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Andreas Burkhardt

Bachelor in International Relations and Management, OTH Regensburg, Germany

Period of internship: Oct 05, 2020 - Mar 05, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, I was unable to realize my initial internship plans and had to look for an alternative at short notice. Fortunately, I came across the Center for the Study of Democracy and got the chance to work with CSD’s experts in the Economic program. The past five months proved to be extremely rewarding and thanks to many interesting and diverse tasks these winter months passed by in a flash.

I gained valuable insights into the workings of a think tank and the issue of Russian influence operations in the European and particularly Balkan media sectors. Although large parts of the internship were carried out remotely, I was able to spend some time in Sofia and thus got to know another fascinating country and its hospitable people. I immediately felt valued as part of the team and the cooperation with the Economic program colleagues and my superiors couldn't have been better. The fact that interns can tailor the content of the internship to their specific research interests, work very independently, and a lot of trust is placed in them by assigning challenging tasks distinguishes CSD’s internship program. During my time at the Center I was able to actively participate in the research project development and especially the finalization phase of two studies concerning Russian media capture efforts in the Balkans as well as media regulation and disinformation in Central Europe. I am sure that I will benefit greatly from these experiences in the future and I’m very excited to see the published reports soon.

Many thanks to Rumena and Ruslan for giving me this opportunity and to Milena for the excellent organization and support at all times! I would very much recommend doing an internship with CSD and its knowledgeable and approachable researchers and analysts.

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