On March 15, the IE School of Global and Public Affairs hosted their fifth professional skills workshop. This EU masterclass was led by Carlos Gil Soriano, co-founder and chief knowledge officer of Yepso! Yepso! is a social enterprise that aims to “democratize access to job opportunities in the European Union,” as Soriano explained. This is primarily achieved by helping people pass the EU competition, a competitive exam the EU uses to select candidates.

In the workshop, Soriano outlined how IE students can become full-fledged, permanent EU officials. The speaker focused on giving students hope, showing that this daunting task is indeed possible. To do so, he broke down the “marathon” of applying for a job in the EU into smaller steps, highlighting the importance of the EU competitions. “[When I signed up,] I saw that there was no methodology to prepare for the EU competitions,” Soriano later told The Stork. This was the issue that led to Yepso!’s foundation, after Soriano’s two years working for the EU.

The speaker introduced attendees to the different EU institutions, encouraging them to apply for traineeships in any of them. When asked for advice on motivational letters, Soriano stated “the company doesn’t care about you, […] express what [you] will give to the company.” The speaker also reminded students of general requirements to work in the EU, such as EU citizenship, and fluency in at least one EU language.

Later on in the workshop, Soriano challenged the attendees to answer some EU competition questions. The students seemed to react favorably to this, as most of them could answer correctly without ever having prepared for this exam. Soriano then rode this wave of hope, encouraging students not to be afraid. He compared preparing for the EU competitions to getting back in shape; consistency is key, but, “if you push yourself too hard one day, you’ll harm yourself.” He also stated that, “usually, only 20% of applicants actually prepare [for the examination].”

The speaker also advised students to finish their studies before applying to the EU, given that the institution values decorated curriculums. In the meantime, students should participate in social movements, as the EU appreciates applicants with values that align with theirs. Moreover, students can look for traineeships. As Soriano explained, this could entail writing to a particular MEP (Member of European Parliament), expressing genuine interest in a policy they fight for, and asking how to help. According to the speaker, this provides more traineeships than one might expect.

For any readers interested in experienced help in applying for a job in the EU, feel free to visit www.yepso.eu, or write to info@yepso.eu. Soriano also stated that he is happy to answer any and all questions by IE students on his LinkedIn profile.

Featured image by: Yepso!

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