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Personal insight: Oskar Gehrmann

Traineeship in the heart of Europe

For the past few months I had the opportunity to complete a voluntary internship for the Brussels office of the European Member of Parliament, Dr. Christian Ehler. When I applied, I expected to complement and reinforce my theoretical knowledge, accumulated during my political studies, with real-life experience.

With hindsight, I can say that reality surpassed my expectations. Thanks to the internship I received insights into how the European Union works. The varied work of the Member of Parliament and his team was particularly interesting. No day was the same, no week was like another. Even though I mainly dealt with energy and research subjects, I was also able to get interesting insights into other topics.

As Dr. Ehler is involved in many areas, his schedule is meticulously planned. So, it is particularly stressful when the Member of Parliament is at his Brussels’ office and not in Brandenburg or Strasbourg. The ‘Brussels weeks’ were challenging and meant long working hours. However, they showed me that I am able to work in a fast-paced environment and in particular, that, as an intern, I can already contribute a bit to the work of the EU.
Contrary to many other interns in the European Parliament, we were encouraged to participate in as many external events on behalf of the office as possible, which made my work even more exciting and varied. Nevertheless, it was challenging for me to be by far the youngest person at every event. However, I would say that my communication skills have improved considerably thanks to the many events I attended, and that these challenges have helped me grow.

During my 10-week internship in Brussels, it was also great to work with the other interns. As the work and challenges we faced were the same, we very quickly formed a group, despite our very different personalities and backgrounds. I miss our discussions at lunch, or the exchange of opinions formed during many evening functions at different embassies.

To do an internship at the European Parliament was the best decision I have made so far.

Thanks to the diversity of the topics, the many external events, my active participation in the day-to-day running of the EU, the numerous challenges, and the new friendships I have made, my expectations were surpassed. The experience gained during my very diverse internship will help me for my Master’s application, and it has also shown me that I would like to work in politics. Last but not least, those 10 weeks have contributed to my personal growth. In conclusion, I would like to thank all the staff and other interns for an intense and exciting period of my life.

Oskar Gehrmann, Potsdam