Thursday, January 30, 2014

Planning your future: SAIS Europe students visit London and Brussels

For many SAIS Europe students, last week's semester break was a chance to explore career options in London and Brussels.

Forty students traveled to the capitals to visit 16 companies and organizations, and to meet alumni.
Here is a list of the firms and organizations.

The trips are one way Career Services helps students plan their futures after SAIS, which as a professional school takes its responsibilities seriously.
From London ...
Samantha Witte was one of the 20 students on the London trip. "The trip introduced us to potential employers, gave us insights into new industries and informed our future career decisions," Witte said.

In London the firms included Business Monitor International, which provides financial analysis and consulting services; IHS, which includes political risk in their consulting activities; Kroll, which specializes in business intelligence such as cyber-security, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, with a focus on renewable energy.
Power meal

Witte said the students gained "fantastic insights" into large-scale development banking (EBRD) and research institutes (International Institute for Strategic Studies). Five SAIS alumni hosted students at the London companies, and graduates also organized an informal reception the first evening.

"Through our interactions with employees and SAIS alumni during the formal meetings and informal sessions we got a sense of the truly vibrant and diverse working environment that London has to offer," Witte said.

The highlight of the trip for Witte? "Having 20 regional experts summarize the most important global political risks of the last 24 hours in 10 minutes," she said.

"And of course enjoying tea and cookies with a hidden but glorious view of the London Eye riverside."

ZoĆ© Campiglia was on the Brussels trip, which included visits to eight institutions and firms ranging from the European Parliament and the European External Action Service to think tanks Bruegel and the European Policy Center, non-profit organizations such as the International Crisis Group and Burson Marsteller, the global communications and PR giant.
... to Brussels
Campiglia said the formal presentations were just part of the learning experience. "The on-site nature of the trip enabled us to directly and more informally share our questions and concerns with experienced professionals. We now have a better understanding not only of their daily activities but also what it entails to live in the so-called 'Brussels bubble,'" she said.

Four SAIS alumni welcomed students at the visits, and one alumna hosted a reception with students and members of the Belgian Alumni Chapter on the final evening of the trip.

Campiglia said amid the whirlwind of meetings, there was time to visit the "charming" European capital. Her tip? "Try the Belgian chocolates."

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