On this page, you will find reflections and opinions shared by former trainees on their traineeship experience.
The information is taken from satisfaction surveys conducted at the end of each traineeship session.
About the testimonials
Some former trainees decided to mention their name and DG where they were doing their traineeship, some have focused on their impressions without giving more details.
We fully respect their views and we are happy that they wanted to share their opinion with all of us. Thank you guys!
List of 37 trainees' testimonials
My Traineeship was an incredible opportunity that I would recommend to anyone interested in the EU.
Thanks to it I grew professionally, personally and learned to be a part of a dynamic team-oriented workplace. I´m really glad I applied and had the chance to experience work of one of the biggest international organisations first-hand. If you´re in doubt, go for it! It´s more than worth it.
The traineeship is not only a great opportunity to get insight on the functioning of EU, improve your work-related skills and build your professional network.
In this highly tolerant and multicultural environment you gain a special set of interpersonal skills and possibly even lifelong friendships.
The traineeship for me was a constant reminder of why I love Europe and gave me further motivation to keep working for it.
The best part of the traineeship was making connections across the institutions, and meeting wonderful people from all over Europe who were passionate about the future. So many will remain good friends or good acquaintances, and it's going to be plenty of fun visiting one another wherever we all end up!
It has been an excellent and rewarding experience. I have learnt a lot not only about the work of my unit but also the commission in general.
I am a scientist and I worked in EU funded research project. After that experience, I applied for the traineeship because I wanted to understand how the Commission works and how Horizon 2020 projects are evaluated and managed.
I wanted to break the veil of (un)communication and see what was on "the other side", that of the institutions.
The experience was great, my colleagues were eager to let me help, answer my questions and help me understand their work and the inner mechanism of the commission.
The EU traineeship offered an insight into the cultural magnificence of being a European and in the European Union.
We are blessed in the common values and freedom we all share. An amazing experience! Thanks!
An invaluable opportunity to experience the institutions from inside, to really understand how policy-making works, to get challenged professionally and ideologically, to meet incredible persons and gather new inspiration for potential paths to take.
Yes, all about the slow and expensive bureaucracy is true, and yes, so much could be improved, but as a project of peace, fundamental rights and solidarity the EU remains unparalleled.
This Traineeship is of course a great chance to learn how the European Commission works, how collaboration with other institutions is organised and how European policies are being shaped.
However, the most exciting aspect of these five months are people around - colleagues from the Commission and fellow trainees.
In my whole life I have never been among so many bright and intelligent people ready to share their experiences and knowledge! It was a unique, empowering and inspiring, environment.
"Time flies when you're having fun" one says. Well, the five-month Traineeship passed by really quickly. It is a great opportunity to work with people from all over Europe and beyond; to learn how the European institutions function in practice; and to develop skills you didn't know you had. And after work, there is still plenty of time to enjoy all the activities and events Brussels has to offer. A Traineeship at the European Commission, a stepping stone towards the future.
This Traineeship has been an opportunity to meet people with common interests and to find out more about the complexity and the diversity of the European Union. The friendships born here will last for a long time and I will forever cherish the memories made during these months.
The Traineeship was a challenging experience which definitely enhanced my abilities to be prepared for the job market and to know more about the EU.
I was able to put my academic knowledge in practice and create connections among like-minded people who have already established themselves in the field I wish to be part of. It was a great chance to prove myself and to continue my professional development.
The Blue Book Traineeship was a very rewarding experience. Not only did I gain valuable insight on how the European Institutions function, but I also got to work on cutting-edge issues of public policy and, on top of that, met amazing people I know I will be friends with for life. Best of both worlds!
My traineeship at DG BUDG offered a front row seat to all the functions of European Union. Budget is by itself a horizontal DG, while my unit on performance and mainstreaming is a horizontal of our DG. I gained detailed knowleadge about all 60 EU programmes, how they function, what they do and how and what is their purpose. Due to luck I also had my traineeship after election of new Commission, new Multianual budget, Brexit, Green New Deal. It really feels that EU is sailing with a fresh wind and I had an opportunity to be an active part in all of that.
After two previously unpaid internships, I consider this traineeship an example to follow for other organizations. Not only are you fairly paid, ensuring equal opportunities for all candidates, but you are also well integrated into the institutions and your unit, aiming to expose you as much as possible to the work of the Commission. Moreover, you are granted enough autonomy to proactively search for learning opportunities, be it through virtual EU Learn courses, lunch time lectures, conferences at other institutiones, or active participation at the Trainees Committee.
The best university I have attended. With the best teachers and the best classmates. I could not imagine, before coming here, that the Traineeship at the Commission was going to be so entertaininng. I learnt the functioning of this institution and its structure by living it every day for (unfortunately only) five months. I had the pleasure to participate to the designing stage of the European Green Deal. An experience I will surely tell to my grandchildren when they will (hopefully) live in a environmental friendly Europe.
My months as a Blue Book Trainee at the European Commission has been one of the best time periods of my life. The combination of gaining valuable experience in competition advocacy while meeting new friends from all over Europe is hard to beat.
When I came to DG CONNECT I was already excited for the experience to come.
What I didn't know at the time was that the 5 following months would be one of the most interesting periods of my professional career so far. I learned a lot while actively contributing to the work of my Unit, developed my skills and got valuable insight of the Commission's work in many different matters. Definitely recommend it!
