GUEST BLOG: An international career with EU Careers

UoY Careers Balloon illy Guest Blog written by Oscar Stenbom, EU Careers Ambassador at the University of York

If you are thinking about a graduate programme that will lead to an international career in an interesting and multinational environment then EU Careers could well be the right choice for you.

In this blog, I’ll briefly cover the attractiveness of a career in the institutions of the European Union and why both the European Personnel Selection Office (ESPO) and the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office are so keen on getting UK applicants. Lastly I will outline further steps in the application process, which opens on the 19th of March.

EU Careers is the central graduate recruitment scheme for all the EU’s main institutions and bodies. The roles offered are incredibly broad; backgrounds in administration, law, finance, economics, communication and science are all welcome. The possible roles you could be offered include playing a role in the EU’s legislative process (for example, taking part in trade negotiations), managing a scientific research programme or doing translating/interpreting. You will generally have to be willing to live in Brussels, where the University graduate entry level salary of £38,000 will get you far more than anything in London (and a 40 hour working week). A vibrant and exciting working environment is a given, and the opportunities to progress your career are broad. Follow this link to discover more.

The application process is one and the same for all graduate roles; it involves a standard application and online test which is followed by an assessment centre and final interviews. The competition is tough as applications are open to all European citizens, but there is a huge demand for UK applicants. That is because UK citizens are massively underrepresented in EU institutions, and the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) along with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s advice is that candidates with native English skills will be highly regarded. The catch is the language requirements; you must speak one of the working languages of the EU (French, English or German) along with any other of the EU’s official languages. The application process is split between your ‘first’ and ‘second’ language. That means you must be able to use your weaker language well enough to pass a basic online assessment to then be able to use your native language at the assessment centre. Do not be deterred if you have rusty GCSE/A-level language skills; there is plenty of support available to help you pass the online tests. Check out the guide, and if you have questions about the language requirements or need support for the online tests get in touch.

So if you feel like you’re willing to take a big step in your future career with one of the highest rated graduate employers (ranked 4th by the Guardian in 2013/14), in a challenging and rewarding international environment then EU Careers should definitely be on your mind.

For more info see our homepage and the University of York’s EU Careers Facebook page.

Get in touch with me personally at if you have any questions, especially to do with the online questionnaire as I can send you a practice test.

Good luck!