Career Destinations and Profiles

Maurits Meijers

"After having completed the MSc European Studies: Ideas, Ideologies and Identities degree, I was accepted as a PhD candidate at the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies. This is a joint programme of the Free University Berlin, the Hertie School of Governance and the Social Science Centre Berlin. The fact that I obtained my degree from such a prestigious institute such as LSE’s European Institute has without a doubt facilitated my acceptance to the PhD programme. Moreover, the multidisciplinary character of the Ideas and Identities programme allowed me to join a graduate school which specialises in political science without having completed an earlier political science degree. The guidance and advice I received from my supervisor whilst writing the MSc dissertation has prepared me well for crafting the research design of my PhD dissertation. In my PhD research I focus on the impact of far right and far left challenger parties on the positioning of mainstream parties on European integration matters.  All in all it is safe to say that my year at the European Institute has had a profound impact on my career so far."
Alumnus 2011-2012
Picture: courtesy of Hertie School of Governance/Magriet Cruywagen.

Ingrid Kylstad

Ingrid Kylstad"Before my dissertation was handed in, and months before the final results were out, the academic experiences I had made during my year at the LSE studying for an MSc in European Studies: Ideas, Ideologies and Identities helped me secure an internship at the Norwegian embassy in Berlin. Coming from a European country that is not a member of the EU, I have always been aware of the fact that Europe is so much more than just the EU. Ideas and Identities is a program that argues that understanding the EU is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for understanding European politics and societies. This approach I believe is what makes the degree so relevant for anyone aspiring to work with European affairs, one way or the other – and what makes Ideas and Identities graduates relevant for a wide range of employers. Upon graduating from the European Institute in 2009, I had my eyes set on Brussels and the European affairs community. Shortly after concluding my internship in Berlin, I got the chance to move to Brussels to work for a Norwegian EU affairs consultancy. My work includes policy monitoring, political consulting, lobby campaigns and running EU training projects for EU candidate countries in the Western Balkans. In short, my job is diverse and requires the kind of integrated, interdisciplinary thinking that Ideas and Identities taught me. Fundamentally, the year at the European Institute gave me the confidence to think independently about Europe, and the encouragement to also look beyond the EU for clues as to what Europe can be. The combined effect of the reputation of the LSE and the curriculum choices I made helps explain why I was able to get to where I wanted to be upon graduating.

Another important factor is the LSE alumni network. It is something you do not really appreciate until you graduate, but then you come to realize the strength of it. LSE alumni are everywhere, and can be great door openers. In short, Ideas and Identities is a great choice for anyone interested in working with European politics, but who does not want to be limited to working with EU affairs only. And a final piece of advice: talk to prospective employers about your course choices; give them a quick tour of your dissertation, show enthusiasm, connect with alumni – in combination with the strong reputation of the LSE, it will eventually get you the job you want."
Alumna 2008-2009

Vanessa Spencer

Vanessa Spencer

"The MSc in European Studies allowed me to become proficient in a wide range of topics that I further explored once I completed my degree. Having decided to obtain work experience in the areas I'd felt the most interested in while at LSE, I undertook traineeships at the Portuguese Embassy in Paris, Amnesty International's International Secretariat and the European Commission. At the latter, I was an External Relations DG (RELEX) trainee during the period of establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS), where I collaborated on the creation of the new institution, witnessing first-hand the challenges posed by such a key and controversial step towards further European integration.

In New Delhi, I volunteered at Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, where I contributed towards two major reports (the OHCHR Universal Periodic Review report and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting report on National Human Rights Institutions), and I worked for Swechha – We for Change Foundation, as Senior Programme and Communications Coordinator. In Timor-Leste, I was a Cooperation Officer with the Portuguese development cooperation agency, at the Portuguese Embassy in Dili, where I oversaw the implementation of the cooperation projects, represented the Government of Portugal in high-level technical and political events and meetings, and drafted and coordinated the adoption of the Portugal - Timor-Leste Strategic Programme of Cooperation 2014-2016.

I am currently the Chief of the Executive Secretariat of former President of the Republic and Prime-Minister and current Minister Counsellor and Minister of Strategic Planning and Investment, H. E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, who I assist in the definition and implementation of government priorities, policies and programmes."
Alumna 2008-2009

Janek Lasocki

Janek Lasocki"After LSE I went to Brussels as a trainee for five months in the European Commission. Whilst studying for my European Studies: Ideas, Ideologies and Identities degree, I took courses on EU institutions, the process of transition and EU accession, as well as transitional justice in former Yugoslavia. Whilst studying Studies: Ideas Identities degree, I took courses institutions, process transition EU accession, transitional justice in former Yugoslavia. All of these prepared me well for work in the Commission on Enlargement policy in the Western Balkans and Turkey, where my responsibilities included reporting on foreign affairs committees in the European Parliament. This exposure to policy making put me in good stead to start work at Chatham House on the Russia & Eurasia Programme, first as an intern then freelance researching and preparing events. I am now at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in London."
Alumnus 2007-2008

Liz Spaulding

LizSpauldingCareerprofile"After graduating with my MSc in European Identities in 2007, I backpacked around South East Asia for three months. I then returned to London to work in various capacities, before deciding to move back to New York in August 2009. After freelancing and doing some contract PR work, I found myself in the film industry here in NYC, first with a job to work in marketing for an independent film distributor, Tribeca Film, and now doing Marketing & Communications for the NYC Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment. At Tribeca Film I conceptualized and executed on marketing campaigns for independent feature length films in the US, including their theatrical, VOD, digital and DVD releases. At the Mayor's Office I help to foster the thriving film & television industry here in New York, through managing marketing incentives for productions to film here, as well as organize career panels, community screenings of New York productions, and generally promoting what has become a 7.1 Billion dollar industry which employs over 130,000 New Yorkers annually. I love my job, and never expected to be able to work in the film industry, and so for that opportunity I'm truly grateful.

My time and what I learned from LSE has been most helpful in my past and current jobs for the international and analytical perspective it provided me. The European Institute helped me further develop my skills for seeing many sides to a situation, to eloquently and succinctly articulate my ideas, and to be fearless about speaking up in meetings. Although my degree does not have direct relevance to the industry or work I do currently, I have yet to have an interview in which the interviewer did not ask me about my time at LSE and my course of study. The LSE, and the European Institute by extension of that, is a brand that is internationally recognised for excellence, even in the most unlikely of fields, such as motion pictures and film."
Alumna 2006-2007