Student testimonial: Internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Elena Filip, a recent graduate from the School of Politics and IR, with a bachelor’s in Politics and International Relations, recently undertook an extremely competitive and valuable internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Romanian Ministry. In this piece, Elena reflects upon her experience, discussing her role at the Ministry and how this has influenced her future career.

The internship at the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) was part of an initiative-project promoted by the Romanian Government, Romanian Ministries and other political institutions. The project’s aim was to offer the youth the chance to observe how the central public administration works and to see what can be improved or changed within it.

There were 7,500 candidates who applied for the whole project and only 10 available positions within the MFA. Working with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for two months was an outstanding experience. Securing this internship was one of my goals after graduating from Kent and also the path I want to build my future career on.

During the first month of the internship I worked in the Communication and Spokesman Department. The environment was very active and I had to be available every moment to help the staff with different inquires, from filling in reports, analysing the news that may affect the Ministry, either positively or negatively, to participating in press conferences with diplomats. I also took part in the Annual Reunion of Romanian Diplomacy, as one of the press department representatives, where I had the chance to meet with ambassadors, diplomats and well-known politicians.

In the second month I worked in the European Union Department, more precisely, in the sector that is focusing on the Europe 2020 Strategy. Overall, my job was to submit a report, analysing the European Commission’s recommendations for each European Union member state from different perspectives, such as calitatively, quantitatively and sectorial. I participated in an event organised by the Embassy of Netherlands to Bucharest, focussing on how we can make the available data from governments and other institutions more open and easily accessible for every citizen.

Beside my work in the MFA, I took part in different events and visits organised by the project. I visited the Romanian Parliament, observing the democratic process within the Deputies Chamber, the National Bank of Romania, the Embassy of Canada to Bucharest, and I took part in meetings with the Romanian Prime Minister, Ministers and also with the USA chargé d’affaires to Bucharest.

This internship helped me realise that the career I want to develop is in diplomacy, to represent my country in diplomatic missions overseas and to help improve Romania’s image worldwide.

Earn work experience with Employability Points!!

The Empolyability Points Scheme is unique to the University of Kent and aims to enhance students’ employability in a simple and engaging way.

You can claim ‘Employability Points’ for taking part in extra-curricular activities (many of which students are already taking part in!) such as societies, part-time work and volunteering. These points can be cashed in later in the year for ‘prizes’ which include paid internships, project placements, work experience, training, vouchers and a lot more, all offered by businesses and organisations.

In 2015-16, over 130 organisations were associated with the scheme and 617 rewards were offered by Kent County Council, Southeastern, Shepherd Neame and Medway Council, to name a few!

One student from School of Politics and International Relations, Clara Lee, had the chance to undertake a project placement with start-up business Convert Energy.

Convert Energy is a renewable energy design and project management company. Their Director, David Browne, informed the EP team that they lacked social media skills in the organisation and felt they could gain a lot of value from a student. Clara was recruited through the EP Scheme and given the chance to review their social media strategy.

Clara commented: “The EP Scheme has given me opportunity to broaden my experience in social media and the scheme is a great opportunity for securing work experience.”

Studies suggest that on average 83 graduates are applying for every graduate role and a degree no longer guarantees a job. In this sort of competitive atmosphere, it is vital that students find a way to make their application stands out from the crowd.

Through engaging with the scheme, you are not only enhancing ‘soft’ skills sought after by employers, but you can be awarded with exclusive work placement opportunities and rewarding experiences.

So what are you waiting for? Get involved with the EP scheme here and get rewarded!

Web: www.kent.ac.uk/employabilitypoints

Email: Employabilitypoints@kent.ac.uk

Twitter:  @empoints

Facebook: Employability Points

Find your career mentor on KEW-NET!

Are you interested in a particular career path, such as Public Affairs, Campaigning, Lobbying, but you are unsure how to get relevant experience in the sector? Or would you like to know what the necessary steps are to take, in order to achieve your career goal?

KEW-NET is an online mentoring service, set up by the Careers and Employability Service. This online mentoring network allows you to connect with students and graduates who are ready to share their experience and knowledge. From discussing job applications, CV’s, to finding work placement and internship opportunities, KEW-NET is a fantastic tool to network and receive career support from a mentor.

How does it work? KEW-NET is simple to set up, taking less than 10 minutes! All you need to do is register here: https://secure2.aluminati.net/kent.aluminate.net/ and once approved, you can log in and create your personal profile. TIP! If you already have a LinkedIN account, you can merge this with your KEW-NET profile to save time.

You can then search for relevant mentors using the filter system. You can search by graduation year, subject, services they offer or even ‘key words’ such as NGO’s or security. When you click on a mentor you can view their profile which details their experience, career, what they can offer and how many mentors they can take on. You can also see if they have previously mentored a student, and you can contact the student first to see what their experience was like, if you wish. If you find someone you think could be a suitable match, either message them first or send them a mentoring request. KEW-NET has it’s own message facility, so you can contact them directly through your account.

