Moya Denman and Helen Wallace with three recent recipients of Brunat Scholarships at a reception in Brussels in December 2015.
Although their ambitions lie in quite different directions, this year’s three scholars are all studying International Relations and Diplomacy at the Bruges campus.
Sophie Buckingham has a law degree that included an Erasmus year in France. She hopes to have an internationally focused career in either the European Union or the United Kingdom’s diplomatic service.
Samuel Kerr studied Politics and French at the University of Bristol. Since graduation he has worked for NGOs. At UNHCR he came to appreciate the complexity of the refugee crisis to which only a multilateral solution through the EU, an international institution, can be found
Nye Williams-Renouf is reading EU International Relations and Diplomacy at the College. After completing his Law degree at Cambridge and an Erasmus exchange programme studying politics in Madrid, he spent a year teaching English Literature in New Zealand. He now hopes to pursue a career in public service.
Zoe Grimes followed the European Political and Administrative Studies course at Bruges with an internship in the European Parliament secretariat for regional policy. She hopes to be accepted for the British Civil Service.
Veronika Kucherchuk studied European Disciplinary Studies at Natolin. She is now working as an intern in the European Commission’s International Co-operation and Development DG, following which she will work at the European Endowment for Democracy as an Eastern Partnership Programme Officer Intern. Born in Ukraine, with a Modern Languages degree from Southampton University, she would like to work as a diplomat or a professional in an international organisation.
Adin Samson took the International Relations and Diplomacy programme in Bruges after reading Law at Cambridge. He is now a trainee in the European Commission’s DG DEVCO’s unit for stability, security, development and nuclear safety. And he is hopeful that his degree “might be quite useful now that the UK is about to become external to the EU”.
Roland Scarlett read European Political and Administrative Studies at the College, and subsequently took up a role at Covington & Burling LLP, the leading American regulatory law firm, in their public policy practice. The position has allowed him to pursue his interests in policy, law and government. He will join the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a diplomat in November.
Alex Braley, having graduated from the European Political and Administrative Studies department, is looking forward to a career in EU public life, starting with a traineeship within the Secretariat-General of the European Commission. His family lived abroad for many years and his tri-lingual undergraduate degree was earned in France, at Sciences-Po. From such a background he appreciates the issues that European citizens face, living in an increasingly globalised and multi-polar world where only by pooling resources, coordinating policy and speaking with unity can Member States maximise their wealth and influence.
Jonathan Peters studied EU International Relations and Diplomacy, having graduated from the University of Sheffield, has secured a traineeship with the European Parliament’s Secretariat, working with the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee as the Climate Change Summit in Paris will be underway. Apart from his academic work he has held a succession of musical scholarships and quickly became involved in that aspect of College life. He has a keen interest in the interaction between the evolving structure of the European Union and its external actions.
Zara Reid grew up in Glasgow and studied history at Cambridge University before joining the European Interdisciplinary Studies programme at the College of Europe’s Natolin campus. She took targeted courses there on the EU’s immigration and asylum policy, the role of the EU as an actor in humanitarian and development aid and European history. Following on from this, she is now doing a 9-month graduate internship scheme with the British Foreign Office.
Andrew Wright, a lawyer and graduate of Oxford University, had already studied at the European University Institute in Florence before attending the College of Europe. His year at the College gave him a deep and wide understanding of EU law- practical as well as theoretical – which will serve him well whichever direction he chooses to go in in the future. Now he looks forward to spending some time in London, where he has taken up the post of judicial assistant post to Sir Brian Leveson, President of the Queen’s Bench Division in the Court of Appeal, having been selected for his EU expertise.
Adam Bruton was in the European Legal Studies programme and has had internships with the European Commission and the UK Permanent Representation in Brussels. At the University of East Anglia he learned to appreciate the important influence of EU law over domestic law, and he says that his “huge commitment to the principles of the EU” came about during his Erasmus year in France that exposed him to the cultural context in which those principles are applied. He is now with an international law firm in Brussels that specialises in immigration.
Simon Budden was in the European Political and Administrative Studies programme. His first degree was in Modern Languages and European Studies from the University of Bath which, together with time in Madrid and Brussels, sparked his interest in the EU. He was one of two British students featured in a BBC report on the College of Europe in 2013. After graduating from Bruges, he won a traineeship with the European Parliament in DG Communication, where he has continued to work on communicating with the public about the European Parliament. His interests lie in political communication and better explaining the EU.
Sam Villiers was in the European Legal Studies programme. After achieving a LLB (Hons) in European Legal Studies from the University of Southampton including a year at the Université de Fribourg in Switzerland, he worked for 2 years in Brussels for an NGO and a further 18 months for a European public affairs consultancy concentrating on EU energy policy. During that time he encountered many alumni of the College of Europe and determined to take advantage of what he realised was “the pre-eminent institution for European studies”, the lecturers being “some of the best experts in their fields.” He now works for a Spanish law firm in Brussels.
Oliver Hodgson studied for a Masters in European Political and Administrative Studies following his law degree at Cambridge University. He has always maintained an interest in European affairs and now works for a city law firm, where he continues to practise EU law.
Alex Keynes also studied in the European Political and Administrative Studies programme, having gained a degree from the University of Bristol in politics and French, during which time he spent an Erasmus year in Aix-en-Provence. Before studying at the College he completed a 5-month traineeship at the office of the President of the European Parliament and he is now working as Parliamentary Assistant to a British Labour MEP, advising on environment, energy and climate change issues.
Yentyl Williams completed the MA in EU International Relations and Diplomacy. A dual national of the UK and Trinidad and Tobago, she graduated (First Class Honours with Distinction in Oral French) in European Studies from King’s College London, including an Erasmus Year at Sciences Po Paris. Yentyl’s research on EU-Caribbean trade relations, the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), led to her invitation to the Academy of Global Governance at the European University Institute. She was trainee in the European Commission’s DG Trade EPA unit, and later worked at Burson-Marsteller, consulted on the impacts of TTIP for developing countries and at the joint EU-ACP organisation, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). Yentyl is expert at the European Economic and Social Committee for the forthcoming green paper on the future of EU-ACP relations.
The first three Brunat Scholars all studied EU International Relations and Diplomacy, and they have now all come together in Whitehall.
Sebastian Clark was elected student representative of the IRD programme and focused his attentions on EU-China relations, winning the Inbev-Baillet Latour award for the best EU-China thesis. After graduation he held a succession of posts in the European Commission and the Brussels offices of law firms Linklaters and K&L Gates. He now works as a Policy Adviser at HM Treasury in London. With the others, he writes: “Without the support of Brunat, none of this would have been possible, and we are extremely grateful for having been given this opportunity.”
Emily Murrell wrote a paper on “The EU’s Role in the Formation of India’s Climate Change Policy” that was published by the College of Europe and the UN Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies. After graduation, she joined the Department for Energy and Climate Change. Emily then worked as a senior policy advisor in the European & Global Issues Secretariat in Cabinet Office, involved with the Paris Climate summit, the EU referendum and the planned 2017 British Presidency of the Council. She now works with HSBC in Canary Wharf on climate finance involving sustainability projects with the World Bank, United Nations and the European Commission.
Nicholas Todd was laureate of the International Relations and Diplomacy students for the year. After a traineeship in DG Enlargement at the European Commission, working on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, he worked at the Oxfam International EU Advocacy Office in Brussels while honing his skills as a potential diplomat. He has now won a place as a European Fast Streamer in the UK’s Civil Service Fast Stream. He writes, “It would be no exaggeration to say that my time at the College has been perhaps the most memorable and rewarding 10 months of my life so far, both academically and socially.”