Many might see the European Union as just one big law-making machine. We have all heard of the European Union but can’t place a name or face to the institution. Well, interning inside the European Parliament has given me several names to associate with this mega union. There are several people behind the scenes who allow parliament to tick, and most of them are purely there for their love of country.
I found myself working with the office of MEP (member of parliament) Francis Zammit Dimech from Malta. Malta is a tiny island country, which I along with most other people had never heard about before. The first day I stepped in the office, my supervisor Karl greeted me. Within the first five minutes I could tell Karl loved his job and loved his country. He gave me a speech about what it meant to be Maltese to him, and how he wants to betters his home country, especially with the current Maltese political environment (the current government has had several cases of corruption to say the least). I was assigned different research topic related to Malta such as environmental protection, media pluralism, health care, etc. that I had to write briefing notes on. I, personally, want to go into think tank work, so this was right up my alley. Every time I gave my briefing report to my MEP, he would sit down and have a small casual conversation about the topic with me. I really got to know his perspective on the matters.
All in all, it was a research intensive internship for me, which helped me to develop valuable skills highly sought after by employers or colleges. I made some really good connections here in Brussels, while also getting to explore the continent of Europe. Europe is such a different place than the U.S. My main take away from this trip is that the world is so much bigger than just the U.S. I come from Memphis, Tennessee, and I only know the south for the most part. There are so many different things to explore outside of the south, outside of the U.S! Don’t get too wrapped up in your comfortable bubble; dare to see the world (without sounding too cliché).
Jade Pearce, Furman University (Brussels, Spring 2018)