So why use it? KEW-NET is a valuable tool to network, making new business connections with people in the industry. Not only can you receive guidance and support, work/internship opportunities may arise through your mentors – so you never know where it may lead!

If you have experience in a particular area you can even sign up to be a mentor yourself!

With over 89 connections in Politics and IR already on KEW-NET, make sure you sign up and get networking!

Want to brush up on your networking skills?
Come along to the ‘Networking Know-How: Introduction to productive networking and business relationships’ workshop – Wednesday 26th October from 4pm – 5.30pm in Darwin Peter Brown room.

You can then put your skills to the test at the:

‘University Networking and Mentoring event: Find your perfect match!’ where you can network with alumni and find a potential mentor! – Wedesnday 26th October from 6pm – 8pm in Woolf Lecture Theatre.

Get involved with Enactus Kent!

Would you like to work with an international non-profit organisation, with a focus on  student led projects? Are you interested in gaining events, marketing or recruitment experience? Then Enactus Kent could be the ideal way to gain this experience! Sharad Kiswani, Operations Vice-President of Enactus Kent, introduces the organisation below and the types of projects they are involved in.

Hello everyone!

Enactus Kent is a student led organisation, where students are encouraged to create their own projects following the Enactus criterion using “entrepreneurial action to empower people to improve their livelihoods in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way.” Enactus is an international non-profit organisation aimed at university students by business and higher-educational leaders, in order to make a difference in the community while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders.

Currently, Enactus has are over 70 000 students, spread across 36 countries, working on nearly 5000 projects each year. That’s over 5 million volunteer hours, impacting the lives of nearly 2 million people.

Enactus

At Enactus Kent, we see opportunity to rethink and redevelop. Bringing students, academic leaders and businesses together, in order to shape a bigger, brighter and a sustainable future. So whether you are into design, economics, law, science, engineering, psychology, we believe that there is an entrepreneur spirit in all of us, ready to take action. While working with multinationals including Amazon, Ford, KPMG, Tesco, Santander and many more, we take this opportunity to make a difference in the world.

As of now, we have endeavoured to dispel isolation among the elderly community in Peru through our honey and soap enterprise through our international venture Project Cantuta. We also work to empower the homeless in Canterbury by training them to serve as tour guides through our local project, MyStreets. Further, we plan to be working towards empowering women in India by establishing a female taxi initiative through our new enterprise, Project Badlaav.

Enactus 2

Be a part of our wonderful projects or start our very own with a basic idea! If you’re interested to work in our internal team, you can get involved in various channels including our events, marketing and recruitment teams. For more information regarding our events or the application process, please contact: recruitment@enactuskent.com or visit www.enactuskent.org

Find us on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/enactuskent

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/enactus_kent/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/enactuskent

Snapchat: https://cl.ly/3b37103T2R2D

Become RESULTS UK Grassroots Campaigner at the University of Kent

RESULTS grassroots campaigners take action locally to fight global poverty – using their voices to change the world. They receive training and support to become skilled advocates, from influencing MPs to policy makers, and engaging others within their community.

RESULTS campaigners at the University of Kent meet as a group to plan and take campaign actions and organise events. They regularly join our national conference calls, learning more about international development and sharing their successes from around the UK.

About RESULTS UK
RESULTS is a movement of passionate, committed, everyday people. Together they use their voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty. Our campaigners learn to effectively advise policy makers, guiding them towards decisions that improve access to education, health, and economic opportunities in the
poorest communities.

RESULTS campaigners have the opportunity to:
• Join the University of Kent RESULTS action group and meet likeminded individuals campaigning to bring
an end to poverty.
• Support our campaigns on global health, education and economic opportunities.
• Take action with us, from publishing articles in the media to meeting with your constituency MP.
• Hear from experts on international development each month on our RESULTS conference calls.
• Put your points directly to influential decision-makers at RESULTS Advocacy Days.
• Organise events within the local community, be an ambassador for RESULTS in your area and help us to
grow our network.
• Develop your campaigning and advocacy skills at conferences and training sessions.

Who are RESULTS Campaigners?
RESULTS grassroots campaigners are people from all walks of life who want to make a difference. All backgrounds and levels of campaigns experience are welcome. Campaigning with RESULTS plays to your strengths, whether you are interested in helping out at events or you’re a social media whizz, there are lots of
different ways to get involved and build your skills.

You are invited to the RESULTS UKC Introductory Meeting

You are welcome to come along on Thursday October 20th at 6pm, in Eliot Extension seminar room 9, when the national campaigns coordinator for RESULTS UK will be coming down to let you know what RESULTS is all about, and give you an opportunity to get to know other likeminded people.

Register your interest/attendance on the RESULTS Facebook page and pass on the word to anyone who you think would be interested.

Find out more and sign up
To find out more about campaigning with RESULTS UK and be put in touch with the University of Kent RESULTS action group, please contact us at join@results.org.uk, give us a call on 020 7793 3970 or join our Facebook Group. We’d love to hear from you!

