Life after graduation and our alumni
Our MA and PhD graduates enjoy a very high success rate in pursuing their chosen careers shortly after graduation. Some who pursue internships during their studies are offered contracts immediately after graduation and stay in Brussels. Others have joined their home country's diplomatic service, entered international organisations, or have undertaken a 'stage' (a paid 5-month internship) at the European Commission, or another EU institution.
Many of our students' careers have taken them much further afield. Recent BSIS graduates have helped to set up elections in Afghanistan while others have monitored elections in Iraq, the Balkans and Africa. A large number of our graduates have also joined or started NGOs and charities while many have returned to their home countries to pursue careers in international commerce, finance, government and law.
Non-native English speakers graduate with proof of their English skills through an advanced degree, and native English speakers return home with proof of cultural flexibility, internationalism, and often a polished additional language. Our alumni base extends from the United Nations to Kissinger Associates or Capitol Hill, and from the US Department of Homeland Security to the ICTY at The Hague, spanning a massive variety of activities and professions.
We have more than 2500 alumni from BSIS working in a variety of roles across a range of diverse organisations.
Brussels is a city unlike any other - the opportunities are everywhere, so don't be intimidated - get on linkedin, go to the briefings and conferences and make the most of your time at BSIS and the resources available.
A postgraduate qualification from Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS) demonstrates a high level of academic knowledge and specialist skills in your subject area. We work with key2advance, a coaching and training company, to ensure you also develop the general skills, cultural awareness and transferable skills which are invaluable assets to potential employers.
The Career Journey starts at Welcome Week with an introductory session outlining the services that are available to you and how they can help you prepare for working life after your studies at the University of Kent. Mona Shair-Wloch, who runs key2advance, is a BSIS alumna with considerable experience managing career services and networking events for students and graduates.
Over the next few weeks, you will attend a series of preparatory career workshops designed to provide you with the building blocks to enable you to take control of the job application process and understand what it is that you wish to do after graduation. These include identifying your dream job, CV preparation, cover letters, interview tips and tricks and the art of effective networking.
The second block of workshops will introduce you to a series of different potential career paths within the European and international job markets. Ranging from how to secure placements within the European Institutions to working for NGOs or International Organisations. With your opinions more developed, you will then meet with one of key2advance’s trained career counsellors who will help guide you on how to identify the practical steps needed to secure work after university. The team provides advice on how to enter a variety of sectors; human rights, international and European law, EU institutions, International NGOs, the United Nations, and communication and PR agencies.
This package is augmented and supported by offers of exclusive internships in Brussels based organisations as well as a Networking Event which will enables you to put into practice the professional and social skills learned during the workshops as well as learn first-hand about various possible professions. This event, which is attended by both BSIS alumni and professionals from a variety of Brussels-based organisations, will give you an insight into the Brussels job market as well as provide you with an opportunity to meet potential employers in a social setting.
Alumni Roundtables, held in both a virtual and hybrid format throughout the year, also give you the chance to connect with former students working in different sectors around the world.
These events allow you to interview ‘ambassadors’ (representatives of firms and organisations) and alumni and ask about their career track since graduation. You can find out what skills, values and working style are necessary to be successful in your chosen career and what organisations look for in interns or potential employees.
The time at BSIS is short but an intense period, and the opportunities in Brussels are vast. The internships I pursued and the networks I made were vital for getting a foot on the career ladder after graduation.
The career services package concludes with a virtual retreat, to help you gain orientation about your future. The main objective of the retreat is to offer you a safe space to discover what you envision for yourself to complement your academic journey and empower you to ultimately make choices in line with your values.