Being a theoretical physicist, I came from an uncommon background to the traineeship. However, it was an extremely enriching experience, and I loved every moment. I enlarged my perspective and understanding of the European Union, and I developed useful skills outside my area of expertise. And most of all, it was fun!
This experience has really changed my life.
I didn't only get to see how the day-to-day work is done by translators at the Commission, but I also got to know a lot of new friends from all over Europe.
You grow as a person and if you want you can travel around in a beautiful part of Europe. Be engaged in the activities and enjoy - it's an experience of a life time!
As a non-EU citizen, it was an amazing opportunity for me to be selected for the Traineeship, something I could only have dreamt of. I soaked up as much information about the functioning of the Commission and other EU institutions as possible. Seeing how experienced Commission members (from different levels) deal with challenging situations was inspiring. When I started I expected to be the person to make photocopies and carry files. I am very glad to be able to say: I was wrong!
What I liked the most about my traineeship was the family atmosphere I have been working in. The traineeship at the European Commission helped me to get to know the values and objectives of the European Union.
As a non-EU national, I am very grateful to the Commission for this amazing experience.
This is absolutely life changing experience, definitely best in my life!
To justify my opinion, I need to start with the dark time of applying, when I was unemployed first in UK, then in Poland, feeling miserable and looking for an opportunity to change my live and move abroad again. And I honestly thought that the Commission doesn't need someone like me - with photography, graphic and journalists background, which I did trying to find my career path. Then I got in, left Poland (even though I was scared of flying and didn't know a person in Brussels).
It was an incredible experience to go straight from university to the highest level of the Commission, gaining a genuine insight into processes, a daily contact with people and access to events that had all seemed so unattainable before.
This experience allowed me to contribute to the programmes that I had previously been the beneficiary of, like Erasmus+ and EVS and it was a great to experience that my views and ideas were taken just as seriously as that of my colleagues.
My Traineeship in Luxembourg as a trainee translator has been an amazing and surprising experience.
I learned a lot and I had the chance to improve my skills as well as develop new ones. I would certainly recommend it to students and young professionals.
The European Union has so much to offer and this opportunity is one of the greatest for young people!
Blue Book Traineeship at the European Commission is a terrific opportunity to understand how EU's unique institutional set-up works, connect with people from all over the world, and develop valuable skills for any future career path. I was integrated well into the Unit, given a lot of responsibility and worked closely with the other EU institutions and EU Delegation. In the end of the traineeship, we were a few trainees who travelled to one of the Neighbourhood and Enlargement Policy countries to see what the EU office and other international organisations are doing on the ground.
It was one single, unique, and unrepeatable opportunity to learn what working in a European Union office is really like!
I strongly advise anyone who is curious about whether to pursue a career at the EU or not to apply for it!
I had the possibility to contribute to the implementation of the EU-China Tourism Year, initiative which will improve mutual understanding between Chinese and Europeans and will stimulate new investment opportunities.
Thanks to my experience at the European Commission and my mission to Venice for the opening event of the year, I was able to perceive the direct impact this project had both on private sector and on public one
I had a unique opportunity to work on Knowledge Alliances projects focusing on university-business cooperation within the Erasmus+ programme.
Previously having experience on working with Erasmus+ projects in NGO sector, the traineeship provided me a valuable insight to view the Erasmus+ programme from the 'insider' perspective.
The 5 months are what you make of them, but you will definitely not regret them. You make friends from all over Europe and beyond, exploring together what it means to be a European public servant. You take on many responsibilities and make a contribution to European policy making by applying your specific background to real world problems concerning over 500 million Europeans. One of the most rewarding experiences of my life!
A traineeship in DGT means literally a full-time job in translation. If you don't know if translation suits you, you will find out here. Anyway, there comes a moment in this "unrepeatable experience" when you find out what you want to do further, what defines you the most. This traineeship invites you and makes you leave your comfort zone. Même pour ça, ça vaut le coup!
Working at EASME has been the perfect chance to thrive as a professional.
Being in contact with highly specialised experts in a multifaceted and stimulating environment is what I learnt to value the most.
I refined my skills, experienced the Institutional life and enriched myself thanks to my welcoming colleagues: it was definitely an uplifting experience.
The traineeship at the European Commission was enriching in numerous ways, including responsibility and involvement from day one on, experiencing the EU bubble from the inside and friendships for life.
The Blue Book Traineeship is like an Erasmus semester - just with less party and more work. I still recommend it!
It is fantastic to work in such multi-cultural environment, to speak three languages at the same time (Spanish, English and French), to try to understand the way of thinking of people with different principles and different ways of getting things done. No way, you should learn to adapt.
These five months gave me a deep understanding of what is Europe and what is to be European. For me, it is quite new feeling as I was grown up in Central Asia.
Thank you for this opportunity / Merci / Gracias
My traineeship was one of the best experiences that I had so far. It was also eye-opening in professional terms and even life-changing!
Even though I was based outside of the "European Bubble" and did my traineeship at a Representation of the European Commission, I still got a valuable insight into the Commission's work and definitely gained new knowledge, developped new skills and met great people along the way who I now call friends.
I am grateful to have been given an opportunity to do a traineeship at the European Commission as it allowed me to contribute to the work which I believe is meaningful and vital for the lives of people across Europe and beyond.
After ending up in an agency rather than the DG I applied for, I am proof that this doesn't matter at all - you can still learn so much, including about yourself, and there are so many ways to get involved in the life of the EU and the Commission outside of work hours.
Overall, this was a fantastic opportunity, and 5 months has flown by.