BKEW Global (Santander) bursary – apply now!

Are you undertaking an international work placement with a UK-based Small to Medium Sized Enterprises? You could get a bursary through the Careers and Employability Service!

The following criteria for the bursaries, set by Santander, must be met:

  • The organisation offering a placement must be registered and based locally in the UK
  • The organisation must have less than 250 employees and have an annual turnover of less than £50 million. Companies, sole traders, partnerships and charities are all eligible
  • Placements must be for 4 weeks or more
  • Placements must be confirmed (and the bursary application completed and accepted) by the 31st July 2016.
  • Placements must start no later than 31 August 2016
  • Students and Employers must both register on the Santander grants website and complete any paperwork required by Santander

The University of Kent has agreed the funding will be used in the following way and this is non- negotiable

  • Bursaries will be used for students participating in an international placement
  • Placements should be unpaid
  • Bursaries will be awarded to students on a first come first served basis on completion of a B:KEW Global bursary application form which is deemed to meet all Santander criteria and will provide a valuable experience for the student
  • Bursaries will be used for expenses such as travel as outlined in our terms and conditions
  • The Careers and Employability Service decision on successful application forms is final
  • Payment will be subject to B:KEW Global terms and conditions

To apply please visit http://www.kent.ac.uk/ces/kewglobal.html

Unsure what you can do with a degree in Politics and IR?

Are you unsure where your degree could take you? Or would you like to know the types of employers connected to Politics ad IR?

It can sometimes feel overwhelming with the range of opportunities available when undertaking a non-vocational course, and it can be hard decide on a career path. The Careers and Employability Service’s ‘what can I do with my degree’ webpage is a useful resource to help you decipher the type of work you could go into. Areas of interest include: Civil Service Fast Stream Administrator, Local Government, Intelligence Officer  and Political Researcher.

If you are currently looking for employment, CES have listed some Politics and IR specific job sites, with those specialising in Public Affairs, Policy, PR and Communications.

When making a job application ensure you link your previous experience to your skills, referring to the skills gained tab for reference.

This page can be found here:
https://www.kent.ac.uk/ces/student/degree/politicsandir/index.html 

The Careers and Employability Service also offer careers guidance interviews if you would like to further explore your options. These last for 40 minutes with a Careers Adviser. Pop in to book a slot (they are located next to Keynes College), or ring 01227 823299 to book an appointment. Details of there services can be found here: https://www.kent.ac.uk/ces/advice.html

 

Ask the experts: what impact would Brexit have on UK jobs?

On Wednesday 25th May the Guardian are opening up a live Q&A to discuss the effects Brexit would have on UK jobs.

They’ll be discussing:

  • Which industries would be most affected by a Brexit.
  • What a Brexit would mean for UK jobs.
  • Things you need to know about careers in the aftermath of a Brexit

Taking part is easier than ever: to comment create a free Guardian account, or log in using your Twitter or Facebook profiles. Alternatively, tweet us @GuardianCareers or email your questions to charlotte.seager@theguardian.com, who will post them for you.

For full details about the Q&A: http://www.theguardian.com/careers/2016/may/22/ask-the-experts-what-impact-would-brexit-have-on-uk-jobs

Apply for a B-KEW Santander bursary!

Are you undertaking an international work placement with a UK-based Small to Medium Sized Enterprises? You could get a bursary through the Careers and Employability Service!

The following criteria for the bursaries, set by Santander, must be met:

  • The organisation offering a placement must be registered and based locally in the UK
  • The organisation must have less than 250 employees and have an annual turnover of less than £50 million. Companies, sole traders, partnerships and charities are all eligible
  • Placements must be for 4 weeks or more
  • Placements must be confirmed (and the bursary application completed and accepted) by the 31st July 2016.
  • Placements must start no later than 31 August 2016
  • Students and Employers must both register on the Santander grants website and complete any paperwork required by Santander

The University of Kent has agreed the funding will be used in the following way and this is non- negotiable

  • Bursaries will be used for students participating in an international placement
  • Placements should be unpaid
  • Bursaries will be awarded to students on a first come first served basis on completion of a B:KEW Global bursary application form which is deemed to meet all Santander criteria and will provide a valuable experience for the student
  • Bursaries will be used for expenses such as travel as outlined in our terms and conditions
  • The Careers and Employability Service decision on successful application forms is final
  • Payment will be subject to B:KEW Global terms and conditions

To apply please visit http://www.kent.ac.uk/ces/kewglobal.html

Kent Political Almanac – European topic submissions wanted!

Want to see your work published while you are still at university? The KPA is looking for essays from undergrads and postgrads on European topics of up to 3,500 words and has achieved 65% or above. Further details are on the ‘submission requirements’ document. Email your submissions to kentpoliticalalmanac@gmail.com, the deadline is March 31! Please get in touch if you have any questions.