Students - graduates

What are my options?

Opportunities abound for young students or recent graduates looking to gain work experience with the EU institutions. Depending on what stage you have reached with your studies, you could consider putting yourself forward as an EU student ambassador, applying for a traineeship, or becoming a permanent official with the EU.

EU Careers Student Ambassadors

If you are a student keen to promote EU careers on your university campus then why not apply to become an EU Career Student Ambassador? As part of the experience, you will be able to:

  • Find out more about EU Career opportunities and promote them to your fellow students
  • Build a fantastic network across Europe
  • Gain work experience during your studies
  • Develop your skills in public speaking, marketing and HR
  • Receive a full induction and coaching throughout the role
  • Give your CV extra weight with future employers

What we're looking for from you!

We are looking for motivated, outgoing people with enthusiasm to promote EU Careers on your university campus.
As a highly-regarded employer of top graduates, we're looking for brand ambassadors at some of Europe's finest universities. Part of an established and successful initiative, the EU Careers Ambassadors scheme involves finding innovative ways of promoting the great opportunities we have to offer, including through:

  • attending careers fairs, or giving presentations to your fellow students
  • developing university networks and providing information
  • maintaining an active online and social media presence
  • answering questions and queries about EU Careers

Of course, there is a lot in it for you, too!
To begin with, all of our Ambassadors receive comprehensive training which will prepare them perfectly for the role. You will be able to develop the skills you need to be a successful Ambassador and we will give you loads of support and ideas on getting started.
Secondly, in a super-competitive graduate job market, a position of responsibility like this could really make you stand out. As well as developing your communication and presentation skills, the international perspective that you will demonstrate will give your C.V. extra weight with future employers.
Practical details:
To introduce ourselves, we are the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO), and we are responsible for selecting staff on behalf of all the European Institutions and Agencies, including the European Commission, Parliament and Council. You can find out more about us at About Epso.

Role Description

  • Acting as a point of contact for students interested in EU Careers
  • Researching target groups and contacting university media
  • Setting up mailing lists and distributing information on EU Careers through the appropriate channels
  • Giving presentations, attending university careers events and finding interesting speakers
  • Completing monthly tasks and regularly reporting back on your activities
  • Managing and regularly monitoring a dedicated Facebook page / online presence

What's in it for you?

  • A comprehensive induction and continuous coaching
  • A position of responsibility that will look great on your CV
  • Acquiring new skills highly valued by graduate employers
  • Great work experience in marketing, advertising, HR and communication
  • The possibility to network with students across Europe
  • Access to high ranking EU officials
  • A reference letter based on your performance

Who we are looking for?

We are looking for motivated Ambassadors who want to promote the benefits of an EU Career.
You should possess the following competencies:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Networking skills
  • Willingness to share and learn
  • Ability to adapt
  • Good organisational skills
  • Ability to deliver quality and results
  • Innovative and creative approach
  • Resilience

Minimum Requirements

Commit at least two hours per week to your Ambassador role;
Arrange or participate in a minimum of one EU Careers event or presentation;
Communicate on a regular basis with your EU Careers coordinator;
Participate in all training offered (online);
Keep a log of your activities and report back regularly.
Outside of these minimum requirements it is really up to you to decide how much promotion you can fit in alongside your academic studies and how you promote EU Careers to your fellow students. We are looking for Ambassadors who are creative and can come up with innovative ways of promoting EU Careers!


You must be:

  • Available to take part in our compulsory training course in September 2017
  • Enrolled and present at the university for the duration of the Ambassador's post (September 2017 - September 2018)
  • An EU citizen
  • Fluent in one of the languages of the country in which you are studying

How to apply

The selection process for the 2017/18 project is finished now.

You can find the list of universities where we will host EU Careers Ambassadors here.

Please check this website as of February 2018 for further information on applications for 2018/19 academic year.


If you would like to know more about this project, please don’t hesitate to contact us at: EPSO-CAREERS-AMBASSADOR@ec.europa.eu


If you would like to get a taster of a career with the EU, why not apply for a traineeship ?

The European Commission

The European Commission traineeship programme is open to university graduates, from all over the world.

