon on Who Will Rule the 21st Century, I spent the summer interning as a transatlantic security analyst with The Streit Council for a Union of Democracies. The Streit Council is driven to create better-organized relations between the United States and Europe, along with liberal democracies across the globe. In order to do so, the council aims to foster greater public awareness on the importance of the transatlantic relationship and to provide expert analysis, perspectives, and identify practical solutions for key policymakers.
As part of the Transatlantic Security Program, our mission was to analyze prominent threats facing the US and Europe. Working closely with Mitch Yoshida, a Maxwell alumnus, we closely followed events related to Russia’s resurgence, terrorism, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the European Union’s Common Security and Defense Policy. One of my main tasks included daily submissions of pertinent news summaries. I was able to research and analyze major international events on a daily basis, gaining a greater understanding of transatlantic relations on a day-to-day basis in what turned out to be an eventful summer. Apart from the daily responsibilities, I was able to work on longer briefs. One of the major pieces I worked on was analyzing how the potential of a unified European army might affect NATO. The brief analyzed the history of the EU, dissected current events, political statements, and military proposals to better predict what a future relationship might look like. My time in DC this summer solidified my career interest.
The Maxwell-in-Washington program exposes students to real world experiences on what they studied in Syracuse. My internship allowed me to apply the historical and analytical skills I learned while at Syracuse to current events. Although taking a class on top of a fulltime internship was challenging, it offered an opportunity to analyze situations from an academic perspective. My class was also a great place to network with classmates who have a lot of experience working in related fields.
Whether it was through classes, the internship, or networking, my time in DC allowed me to grow both professionally and personally.
Brendan Reaney was a Fast Track BA/MA international relations student student who graduated in December 2018. He also spent his last Fall Semester interning at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC.
Women Political Leaders (WPL) Global Forum is a nonprofit and nonpartisan global network of female politicians, including Presidents, Prime Ministers, Parliamentarians and Mayors. This summer, I had the opportunity to serve this organization as a communications intern, working to further the organization’s mission of increasing the number and influence of women in political leadership roles across the globe.
As a member of the communications team, I worked on numerous initiatives, campaigns and events under the organization’s umbrella, including WPL Summit 2018, the #Girl2Leader campaign and the Women Leaders Global Forum event. For these events and campaigns, I coordinated and implemented multi-channel communications plans. My primary tasks included: branding and strategy implementation; social media content creation, management, reporting and analysis; graphic design; copyediting and proofreading; media and press relations; and campaign coordination with current and former women political leaders. I was also able to represent the organization at outreach events with partners and was given the opportunity to attend the global launch of the #SheIsEqual campaign.
A task near and dear to my heart was coordinating communications for the #Girl2Leader campaign, which aims to get girls involved with and interested in politics. I was provided the freedom to try new things and grow the brand’s social media presence in innovative ways. It was rewarding to be promoting a cause that can have such a vital impact on the world.
My experience working for WPL was incredibly rewarding and helped me grow in countless ways. I was able to refine and further my strategic communications and graphic design skills, as well as explore other opportunities like media outreach and press relations. Working in a diverse, multicultural office that communicates with global audiences was a valuable experience. This internship also provided me with great insight into the structure of international nonprofits and working with high-level political leaders from around the world.
I am excited to be continuing my work for WPL remotely while returning to school in Syracuse!
The Brussels program gave me the opportunity to complete an internship with OPEN Media Hub. OMH is a project for networking, on-the-job training, and support to media professionals across the EU Neighborhood. The project is funded by the EU and implemented by a consortium led by Thomson Foundation (UK), including Action Global Communications Ltd (Cyprus), European Journalism Centre (Netherlands), France Medias Monde (France), Free Press Unlimited (Netherlands), Market & Opinion Research International Ltd (Ipsos MORI) (UK) and Particip GmbH (Germany). The project includes a series of capacity building, production and networking activities, including the organization of a number of different types of training and exchange events for journalists in each of the 17 countries in the Neighborhood area of the EU.
The main advantage of the Brussels internship is the various networking opportunities. The time of the program is full of events and conferences. By following these events, I had a fantastic opportunity to meet different people working on Middle Eastern and migration issues. Another advantage of this internship is that it helped me to identify the particular area to write for my independent study. Working in the media sector helped me understand the media impact on migration policies in Europe. It gave me the courage to write on the topic. I met many figures in the field and did semi-structured interviews with them for my independent study. It is also worth mentioning that having an internship in Brussels is so beneficial for your CV as it demonstrates experience in various countries.
On the whole, the Brussels program was a useful experience. I have gained new knowledge, skills and met many new people from different fields. I achieved several of my learning goals. I got insight into professional practice. I learned the various sides of working within a European institution. It has also improved my skills in reporting for media and strengthened my professional ability to work in a multicultural environment.
