Today’s post comes from Luka Klimaviciute, ’16, who was awarded a UR Summer Fellowship to provide funding for her to pursue an internship this summer. Stay tuned for continued posts about Luka’s summer experience at the European Parliament.
“DONE, I’m done,” were the only thoughts in my head as I snatched my diploma from the headmaster. Happy to have finally completed my high school career, I wanted a break from work, boarding school routine, and people I had seen every day for the last three years. After a week at a music festival in Sweden – my graduation gift to myself worth all my savings, I was looking forward to engaging in little to none intellectual activity for the next two and a half months.
After a week of “chilling,” however, I started feeling bored. Nobody was finally making me work, but my diploma was a constant reminder that I was given a chance to do something more, and now I was letting that chance go.
My friends, in the meantime, were taking language courses abroad, working in their hometowns, and my friend Keiana told me she was interning at J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. An internship. I couldn’t imagine that anybody would accept a high school grad to a position with real responsibility. Obviously, I was wrong. I promised myself to never waste another summer, and quickly started looking for opportunities.
As a future International Relations major, and a European citizen, I started at the top of the pyramid: the European Parliament (EP). To my surprise, the EP was accepting a wide range of trainees: from high school graduates to Communications or Political Science professionals.
As the first year at Richmond rolled in, I listened to my Orientation Advisor’s advice to visit Career Services, where the advisors helped me create a resume and secure a student job. Eventually, Career Services held a talk on applying for internships. Not only did they assure me that first-year students were able to find internships, but they also told me about funding opportunities. Now I had no excuses to slack off: if I found an internship, the university would help me cover my living expenses, and, perhaps, I would even be able to earn something on top.
I hurried back to the EP Traineeships website, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament/en/007cecd1cc/Traineeships.html, and filled out an application for a general unpaid traineeship. Since I was considering both diplomacy and journalism as potential career paths, I listed External Policies or Communication as departments I would like to work in. A few months later, an e-mail arrived, congratulating me on a placement in Directorate General for Communication in the European Parliament Information Office in Vilnius, Lithuania. Not only did I get an internship, but the University of Richmond awarded me a UR Summer Fellowship to pursue this opportunity. I am currently living in the capital of my home country, working at the EU! I can’t wait to see how this summer unfolds.