Traineeships are available in a wide range of fields and offer a great insight into the work of the EU. The content of the job largely depends on the service to which you are assigned. Opportunities are available in the fields of competition law, human resources, environmental policy, communication and many more. Most traineeships last around 5 months, but this can vary, depending on which institution/ agency for which you work.

What would I be doing?

Trainees are given the same sort of tasks as newly-recruited graduates. In practice, that can mean organising working groups and meetings, compiling information and documentation, preparing reports and answering queries, as well as participating in unit meetings and other events. There will also be tasks more specific to the particular department – lawyers in the Commission will be doing quite different things to economists at the Court of Auditors or generalists in the Parliament.

Who can apply?

Graduates of any discipline can apply as long as their degree has already been awarded (a transcript can normally be provided if the certificate has not yet been awarded).  Unlike permanent positions, EU citizenship is not mandatory (a small number of places are reserved for non-EU citizens), but generally knowledge of two EU languages will be required. Work experience and postgraduate education is a plus, but not usually a necessity.

Do I get paid?

The majority of traineeships get a monthly grant, of around 1,100€/month and their travel expenses reimbursed.

Where will I work?

Like the majority of EU jobs, most traineeships are based in Brussels or Luxembourg.

How do I apply?

Selection procedures for traineeships are run by the individual EU institutions and agencies. Check our Quick Guide to EU Traineeships for more information. Applications are usually online, but paper copies of the application form are sometimes required. In general, applications are accepted about four to nine months before the beginning of the traineeship and applications should be submitted in good time.

Entry-level graduate

If you have freshly graduated from university, you will typically apply for what we term Administrator profiles, to become a permanent official. You can find yourself playing a key role in the EU’s processes with a high degree of responsibility from an early stage in your career.


The selection procedures for permanent positions with the EU are organised as ‘ open competitions’. The most relevant competition for graduates is launched every spring, usually as a generalist competition, for which no particular field of studies is needed. An open competition includes tests and assessment exercises designed to measure your professional skills and a number of core competencies. In view of the very large number of applicants, this is the fairest and most transparent selection procedure.


Our competitions are published at Job Opportunities and announced by a Notice of Competition, which provides full details of the profile, the eligibility criteria and the selection procedure. The format of the competitions varies depending on the profile being sought.


For a typical graduate competition, an application process includes the following steps:


1. Read the Notice of Competition about the profile you are interested in and make sure you fulfil the eligibility criteria.

2. Put yourself to the test with the self-assessment exercises and fill in your online application at Login.

3. If your application is valid, we invite you to sit a set of Computer-based Multiple-Choice Question (MCQ) tests.

4. If you are amongst the best scoring candidates in these tests, we invite you to the e-tray, an intermediate test done on computer.

5. If you meet the eligibility criteria and score one of the highest score in the e-tray, we invite you to the competency-based Assessment Centre in Brussels.

The assessment stage involves a series of exercises designed to assess your suitability for the profile. All candidates are assessed in an objective and standardised way by several assessors and against clearly defined competencies. You can get a contribution to your travel expenses.

6. Successful candidates are placed on a database called a ‘ reserve list’ from which the various EU Institutions recruit. If your profile is of interest, you will be contacted directly by the recruiting institution.


Registration for competitions begins in the same period every year (this is what we call the cycle), in spring for Graduates and in summer for Translators. The graduate profiles we are looking for (e.g. Law, Audit) may vary from year to year as well as the language needs for Translators. Other selection procedures such as for Specialists or Assistants are launched in between the cycles.


In our selection procedure we focus on your professional skills and these general competencies:

  • Analysis and problem solving
  • Communicating
  • Delivering quality and results
  • Learning and development
  • Prioritising and organising
  • Resilience
  • Working with others
  • Leadership (Graduates only)

Find out whether you have what it takes to make a difference for Europe and test yourself with our Sample Tests.


Checklist box Do you meet the basics for our graduate selection procedures?

  • You are an EU citizen
  • You are fluent in one of the official EU languages and proficient in a second – (for linguist profiles you need 3 EU languages)
  • You have or will receive a diploma (at least bachelor degree level) by 31 July