Working With Networking

10 Mar

I know that it has been a while since my last update, but between school, my internship, and traveling, I have been strapped for time to just sit down and write something. However, now that midterms are officially done, I have a good 5 minute break. 🙂 This post I am going to give a little background as to what I’m doing at my internship this semester and the experiences that I am receiving.

Macedonia on a Map of Europe

Macedonia on a Map of Europe

This semester I am an intern with the Mission of the Republic of Macedonia to the European Union. This is just a really long name to say that it is the representation of the Macedonian government at the EU. The relationship between these two entities is interesting because Macedonia is not an EU member state, but instead they are a candidate state. This means that Macedonia is in the process of reforming enough to become an EU member state. Macedonia has been a member state since 1995, but they are currently stuck in the stage before negotiations are opened due to a dispute about the name “Macedonia” (I won’t go into the dispute right now, but write a comment at the bottom if you would like a brief description). However, even though they are not a member state, the EU and Macedonia have a number of cooperation agreements, as the EU has been present in the country and the greater Balkan region since the Yugoslavia split-up in the 1990s.

My job here is to be support for the mission staff. I start everyday by doing a media review. To do this, I browse news sources from both Europe and North America and look for references to Macedonia and other Balkan states, as well as other important states such as Bulgaria and Greece. Once completed, this review is sent to the mission staff and some headlines are used to update the mission’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Though that is my main job for the three days a week that I am working, I also have other responsibilities. One of the most tedious but the most interesting job I do is gather, read, and analyze European Parliament Resolutions that the mission staff feel are important to understand deeper. My favorite part of my job is when they send me out into Brussels to attend think tank events. I usually go to about 1-2 of these a week, and I am attending so many that I have run into the same man from the European Commission 5 times and he and I have discussed different organizations that I should look into for future employment. The topics are also interesting. I’ve attended events on the European economy, the international response in Syria, the relaunching of negotiations in Cyprus, the accession process of Montenegro and the other Balkan countries into the EU, and the future of the European External Action Service. After these events I then write up a report that gets sent out to the others at the mission.

All in all it is a great place to work. It is an amazing atmosphere and the people are so kind to me. The first day in the office they took me to eat at a traditional Macedonian restaurant, and I never go a day in my office (which I have to myself) without them coming in to check if I’m doing okay. This is probably the second best internship I’ve ever had behind the Atlanta History Center (kind of hard to beat the Swan House).

Me at the Macedonian Mission

Me at the Macedonian Mission


One Response to “Working With Networking”

  1. Jessica V. March 10, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    Sounds like a wonderful internship! Swan House misses you 🙂

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