Last Friday, myself and undegraduate International Politics student Sebastian Vogt visited the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to learn about the brilliant career opportunities that working for the European Union offers. The Commission is looking for top quality graduates from a wide variety of degree disciplines including Politics, Science, Business and Law. Administrators (as first level graduate employees are known) play an important part in drafting policies, together with analytical and advisory work. The roles vary depending on what EU Institution they are working in, whether it is the European Commission, the Council, the European Parliament etc.
Competition for posts is severe and no wonder, with the variety, challenge and early responsibility these roles offer graduates, as well as an attractive starting salary of around 40 000 Euros pa. British applicants are, however, in high demand and experience less competion for places than other nationalities. In fact, the term used was “desperate!”. All applicants need to speak fluent English, French or German. The second language does not need to be as fluent – a good A Level grade is a guideline.
You can join the Commission as a Trainee, which is like an internship and comes highly recommended. No psychometric or language tests are requred for selection and you will be placed in an EU Department, known as a DG (Directorate-General) for 5 months to gain experience and test your vocation. This is a fantastic opportunity.
The open competition for jobs is known as the concours and is similar to making an application for a typical graduate scheme. Psychometric tests are taken in your first language and a situational judgement test is taken in your second language. The assessment centre is in your second language takes place in Brussells or Luxembourg, where the jobs are based.
For further information, contact City student Sebatian Vogt at firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal chat or book an appointment online to see a City Careers Consultant.
Further Reading: A Day in the Life of an EU Official (Trainee)
Traineeship Application Form http://ec.europa.eu/stages/how/how_en.htm
How to apply for the open competition (concours)