My name is Eva and I have been interning at FMS as a 'democracy' intern since February. I completed my bachelor's degree in International Studies with a focus on Russia and Eurasia at Leiden University. Recently, I graduated with an MSc. in Political Science: International Politics. In addition, I am currently writing my thesis for my second master's in International Relations: Global Conflict in the Modern Era. Because of my fascination with international politics and human rights, I decided to apply for the democracy internship. Here I had the chance to expand my knowledge about Russia and Eurasia and get to know a relatively new region for me; the MENA region. Would you also like to do an internship at the FMS? Then take a look at all vacancies here!
What does a typical day at the FMS look like for you?
I actually start my day by 'making a tour' of all Eastern European, Balkan and MENA countries where the FMS is active to see if there have been any political developments that may not always be covered in the mainstream media, but are very relevant to our work. If something politically relevant has happened (think of the fall of a cabinet but also LGBTI or women's rights violations), I write an article about it for the European Forum. On the European Forum website, we not only post articles but also Country Updates on the countries in which we operate. We update these Country Updates whenever there has been a political change.
Besides writing articles and updating the Country Updates, I also contribute to writing the European Forum Newsflash. I put this Newsflash together and send it every fortnight to everyone who has signed up to receive it. It is a kind of newsletter where all politically relevant news from 22 different countries is collected together. Speaking of newsletters, as a 'democracy' intern you also help compile and send out the monthly FMS newsletter!
Furthermore, I also help organise FMS activities at home and abroad. For example, I helped organise the 'exchange of training experiences' training where people from different international organisations came together to share their experiences of organising trainings for political activists. These trainings vary widely in topic. Sometimes it is about how to campaign more effectively during elections or about increasing the capacity of an organisation, and sometimes it is about exchanging knowledge as during the 'exchange of training experiences' training.
Recently, we also started a new initiative called 'Country of the Week'. Here we put one country in the spotlight every week and explain who our partner is, how we work with them and give interesting facts and useful information about that country. So there is no one same day at FMS, but they are all a lot of fun!
What did you learn that you will take away for your future job?
I learnt a lot during my internship at FMS. First of all, I gained a lot of new skills. For example, where before I was only used to writing academic texts, I am now also at home writing news articles. In addition, I learned to be even more organised. Because of coronagraphs, I had to work from home for most of my internship, where it was sometimes difficult to distinguish between work and home. Furthermore, not only did I learn how an organisation like FMS operates, but I gained more insight on how work is done in the political world.
What did you remember most from your internship at FMS?
What I remember most is how friendly everyone was right from the start at FMS and how I felt part of the team from day one. I really participated as a full member of the team and had a lot of responsibility right from the start. I was also given the opportunity to come up with my own ideas for an article, for example. If I saw a nice event that I wanted to attend, I could just do so. One of my articles was even published by one of the partners! Everyone at FMS really listens to you and that has made my internship time a really great time! Would you also like to have such an experience? Then sign up soon!