Dual BA in European Social and Political Studies at Sciences Po Paris and University College London
I interned in the Sociological Program at the Center for Study of Democracy (CSD) in Sofia this summer on a hybrid basis, working remotely from London and onsite in Sofia for one month. I would describe my time at the CSD as an enriching, eye-opening, yet challenging experience. As soon as I arrived, I was assigned a variety of tasks that ranged from informational social media post design, to conducting research, drafting project proposals or project concept notes and writing blogposts. The topics I covered revolved around the shrinking democratic space in Bulgaria, minority rights, women’s empowerment, online gender-based disinformation and gender inequalities. In addition, I also attended several online events organised by project partners or research institutes linked to the themes I was working on. I really enjoyed the flexibility and trust I was given by my supervisor as I never felt pressured while completing tasks. This definitely contributed to shaping a high-quality working environment.
Working in Bulgaria also broadened my perspectives as I had limited interaction with South-eastern Europe and Bulgaria before going there. Through my work and everyday life in Sofia, I discovered a new country, a new culture and could better grasp the questions that need to be addressed in this part of the European Union. Furthermore, having an opportunity to delve deeper into these topics was enlightening and proved central in reaffirming my resolve to pursue a career in think tanks or research institutes in the future.
The structure of the internship proved to be really efficient. As far as communication with colleagues and other interns is concerned, I believe we worked smoothly and efficiently while building a relationship based on trust and benevolence. We mainly exchanged emails and task prompts were always crystal clear. The reactivity of the team members and their insights when I had questions was much appreciated. Everyone at the CSD did their best so that I could feel fully integrated to the team even when I was working remotely.
I would highly recommend you apply for the internship programme offered by the CSD as you will delve into research institutes and think tanks ecosystem while discovering new methodologies, new ways of working that will nicely complement the academic skills you will acquire as part of your degree. Above all, interning at the CSD is an invaluable human experience where you get to exchange with people coming from different backgrounds. Get ready for an exciting time there!