Internship Diaries: European Parliament Part 2

Today’s post is second in a series following University of Richmond students through their internships this summer. To read about Luka Klimaviciute’s application process and more information about her internship, check out Internship Diaries: European Parliament Part 1.

A Typical Day of an Intern at the European Parliament

9:00 a.m. Start
10:00 a.m. Press review
12:00 p.m.  Lunch
1:30 p.m. Publication
3 p.m. Weekly work overview
5 p.m. Infograph
6 p.m. Finish

This would be the easiest way to describe a typical day of an intern at the European Parliament Information Office (EPIO) in Vilnius, yet the most inaccurate one. In a life of an intern at the EPIO, there are no “typical” days because during the short two months one gets to experience bits and pieces of each employee’s work, which ranges from scraping the mud off a huge puzzle to shaking the hand of the President of the European Parliament (EP).

Puzzle
Kids played with them during European Day and I got to clean them!

A great part of the work at the EPIO involves organizing events and delegation visits. Within the first ten minutes of my first day at work, a delegation of three members of the EP and the accompanying translators arrived at the office to meet with the representatives of work unions. For me and another intern, it meant greeting the guests, taking them from the conference rooms to our main office, carrying tables in and out of the meeting space, and setting up coffee breaks. Doesn’t sound too fancy? It isn’t, but as an intern you do get to observe the whole event planning process, starting with, for example, a videoconference with other information offices in half of the EU countries, and ending with seeing and learning politics live. You can then apply what you have learned during events such as the Europe Day, where I got to interact with the public and tell them a little about the activities of the EP.

One of the few routine tasks I do have at the EPIO is editing press reviews. A press review is a compilation of news summaries concerning the EP that a few private companies prepare and translate from Lithuanian to English before sending them to our office. My colleague then edits and forwards them to everyone in our local office and the one in Brussels. Because the translations are not entirely accurate – that  is where I come in, and it sure helps to be bilingual. Every morning I brush up my knowledge of current events while editing the translated reviews.

Family photo
Our whole staff with the EP President Martin Schulz (holding the ball).

What I enjoy the most as an intern is working with the various publications focused on the activities of the EP. The EPIO spreads information through its website, Facebook page, competitions, and publications. Currently, we are working on a short book which I had to critique in front of the professor who wrote it (yikes), and suggest some ideas for illustrations. In addition to preparing a few newsletters, I wrote an article about the Europe Day celebration, and suggested some ideas for our Infographs designed for a competition with a chance to win a trip to Brussels.

A typical day at the EPIO can sometimes be a long one, but it goes by fast if you find ways to do the things you like, learn and put your talents to work.

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