Vittoria Mondini, B&BBO EU Affairs Intern and University of Bath Sociology student, has come to the end of her internship with the office.
Vittoria joined the office in March 2021 and worked with Paul Davies to raise the profile of the University and it's partners in Brussels, to support the University's European relationships and to provide intelligence on European developments and activity.
As she has come to the end of her placement, Vittoria reflects on her time in Brussels:
"I have been very lucky to be able to move and work abroad in such an uncertain time in history. As part of my placement year, I have worked as EU Affairs Intern for the Bristol & Bath Brussels Office for six months. My role there consisted mainly in supporting and representing the Office’s partners in Europe, with a specific focus on my home institution’s - the University of Bath - activities in Europe. The placement has fulfilled my expectations of further understanding the functioning of the European political landscape as well as the huge impact that its decision-making process holds on society and its various organisations.
I have actively contributed to the broad range of services that the Office provides to the University, including supporting the Placements Department in researching new placement opportunities, undertaking a research project to help the Doctoral Admissions and Recruitment Team to understand trends in the European Doctoral market, and helped identifying the best opportunities for Bath in terms of joining the European Universities Initiative. I have also regularly attended and reported on relevant EU events on potential EU funding opportunities such as Horizon Europe, and shared intelligence on Brexit-related updates about the UK potential exclusion or participation in certain EU programmes.
I really enjoyed working in a small team as it gave me the opportunity to fully engage with all of the Office’s activities and related partners. This also meant that I had to get out of my comfort zone and engage in activities that I had never practiced before. I am referring especially to IT related actives such as social media, creating video content and editing websites. Despite it being a small team, I have had the chance to work regularly with the Office’s partners teams, including the IRO team at the University. This gave me the opportunity to look at different approaches in terms of making a team work, which enriched my organisational and interpersonal skills. Undertaking a research project for the University’s Doctoral Admissions and Recruitment team has allowed me conduct a survey which was circulated by email, with the help of the Department of Development and Alumni, to a group of European alumni, receiving more than 200 replies. This was a valuable experience which I am sure I will benefit from when writing my research-based dissertation for final year.
Finally, I would like to share a short reflection on living in Brussels. Despite the persistent Covid impact, I arrived in Belgium when restrictions started easing. This meant that I was able to visit all the city’s sites, including a visit to the Parliament and the Museum of European History, as well as to access shops and pubs to enjoy the delicious selection of Belgian chocolates and beers. To make up for these little whims, Brussels luckily offers many beautiful and spacious parks to go running! Working abroad in such a delicate historic moment makes me feel very lucky and marks this as an experience that I will never forget."
Vittoria has been a fabulous asset to the wider International Relations Office team. We are very grateful for her diligent and hard work, and we wish her the best of luck in her continued studies.