Graduating from university is exciting. But it can also be nerve-racking, especially if you still haven’t figured out what you like or what to do next. Do you see yourself as an administrative officer with a more back-office role? Or, do you aspire to become a c-suite executive? Do you prefer financial auditing or public procurement? Media relations or events management? Engineering or project management? Sounds familiar?
"When I first graduated from university with a degree in media and journalism, I was unsure if I wanted to work as a communications professional or do something more artistic. Thanks to my traineeship at EUSPA I worked on my first graphic design project, which allowed me to connect to explore the latter. I am now finishing a master’s degree in Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship at Copenhagen Business School, while as a Student Assistant in Architecture" says former EUSPA trainee Pedro Granacha from Lisbon, Portugal
Since its inception, EUSPA has been offering both undergraduates and graduates the opportunity to get a hands-on experience on the Union’s most ambitious industrial project. More than 150 young professionals have kickstarted their careers thanks to their traineeship. It gave them the final push to be recruited quickly with some experience in various areas, including consulting, engineering, legal & procurement matters, IT, public relations, EU affairs, and more.
We call them traineeships for a reason!
The EUSPA traineeship scheme is a development programme aimed at providing young graduates with the soft and hard skills necessary for a successful career both in the private and public sectors. EUSPA trainees have the opportunity to work on projects related to their field of study and gain a better understanding of the EU’s policies and decision-making processes as well as the EU Space Programme.
"While trainees must have a degree (bachelor’s or master’s) related to the post they have applied for, they are not expected to master any task from the beginning. We’re here to train them, share our knowledge and help them bring out hidden talents" says the Head of Administration at EUSPA, Patrick Hamilton.
As a trainee at EUSPA, you will start with basic induction training to familiarise yourself with the mission of the Agency and its procedures before diving into deep and carrying out work-related tasks. All trainees are assigned a project officer not only as a supervisor but also as a mentor. Supervisors meet with trainees weekly to assign projects, debrief and share concerns. This allows project officers to see weaknesses and strengths and give and receive constructive feedback.
Additionally, trainees can benefit from seminars, and on-site events, participate in workshops, and even participate to language lunches.
Helping you discover what you like the most!
"As cliché as it may sound, employees who love what they do, almost always excel in it, and this is what we incentivise our trainees to do" continues Hamilton.
Task rotation is an important element of the EUSPA traineeship scheme because it allows graduates to view different aspects of their field, discover their strengths and cultivate new abilities. A trainee in the Market Downstream and Innovation Department will be helping start-ups become more innovative through space, while also monitoring market trends to identify new opportunities. The same applies to a trainee in finance, who will assist in the financial implementation of EU grants but also support in accounting, monitoring KPIs and more.
With the EU Space Programme having a direct application across various industry sectors, trainees will have to get out of their comfort zone and expand their knowledge fields such as maritime, agriculture, aviation and climate change, just to name a few.
"When I was a trainee in communications, I was tasked with media monitoring, and press relations for campaigns that needed press releases. Together with social media copywriting, I had to be constantly in touch with topics I was not familiar with, such as precision farming or the uses of Earth Observation. At first it was tough, and it required extensive desk research to see the full picture. Thanks to the input from my colleagues and the unlimited resources the agency offers, communicating about complex scientific topics became my favourite task" says Cristina Garcia.
Be part of a bigger EU family
What about having fun? Being a EUSPA trainee doesn’t necessarily mean getting your work done and going to sleep. When you set foot to EUSPA, you will be joined by fellow graduates from across the EU and engage in tons of activities like hiking in the scenic Bohemian Switzerland, partying or blending with the locals.
"It is really an amazing opportunity to put in practice what I learnt in a fascinating multicultural environment, participating to the EU involvement in space activities", confirmed Lorenzo Miccinesi, previous trainee in the Legal Department.
With the goal of boosting competitiveness and supporting skill development, the EU has named 2023 the ‘European Year of Skills’ – an initiative EUSPA is clearly supporting through its fully fledged traineeship scheme.
Still not convinced? Hear from our past trainees
Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the EUSPA website (http://www.euspa.europa.eu).