November started with pink waffles in Bruges and ended with a Christmas Parade. All in all, a very good month. As uneventful as an office job might seem, I am happy to report that was not the case for me. Although my placement might have started off rather slowly, the pace quickly picked up and November saw me travelling to Helsinki, organising a conference and leading an outreach project aimed at the Members of the European Parliament.
In my wrong mind
I was lucky enough to be working with a group which was meeting in Helsinki. Not only were the meetings out of the office very interesting, but they also made it easier to network with other members. Travelling with the organisation gave me not only the ability to understand what business trips are truly like, but also the opportunity to visit places not open to the public such as the historical House of Estates building, where some of the official government meetings still take place.
Intern of all trades
The High-Level Conference, which involved Members of European Parliament, speakers from outside of Europe and plenty of guests, certainly stole the spotlight and most of my time that month. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I not only contributed to it in terms of my policy work but also took part in the logistics side of things. Though it might not seem exciting to many, this turn of events made me realise how satisfying event-planning is to me personally. Though that part of the job was not really covered within my responsibilities, I am truly glad I was able to take on the opportunity and gain the experience in all aspects of organising a big event.
EP’s got Mail
The most energy and brain-capacity consuming activity though was the European Parliament (EP) Outreach, which was a project I got to see from the concept phase through to the distribution in the EP. I got to work with the art designer, select the relevant MEPs to contact, help design the project website, assemble the kits and the distribute them in the parliament as well. As fun as it was to watch this baby-project of mine grow, the size of it (creating 237 kits, each specifically addressed to an MEP and a corresponding website and many more boring-sounding aspects) meant that the whole staff of the office got involved. This was what made this project so special and the time spent on it absolutely worth it. Apparently, even such mundane things like assembling boxes and putting them in pigeon-holes can be great fun when accompanied by the right people.
November was a month of over-time, stress and tight deadlines. November was a month full of satisfaction, team-building and professional growth. November has been a truly exciting month that not only allowed me to visit my favourite city again, but also to thrive in my organisational and statistical skills. November was definitely the high point of my placement.