Meet our interns!

Are you curious to find out how it is to be an intern at Europol? How it is to live in The Hague? Find out what some of our 2017 interns have to say.

External and EU Institutional Affairs intern

Interim

Hi, I am Aleksandra. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in “International and European Studies – Political science and Diplomacy” from University of Macedonia (Thessaloniki, Greece) and a Master’s degree – LLM European Law from Leiden University (the Netherlands).

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Why did you choose to apply for an internship at Europol?

For me Europol combines something unique, the two things I am passionate about – on the one hand, fighting crime and injustice, and on the other hand my area of expertise - EU external relations and EU institutional affairs.

In which team do you work? Tell us more about your daily tasks and the projects that you are working on.

I work in G21 External and EU Institutional Affairs. My main responsibilities, inter alia, are to support the team in their relations with the European Parliament, EU Member States, Non-EU countries, and other EU institutions, bodies and agencies. In general, I support and serve as a back-up for the specialist in charge of parliamentary affairs by monitoring legislative and non-legislative activities in the areas of relevance for Europol. I also organise and coordinate visits of MEPs and other delegations to Europol’s premises, as well as participating in those meetings. In addition, I draft various reports and documents for the Executive Director’s meetings and business trips.

Tell us more about your work experience at Europol and what you have learnt during your internship.

If someone is considering applying to G21, they must be prepared to work in a really dynamic environment. I have been learning from day one of my internship. I remember the first week my team told me that the best way to learn is to get involved in the practical work at the very beginning and not try to get used to everything first. And they were right. The fact that I had to start working at a fast pace from the very start helped me learn a lot. For instance, I am able to maintain high standards of accuracy under pressure of tight deadlines, a heavy workload and most importantly, I have shown that I have a high stress tolerance. I have learned to multitask, manage my time well and to prioritise. Being constantly involved in the daily activities of the unit helped me gain further knowledge and confidence to deal with complex issues in my area of expertise.

Tell us more about the challenges that you have faced working here and what you have enjoyed the most during your internship.

The thing I enjoyed most is the working environment. Thanks to my unit at Europol I truly feel like an equal member of the G21 team and not just an intern with an expiry date of 6 months. This is what keeps me motivated to keep doing my best and to deliver the best possible results in my work and support the team as a whole.

With regards to the challenges, I can say that the most challenging was at the very beginning of the internship – when everything was new for me and when I had to fulfil the expectations of my colleagues with regards to my work.

Has the internship met your expectations?

No, because it is much more than I ever expected.

How is it to live in the Netherlands and in The Hague?

I think the Netherlands and The Hague are amazing. The mixture between the Dutch architecture, the thousands of bikes you see everywhere, the beautiful parks with ducks and swans, the fantastic seaside, and of course, the “lovely” Dutch weather make it a great place to live.

Would you recommend the internship programme at Europol? What are your future plans after the Europol internship?

If you are a hardworking person and you would like to get involved in a friendly international environment, then I would definitely recommend you apply for an internship programme at Europol. My plan after the end of the internship is to find a job in my chosen field. And I hope one day I will be working again at Europol.

Corporate Communications interN

Interim at Corporate Communications

Hi, I am Anca, I am from Romania and I am an intern at Europol Corporate Communications! I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Public Relations from the University of Bucharest and a Master’s Degree in Languages, International Business and European Management from the University of Orleans.

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Why did you choose to apply for an internship at Europol?

Europol is a serious organisation whose mission is to safeguard the EU from large-scale criminal and terrorist networks who pose a significant threat to its internal security. As a European citizen, I feel proud to be part of this organisation and contribute to its work.
 
Apart from this, I wanted to continue working in an international, multicultural environment on a topic that interested me and become part of a dynamic team.  Prior to my application for this internship, I had read articles on the work of Europol and realised that Europol’s positive image is also the result of a dedicated and professional communications team.

In which team do you work? Tell us more about your daily tasks and the projects that you are working on.

During the 6-month programme, I was a trainee in the Corporate Communications unit. More specifically, I was part of the press team. Among my daily tasks, I was responsible for drafting press releases and news articles, assisting with the coordination of joint press releases, liaising with other departments, agencies, institutions, as well as organising information. At times, I was in charge of attending to the media line and drafting replies to media requests. I was also involved in the EU Most Wanted campaign to some extent, which I found truly interesting for somebody who wants to build a career in this line of work.

Tell us more about your work experience at Europol and what you have learnt during your internship.