The speakers’ sessions that were part of the course were linked directly to working with European institutions. This program was an excellent opportunity to test out the skills that I developed in Maxwell. For example, I transferred the academic writing skills that I learned in Maxwell to write a featured article that was published on the OMH website.
I am satisfied with my experience in Brussels as it perfectly matched my career plans to gain more expertise, as well as more exposure to different organizational systems in order to become a better professional.
Assil Alnasser is a recent graduate of the Maxwell School’s MAIR program.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to live in Strasbourg, France as a participant of the Summer Internships in Strasbourg program. I interned with the Council of Europe as well as studied religion and human rights at SU’s Strasbourg Center.
The Strasbourg Center is in a perfect location, surrounded by diplomatic missions and easily accessible by several bus and tram routes. The Center very quickly becomes the focus of your day to day life. They organized monthly picnics with foods from the local market and weekend excursions in France and Germany for all students. Even from before our arrival the staff at the Center was very active in making sure our arrival and adaptation to Strasbourg was smooth. They answered all of our questions and helped a couple of us find a place to get our laptops fixed. I was even able to use the Director’s connections to find my next internship at Caritas in Bosnia.
During the summer there are students participating in several programs: engineering, French language, religion and human rights, or the intern program. They were all undergraduate students both from SU and from other universities. But by the second week, we were all good friends, hanging out after class and on the weekends. It’s been several months since the end of the program, but we all still talk to each other.
Living in Strasbourg is quite relaxing and easy. The city’s public transportation is extensive and easy to use. The trams can take you anywhere, even across the Rhine to Germany! The Center provides you with a renewable pass so that you have unlimited access to public transportation. But, if you leave yourself enough time, it’s quite enjoyable to just walk everywhere too. There is an option to live with a host family, but I decided to live by myself. I had a quaint little apartment in an area known as Petit France looking over the canal. I lived above a typical Alsatian restaurant, and every morning and afternoon the wait staff would say Bonjour and exchange some pleasantries. It really made you feel like you were apart of French life!
The religion and human rights course is extremely interesting. While I focus on human rights, I hadn’t explored this connection before. The professor, Yuksel Sezgin, teaches the course in a very approachable manner. It is very clear he is passionate about what he teaches and wants all of his students to walk away with an increased knowledge of the subject. For a grad student, the nightly readings were manageable, but more importantly were engaging. He used his connections at the local university and the Council of Europe to bring in guest speakers that really expand our understanding of religion and human rights in a comparative context. Even if you decide not to go on this study abroad, I highly recommend taking one of his classes on campus.
Interning at the Council of Europe was probably the highlight of the summer. Through the universities connection with Thomas Kattau, the Deputy Security of the Pompidou Group, I was offered an internship alongside another undergraduate participant. The Pompidou Group analyses trafficking trends and national strategies on drugs as well as promotes public health solutions to drug use.
While I was there, I worked on several projects. My first big task was to write the Meeting Report for the Annual Airports Group Meeting. For three days, I attended the meeting taking notes and meeting with various officials from across Europe and the world. It was an excellent opportunity to see how international organizations share best practices and “success” stories.
I started to work on preparing for the 17th Ministerial Conference that will be held in November. Among typical tasks like preparing papers on the project outcomes, making schedules, and writing speeches, I had a unique opportunity to set up an app for the event.
Everyone in the office made me feel welcome and included. They would pop by my office every now and then to chat and see how I was getting along with their assignments. I was always given interesting tasks to complete and many of them prepared me for my next internship.
Katherine Hewitt is a MAIR student on her last semester at the Maxwell School. She is currently interning at Caritas in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Amery Sanders is a MAIR student focusing on human rights.
From May 25th through July 14th, I lived and worked in Brussels as part of Syracuse University’s Public Diplomacy program. While not a Public Diplomacy student myself—I’m a graduate student pursuing the MA International Relations (MAIR) degree—I chose the Brussels program for its abundance of opportunities in my interest areas of human rights, diplomacy, and international NGO work. I was incredibly fortunate enough to secure an internship at the Brussels seat of the European Parliament, one of the three core legislative institutions of the European Union. I served as a trainee in the office of dynamic Finnish MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen.
I reached out to MEP Pietikäinen’s office because of her work in the leadership of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, a coordinated cross-party effort by MEPs to advance and support the rights of LGBTI people. As a queer graduate student with a professional and academic focus in international transgender human rights, securing a place in her office meant I was able to work right at the heart of the European Union’s LGBTI-centric activities while also gaining in-depth understanding of EU institutional and legislative work.
