Name: Rachel Kuenzi
Internship Attendance: Summer 2013
Job title: Trainee in the Living Conditions and Quality of Life Unit
Description of duties/responsibilities:
- Assisting with on-going research project which my unit, Living Conditions and Quality of Life, carries out on a yearly basis [my projects included Families in Economic Crisis, The Impact of the Crisis on Access to Healthcare Services, Mid-term Career Review & Retaining an Aging Workforce, and The Social Dimension of intra-EU Mobility: Impact on Public Services]
- Creating literature reviews and surveying relevant studies/methodologies for projects
- Basic data analysis and processing (using excel)
- Attending conferences/meetings and producing summary notes
Work Location: Loughlinstown, Ireland (South of Dublin)
Work Hours: 9:30 to 5:30 (on average), 5 days a week
Language Requirements: None
I absolutely loved my time at Eurofound. The organization is located slightly outside of the city (which sometimes can be obnoxious), but it creates a strong feeling of community, as most people eat lunch together at the canteen every day. There are about 110 employees. The community is completely international (I was the only American), which allowed me to make contacts/friends across all of Europe. The organization also has social events for co-workers to bond outside of the workplace (such as plays, go-cart racing, horse-racing, etc.)
My boss/co-workers were incredibly interested in utilizing my skills and treated me as an equal. Initially, my boss asked what projects I would be interested in helping with and assigned me according to my background/skills/preferences. I truly felt like I was an employee at Eurofound and felt that my contributions were beneficial both to my learning and to the projects. In fact, one of the projects I worked most extensively on offered to put my name on the publication. This is very exciting, as the projects at Eurofound are frequently cited by the European Commission and other EU agencies. I was able to attend high-profile meeting (such as with the World Bank, expert workshops, etc). Through assisting with projects & meetings, I gained extensive knowledge on EU governance and policy aims. The work day can sometimes feel a bit long, as most of the job is collecting, reading, and synthesizing article; however, co-workers as well as meetings help break up the day.
Additionally, Dublin is an absolutely fantastic and dynamic city with so much happening. Public transportation is readily accessible and relatively inexpensive. On most of my weekends, I also traveled around to various Irish cities (Cork, Galway, Belfast) and was able to gain a great appreciation for the diversity of Irish culture, as well as an understanding of the political situation in Ireland.
I would highly recommend my experience here at Eurofound and would suggest that the 5C’s continue to send students here for internships. It truly is an opportunity of a lifetime.