This traineeship offered me the opportunity to observe, up close, the work of a communications unit that is constantly active, but at the same time tries to be proactive and engage with different stakeholders and actors on a global scale.

Tell us more about the challenges that you have faced working here and what you have enjoyed the most during your internship.

When working in a dynamic sizeable team, you need to learn about all your colleagues’ expectations and adapt to everyone’s working habits. The introduction period was not the smoothest, at least in my case.

Also, Europol deals with sensitive information. Therefore, especially when working in the press team, you need to pay very close attention to the information you distribute to external audiences, in particular to journalists.

Has the internship met your expectations?

I was never concerned about the internship meeting my expectations, but more that I met the expectations of my future colleagues.

How is it to live in the Netherlands and in The Hague?

The Hague is a city that I genuinely enjoy. I reckon it incorporates many of the aspects that keep me entertained: beautiful scenery and facades, parks and fairs, cultural events and impressive architecture, beach and sports competitions.
  
Have you done an internship in another international organisation? What differs between the internship programme at Europol and other international organisations?

Subsequent to this internship experience, I carried out another traineeship through the Blue Book programme of the European Commission. I was selected by the European Fisheries Control Agency to undergo a five-month traineeship within their Communication and Governance Department. The main difference between the two experiences relates to fact that at Europol I had to work within a dynamic team of press officers, whereas at EFCA I mostly received assessments from the only Communication Officer working there. Also, because of the size of the two agencies, the workload and range of activities differed significantly.  

Would you recommend the internship programme at Europol? What are your future plans after the Europol internship?

Well, what I would say  - and I believe this is the best kind of recommendation - is that if I had the possibility to repeat this internship, I would.

Strategic Analysis interN

Hi, I am Andrea, I studied Literature and Philosophy in Bologna, Italy, until 2004, then I moved back to my birthplace, Lecce, to study Communication Science.

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Why did you choose to apply for an internship at Europol?

I have always wanted to move to the Netherlands, and I also wanted to improve my work experience in EU agencies, having already worked for almost two years in EFSA, Parma.

In which team do you work? Tell us more about your daily tasks and the projects that you are working on.

My main tasks are the creation of infographics, charts, icons, flyers, posters and other graphic elements, as well as the creation of PowerPoint slides and templates, to use with the official documents and presentations produced by our team. I work for the O52 Strategic Analysis team. Together with the Corporate Communications team, in these past few months we all have been really busy to complete the 2017 SOCTA Report, and all the projects linked to it.

Tell us more about your work experience at Europol and what you have learnt during your internship.

It has been an excellent opportunity to develop my skills and experience in graphic design. I am now extremely adept at using Adobe and Microsoft Office software. I also learned a great deal about liaising with colleagues from several and different teams and nationalities.

Tell us more about the challenges that you have faced working here and what you have enjoyed the most during your internship.

We had to deal with short deadlines and several issues, but considering the results obtained and the consequent satisfaction, it was worth it. Furthermore I met a lot of nice people and made new friends.

Has the internship met your expectations?

It has exceeded my expectations.

How is it to live in the Netherlands and in The Hague?

I always wanted to relocate and work in the Netherlands, it might sound strange and masochistic, but I like the weather here. The Hague is a trainee-friendly city.

Would you recommend the internship programme at Europol? What are your future plans after the Europol internship?

I would recommend this experience to everyone, and I have a strong will to work and live here for much longer, if not possible in Europol, at least in the Netherlands.

Learning and Development intern

Interim

Hi, I am Julia, I studied the Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages and Intercultural Communication/Master of Science in International Relations (European Studies).

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Why did you choose to apply for an internship at Europol?

Because I wanted to experience first-hand how an EU agency practically works.

In which team do you work? Tell us more about your daily tasks and the projects that you are working on.

Capabilities Directorate –  administrative support to the Learning and Development as well as the Health and Wellbeing Team/stakeholder management/process improvement.

Tell us more about your work experience at Europol and what you have learnt during your internship.

The three most important things I have learnt during my time at Europol are to prioritise tasks, to organise the workload, and to effectively liaise with colleagues from all over the organisation.

Tell us more about the challenges that you have faced working here and what you have enjoyed the most during your internship.

What I have enjoyed the most during my internship were the relations with my colleagues. Europol is full of great and interesting people who made my stay here as special as it was.
There is a certain possibility to get ‘carried away’ by the Europol life - this might be something to be aware of.

Has the internship met your expectations?

It definitely has.

How is it to live in the Netherlands and in The Hague?

