Master’s degree in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research - Tampere University, Finland
I decided to apply for CSD, because I am interested in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, and I want to gain better understanding of what sort of effects corruption has on these countries. I was accepted as an intern in the economic program at the CSD, and initially I was slightly worried how well I could do, since my academic background had very little to do with economics. However, that fear was unfounded as the tasks I were given did not require in-depth knowledge of economics. I was given tasks covering a wide range of topics, and I researched for instance informal economy in Western Balkans, Nordic labour union acts against informal economy, and the best existing anti-corruption measures in Europe. I also attended several events and trainings organized by the CSD, and learned a lot about corruption, informal economy, and foreign media influence in Europe.
My internship at the CSD allowed me to learn more about topics that I had been interested in for a long time but that did not fit into my university curriculum. I gained valuable working experience, made connections with other interns, and enjoyed exploring Bulgaria immensely. The things I learned as a part of the internship, the trips organized by the CSD for us interns, as well as the friends I made during my stay in Sofia will stay with me for a long time even after my time at the CSD came to an end. The CSD staff is very supportive and friendly, and I am very happy that I took the risk to travel to Sofia even though the pandemic made things somewhat more challenging. Thank you!