• From Lincoln to Brussels: An Alumnus’ Journey

    From Lincoln to Brussels: An Alumnus’ Journey

    Davide Pinto-Castro reflects on his job-search experience and the importance of his studies (and that all-important seminar reading) in preparing him for the world of work.

    I graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2013, after reading for a degree in International Relations and Politics. Afterwards I, like many others, went back to spend some time with my parents at their house, before embarking on the mammoth task of actually finding a job and working full-time in a field that matched my academic experience and desire. As expected, I couldn’t immediately find my dream job, so decided to set up online publication The Critique instead (see this article for more information on The Critique – Ed.) whilst also searching for full-time graduate employment.

    A few months later I found myself back in Lincoln working as an intern at the University. I finally had a job, which helped me to grow professionally, but it still wasn’t my dream job. I was in that role for sixteen months in total. After this, I again returned to my parents’ home, before finding something that better matched my wishes, in continental Europe.

    I found a job (after applying to over 100 organisations…) but in the end it paid off! I will be based in Brussels from September until March, working in the communications team as a Communications Assistant for CSR Europe, the leading European business network for Corporate Social Responsibility. I had to go through four stages before actually obtaining the job, so it wasn’t easy but life isn’t easy and that’s how we have to think. This is an exciting opportunity to grow professionally some more before thinking about a PhD. I wanted some work experience behind me first.

    Why did I want to work in Brussels? Well, first, I already knew the city quite well, not least because of the great study trips that the School of Social and Political Sciences organised. Secondly, it’s a hub of activity for young professionals and cheaper than London. It’s essentially just another step in a path as yet undeclared.

    So whatever happens in the future, I can at least take comfort in the fact that I pursued my passion, and not simply an interest. Interests we have many, passions very few. And in hindsight, I must thank all my academic tutors, programme leaders, and admin staff in the School, for keeping me motivated throughout my studies. My destiny is in your hands.

    As Kofi Annan said: “…more than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that, my friends, is why we have the United Nations.”

    I guess in my case it’s more like ‘…more than ever in my life, I can see my destiny. But I can only face it because you’ve given me the tools for it. And that, my friends, is why you you’ve got to do your reading!’.


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