Interview with Caitlin Reed, Student ambassador MA European Public Affairs 2023-2024

Why did you choose this programme?
“I did my bachelor in European Studies in Maastricht. During that time, I also did an internship at the European Parliament. This is when I realised that I have a strong interest in policymaking and how this is influenced and shaped by lobbying. This master’s programme offers me a theoretical and practical approach to public affairs together with another possibility for an internship in the fourth period.
Honestly, I was looking to go to Amsterdam or Leiden. However, along the way, I have met a lot of European Public Affairs alumni. Some of them work for the European Parliament, in other institutions or in the corporate world. They were all so enthusiastic about the opportunities the programme offers. After some research, it became clear that Maastricht is the right place for me for this next step.”

What do you hope to get out of this programme?
“This programme focusses on European governance, lobbying and policy making. I personally hope to learn more about the lobbying process. It is often associated with negative influence, like for example the tobacco industry or big pharma. However, to me it really is about trying to bring in expert knowledge into policymaking. I believe it is a crucial part of the democratic process.

Apart from the academic programme, I also look forward to the next internship. We learn a lot here, but I think it’s crucial to see and experience how things work in the ‘real world’. The combination makes this so interesting. In addition, it’s a great bonus that graduating here, gives me access to a very interesting network. The university is well connected, and alumni are very welcoming.”

What are your goals for the future?
“The European Union is a very dynamic environment. In order to work there, you have to manage many different tasks at once. I think it is a fascinating place to work. Therefore, I am very interested in having a career in Brussels. I want to work at a company in the public affairs sector, or I want to work in the parliament as a parliamentary assistant. And perhaps I can become a good lobbyist one day.”

October 2023