During my seven weeks in Brussels, I split my time between doing administrative work for the MEP, working with Intergroup Secretariat Juliette Sanchez-Lambert, and doing research around the MEP’s special interest areas of queer freedom of movement, employment discrimination, partner and family rights, health care discrimination, and asylum rights. I attended Parliament events around LGBTI issues and was privileged to be able to attend the 7th European Transgender Council, an annual conference hosted by TGEU, the largest transnational member organization of transgender activists in Europe. Over the course of the internship I worked to develop a reference packet on individual LGBTI topics, to be used by MEPs and other officials as a resource guide in the lead up to the 2019 parliamentary elections. Of especial significance to me personally, I was asked to give critical feedback on the Fundamental Rights Agency’s EU LGBT Survey; my critiques and suggestions were taken to a Vienna meeting to help determine the structure and content of the next version of the survey.
Brussels was a city both beautiful and politically complex, and I was deeply satisfied by my time there—by the work I was able to do, the connections I was able to make, and the knowledge I was able to gain. I feel like I was able to get exactly the glimpse “behind the curtain” of transnational LGBTI-centric rights work that I have heretofore been unable to access. It’s re-energized me in a way I could only have hoped for, and which I think will serve me well as I go forward in my academics and my career.
Kevin Oswald is a recent alumni of the Atlantis Transatlantic Dual Degree program, completing an MAIR degree from the Maxwell School and an MPP from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. He also completed internships at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington D.C. and Agora Energiewende in Berlin during his studies.
From March 29 to 31, 2018 I had the opportunity to participate in the European Student Conference (ESC) 2018 at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. ESC is a conference organized by European Horizons that brought together 100 undergraduate and graduate students from universities across the United States, Europe and Asia with distinguished academics and seasoned policy-makers in order to address some of the challenges confronting the European Union.Prior to the conference, students from different parts of the world and with different academic backgrounds, had been divided into groups, according to their knowledge and interests, in order to deal with the following challenges in six workshops related to: Energy, Technology, EU-China, Democracy, National Sovereignty and Security. Each group then made an effort to develop policy recommendations with regard to their topic and during the conference those proposals by the students were discussed with decision-makers and renowned academics. This year, ESC hosted representatives from business, politics and diplomacy, such as the former President of the European Parliament, Enrique Barón Crespo, as well as several academics from US universities.
As a student enrolled in the transatlantic ATLANTIS dual-degree Master program in International Relations and Public Policy offered by the Maxwell School and the Hertie School of Governance, I am particularly interested in foreign and security policy as well as in energy and climate policy. Therefore, I took part in the energy workshop and together with fellow students worked on the issue of the EU’s dependency on energy imports, particularly natural gas, in order to meet its demand. Given the fact that a high proportion of imports is concentrated among relatively few partners, the security of the EU’s natural gas supplies may be threatened. Our team provided a solid analysis of the status quo and presented several policy recommendations with the primary goals to diversify supply sources (new pipelines, interconnectors, LNG etc.) and to utilize soft tools, which, for instance, might require setting up an EU Energy Diplomacy Task Force to deal with delicate pipeline projects such as Nord Stream 2.
I was impressed with the expertise and dedication of our group and look forward to seeing our recommendations being published in the Review of European and Transatlantic Affairs, a journal that will be distributed to university libraries across Europe and the U.S., as well as to European decision-makers.
In sum, ESC 2018 has been a wonderful experience and I truly enjoyed the opportunity to work with fellow students that all have a passion for the EU. In addition, I hope to become part of the international ESC network that links thinkers and leaders from both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.
This fall I embarked on my second Masters degree program as part of the ‘Atlantis’ Transatlantic Dual Degree program. This is a joint program, shared between the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany. Following an incredible experience in Maxwell, I expected the transition to Berlin to be a daunting experience, but one I was keen to face in order to further expand my academic horizons.
Three aspects in this transition have made this experience incomparable to any degree program I could have taken, offered by other schools. First, the diversity of the coursework offered at Hertie very successfully complements the Maxwell MAIR program, which focuses mainly on the US. In keeping with the nature of the Atlantis program, I pursued a Masters in Public Policy at Hertie, and the coursework offered there was naturally mostly EU focused. It presented opportunities to study with international authorities, including former German Ambassador to the US Wolfgang Ischinger and Former Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at the European council László Andor. Since my background is from neither of these regions, this was a great and fascinating mix of two new worlds.
Second, the Hertie School, together with the city of Berlin, offer many professional opportunities. I was lucky enough to be invited to the 2017 World Health Summit where I attended numerous panels. Furthermore, I was assigned as a rapporteur in the “Global Health Security Engagement in Conflict” workshop and reported directly to the chairs of the workshop. Other fascinating events and workshops that I was able to attend included Transparency International and the Munich Security Council. All these enabled me to meet and learn from important policy makers and engage with topics I learned in the classroom.
Third, of no lesser importance for my personal satisfaction was the fact that throughout this journey I was part of a group of eight students; together we completed an intensive, fruitful and enjoyable year at Syracuse and went on together to Berlin. Without these fellow students, this entire experience would surely have looked different, at least in the social sphere. The camaraderie we formed has been astonishing – it enabled us all a swift and smooth transition, and an unforgettable experience.