The Hague is a beautiful city – rich in culture and activities. It can be a little dull though during the winter months though as the weather really drags down your mood sometimes.

Would you recommend the internship programme at Europol? What are your future plans after the Europol internship?

I would definitely recommend the internship programme at Europol.My future plans include moving to Brussels and continuing to work in the EU environment.

Open Sources interN

Hi, I am Martin, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Security & Intelligence, and I recently finished a Master’s Degree in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism.

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Why did you choose to apply for an internship at Europol?

I wanted to get professional experience in the security field and Europol is the best place for that. I knew this internship would provide me with insight into the functioning of a law enforcement agency, and that it would serve as an invaluable step to my future career.

In which team do you work? Tell us more about your daily tasks and the projects that you are working on.

I work in the Open Sources unit. My daily tasks include compiling open sources reports and profiles, and creating the Europol daily newsletter, which we distribute to Europol staff and to our external partners. In addition, I carry out internet and social media monitoring on Europol’s activities and help manage Europol’s library. We provide information support to the Directorate and have produced dozens of reports for this year’s European Police Chiefs Convention.

Tell us more about your work experience at Europol and what you have learnt during your internship.

My overall work experience has been very pleasant. This is largely thanks to my supervisor with whom I get along very well. Our unit currently consists of just the two of us and he’s been treating me as an equal colleague and a friend, which creates the perfect work atmosphere and motivates me to do my best. I have learnt a lot so far, most notably to use professional open sources tools, to write more efficiently, to research, verify and compile information, and overall to work effectively.

Tell us more about the challenges that you have faced working here and what you have enjoyed the most during your internship.

The biggest challenge came 3 weeks after I started my internship when my supervisor was out of the office for more than 2 weeks and I was therefore responsible for carrying out all the duties myself. I think I managed it well and I was praised by my supervisor upon his return. What I have enjoyed the most is working in an international environment, improving my professional skills, gaining insight into the inner workings of the agency, and meeting fellow interns and full-time employees.

Has the internship met your expectations?

Absolutely. I’ve been enjoying my role and my duties at the agency and was very pleasantly surprised with the overall friendly, yet professional atmosphere. That is why I extended my internship from the original 3 months to 6 months.

How is it to live in the Netherlands and in The Hague?

I’ve been very much enjoying living in The Hague. It’s a perfect sized city for me and there are many things to do around here. It’s also a very international city with many institutions such as OPCW, ICC, ICTY, Eurojust, Europol, and others located here. This has allowed me to meet many foreign professionals and make valuable friendships.

Would you recommend the internship programme at Europol? What are your future plans after the Europol internship?

I already recommended the internship to several people here in The Hague who expressed their interest in Europol to me. After finishing my internship, I will pursue a security role at a Czech Ministry or at an international security organisation. I will consider applying for a full-time position at Europol in the future as well.

Strategic Analysis interN

Interim

Hi, I am Patricia, I finished 4 years at a dance academy. After the dance academy I studied for a Bachelor’s degree in Safety and Securities Management Studies in The Hague. In September 2017 I want to continue with a Masters.

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Why did you choose to apply for an internship at Europol?

Since starting my Bachelor’s, I have always wanted an internship at Europol but knew that it was very difficult to get accepted for one. Nevertheless, when my last year of my Bachelor’s programme started I decided to give it a try and apply. Luckily I was accepted!

In which team do you work? Tell us more about your daily tasks and the projects that you working on.

During my internship I worked in the O52 Strategic Analysis team. I supported the team throughout crucial phases of an important project - the analytical phase and the following publication of the EU Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA 2017). The SOCTA is Europol’s flagship product and is produced by our Strategic Analysis team every four years. The SOCTA is an analytical product that provides recommendations to the European Commission and Council on the most threatening transnational crimes that should be tackled at the EU level in the next four years.

Tell us more about your experience at Europol and what you have learnt during your internship.

During the first week of your internship everything is new. I had never worked in a big organisation like Europol. So for me everything was impressive. Europol is a great organisation to work in, it is very dynamic and it has a very modern, friendly and open environment. It is hard to describe, you have to experience it.

Tell us more about the challenges that you have faced working here and what you have enjoyed the most during your internship.

Because I never worked in a big organisation like Europol, everything was new for me. In the beginning you don’t know who is responsible for what and which departments you need to contact for certain things. What I enjoyed the most during the internship is that you get to know a lot of different people that come from all over Europe. That is what makes working for Europol so special and exceptional in my opinion.

