Interviews

"Being an EU Careers ambassador gives you a foot in the door if you're looking to work with European institutions"

 Photo: UOC

Photo: UOC

12/12/2019
Marian Antón
Pol Martínez, Political Analysis student and EPSO EU careers ambassador

 

Did you know that one of our students at the UOC is an EU ambassador? His job is to publicize professional opportunities at the European Union and act as a point of reference for UOC students who want more information about the EU institution selection processes. His name is Pol Martnez Boada and we sat down to talk with him to find out a bit more about his role.

 

How did you find out about the EPSO EU Careers Ambassadors Programme?

I heard about it through the UOC. It stood out to me as a very good opportunity.

What made you put yourself forward for it?

I've got a bachelor's degree in Tourism and my professional experience is very much related to the tourism sector. But I'm now studying on the master's degree programme in Political Analysis, which is a very different experience. I thought that taking part in this programme would help me focus my career more towards the political sciences.

And you were right. What was it like? Have you received any training or special information so far?

First of all the UOC called me and told me I'd been chosen to start the selection process for the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO). When the EU selected me as the successful candidate, they contacted me via email. Up until now I've received information about vacancies for specific positions, announcements about various internship selection processes that are starting and a lot of information about civil service entrance exams (the so-called oposiciones, in Spain).

What does your job involve?

I basically receive information from the European Union and my job is to distribute it, whether that's over social media or by organizing talks and webinars or participating in certain events. It's sometimes more general information regarding the EU, or it could be more specific, about professional opportunities on offer and what the UOC's selection processes are like. So, I'm like a middle man.

How much time to you dedicate to this role per week?

It's difficult to say, exactly. Some weeks I have a lot of meetings and tasks that need organizing, and others I don't hear anything from them or have any events or activities planned. In any case, it's not a hugely time-consuming job and it's very flexible.

Are you happy with the support you get from the University?

I'm very happy. In fact, having spoken with EU Careers ambassadors from other universities, they are surprised by just how much support the UOC gives me. It's an insight that the majority of the ambassadors have shared with me and for which I am extremely grateful, especially to Diana Fora and Carles Rocadembosch from UOC's Career Services and Alumni.

050-pol-martinez-grup

You've also had the chance to attend events around Europe with the other ambassadors, is that right?

Yes, I took part in a two-day event with the other European ambassadors at the end of September. They were able to help contextualize the work we do and give us tools to help carry it out. In actual fact the weekend was more like a networking event for all the ambassadors from different countries, as well as being aimed at strengthening EU sentiment. It was a great experience and I enjoyed it very much.

How do you think this job could enhance your CV?

I think the fact of having been chosen for a role so closely related with the European Union will give strengthen my CV a lot. As I mentioned before, it will help me take my career in a new direction.

What would you say to the students who are thinking about applying for the next candidacy?

Que no ho dubtin! s una gran experincia en tots els sentits, tant en l'mbit personal com en el professional. A escala professional, bviament, fas molts contactes, aprens moltssim i millores el currculum. Per, de la mateixa manera, tamb et relaciones amb molta gent que t'omple personalment i vius experincies que t'ensenyen molt com a persona.

Go for it! It's a fantastic experience on all levels, both personal and professional. Professionally speaking, of course, you meet so many new people, you learn a great deal and it's really impressive experience to have on your CV. But at the same time, you meet a lot of people who help you grow on a personal level, and experience things that teach you a lot about yourself and others.

One of the most fascinating benefits of being an EU Careers ambassador is that it gives you a foot in the door if you're thinking of working with European institutions, which is no easy feat. It means you're right there on the front line. That's why I always recommend it to anyone who wants to end up working for the EU in the future.

What do you think about the Government of Catalonia's support for the EPSO EU Careers Ambassadors initiative, with its UNICAT ambassadors programme?

I think it's yet another example of how Catalan people have always been, and will always be, committed to the European project. The fact that they're taking the initiative to launch a programme of this nature demonstrates Catalonia's intention to be present and have an influential role in Europe. It also, personally, very helpful for my work and has given me the opportunity to reach many more people more directly and with a more valuable message.