Has the internship met your expectations?

Yes, definitely. I did not know what to expect, but I can definitely say that in my team, the Strategic Analysis team, you will get a good overview of how Europol is organised and what sort of crime areas they are dealing with. My team was responsible for the SOCTA and it was a very busy but also interesting time. I was in the right place at the right time.

How is it to live in the Netherlands and The Hague?

Since I am Dutch the Netherlands is my home country and I love it! The infrastructure is great - since I live close to Amsterdam I travelled every day back and forth between The Hague and Amsterdam. However, I studied 4 years in The Hague but during my internship I actually began to like The Hague. It is a very international and dynamic city with a lot of possibilities for expats. It has a nice old city centre and The Hague is a bustling city.
 

Would you recommend the internship programme at Europol? What are your future plans after the Europol internship?

Yes. I would definitely recommend the internship programme. Europol is a great, dynamic organisation to work in. For sure this is a good international place to make friends and meet people from all over Europe.
 
For the future, I will continue working in a Dutch organisation dealing with all sorts of crime and I will hopefully start my Masters in September. 

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) interN

Interim

Hi, I am Paulina, I have three Masters degrees, one of them in corporate administration and management. I believe that this background allows me to fully reach my potential during this internship. I am also fluent in five European languages and even though English is the working language of Europol, the organisation provides learning opportunities to develop fluency in others with so-called language tables organised during the lunch breaks.

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Why did you choose to apply for an internship at Europol?

Working for an organisation and mission which I have a strong interest in is one of my greatest motivating factors and I cannot imagine a higher priority than making Europe a safer place.

In which team do you work? Tell us more about your daily tasks and the projects that you are working on.

I am a Financial Process Improvement Trainee in the ICT Business Area. The main task of my team is acquiring hardware, software and related consultancy services. After getting familiar with the expenditure lifecycle of the organisation, I am now implementing continuous improvement of processes related to ICT contract management and financial coordination.

Tell us more about your work experience at Europol and what you have learnt during your internship.

My work during the internship period gives me a variety of learning opportunities.  I am involved in creating and proceeding with the financial management and contract coordination process and their descriptions.  I cooperate with other units and I have a chance to get to know and use many European Commission software solutions like ABAC, Supportworks, and the DMS, along with improving my skills in other Microsoft and Adobe Office suites programs. I participate in internal certified training related closely to my internship project and numerous meetings and workshops within and outside my unit. I truly enjoy the diversity of tasks I am performing.

Tell us more about the challenges that you have faced working here and what you have enjoyed the most during your internship.

Getting to know and use all the software solutions necessary to perform my duties is definitely a challenge from which I will benefit the most. On the other hand I am receiving the best possible support from the side of my supervisor, not only regarding the entrusted duties, but also in every field of learning opportunities I am interested in. My tasks are carefully selected and described and I am given all the necessary tools and reasonable deadlines. 

Has the internship met your expectations?

No, the internship in the C12-FC Unit definitely exceeded my expectations, giving me learning opportunities not only in the field of my expertise, but also in broadly defined public sector administration. I have been assigned to a very efficient and cooperative team, which supported my work and my learning by eagerly sharing experience and possessed knowledge. From my office colleagues and the whole C12-FC unit I can learn a lot about a commitment – not only budgetary wise, but also in terms of team work and engagement in the organisation’s performance. 

How is it to live in the Netherlands and in The Hague?

The only disadvantage of my time in the Netherlands during this internship is related to the costs of living in The Hague. Apart from that, The Hague is amazing city that can ensure all kinds of entertainment, from numerous museums for culture lovers to bungee jumping or surfing at the Scheveningen beach. The expat society makes the city colourful and there is no need to speak Dutch as English is spoken fluently here.

Have you done an internship in another international organisation? What differs between the internship programme at Europol and other international organisations?

I was previously an intern in a much smaller EU agency with c.a. 50 staff members. Although it was easier to get to know everyone there, I truly appreciate the variety of experts available on the spot at Europol. The size of this organisation also made it possible to tailor my internship precisely for my background and expectations.
 
Would you recommend the internship programme at Europol? What are your future plans after the Europol internship?

I will definitely treasure the work experience from this internship and I could not recommend it more. I believe it will give me a bridge to a future career in the public sector, ideally at Europol itself. During my period at Europol I have developed very high regard for its multiethnic and multilingual working environment. I was also positively surprised by the luxury of Europol facilities available to interns, along with the events and exhibitions organised within the premises.