Read why he chose to intern with us and how he has experienced his summer at the Chamber.
Hi Wilhelm, tell us a bit about yourself, please.
I am originally from Germany and lived in the UK for about four years, first for school and then for university. My interest in EU-UK relations really started with my exchange year at a school in the Northeast of England, in Barnard Castle to be precise. After finishing my A-levels in Germany, I did my bachelor’s at Cambridge in History and Politics where I specialised in European politics and developed a strong interest in EU-UK relations. After graduating, I moved to France where I am currently doing my master’s in European Affairs at SciencesPo in Paris, specialising in EU external relations.
Why did you want to intern with BritCham?
Having lived and studied in both the EU and Britain, I am particularly interested in the future of EU-UK relations and the Chamber was the perfect place to see how businesses are adapting to the new situation post-Brexit. This summer (2021), I first interned with MEP Christian Ehler from Germany who is on the European Parliament’s committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). And so, I was already getting familiar with many of the topics that the Chamber deals with on a daily basis. What I was looking for was an internship that would allow me to gain insight into how EU-UK business and trade relations are evolving after Britain’s departure from the Single Market and Customs Union. And that is exactly what I got at BritCham.
What was your main task during your internship?
During my six-week summer internship, I supported the Policy and EU Affairs section of the Chamber. My main task was to help organise the Chamber’s biggest ever online conference “Virtual Strasbourg” for October 2021. In that role, I prepared and followed up on invitations for MEPs from all main political groups to talk about their views on various EU policy areas. The conference will have four big sessions on the EU’s digital policy, health policy, the Green Deal, and of course one session on the future of EU-UK relations. This will provide a great opportunity for BritCham members to directly talk to MEPs about their interests and concerns relating to relevant legislative developments in each policy area. I also assisted in planning other activities of the Chamber and enjoyed attending events organised by the Chamber, such as ‘Business Implications of the Data Governance Act’ and ‘Corporate Migration post-Brexit in the UK and across continental Europe’.
I had a great time interning at the Chamber and I definitely look forward to meeting everyone in Brussels as soon as possible. If you have an interest in EU policy development and EU-UK relations, I can definitely recommend doing an internship at the Chamber
What did you enjoy most about working at BritCham and what did you find most challenging?
My internship was very enriching because I had the opportunity to see first-hand how business relations between the EU and the UK have been evolving since the entry into force of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. My summer internship has really been a great way to get to know the work of the Chamber and its mission to connect business on both sides of the Channel.
I guess, as is the case for most of us, working remotely can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, but then again, BritCham does a great job at integrating new people into the team. I found it really easy to settle in, get to know my colleagues, and connect with BritCham members. I had a great time interning at the Chamber and I definitely look forward to meeting everyone in Brussels as soon as possible. If you have an interest in EU policy development and EU-UK relations, I can definitely recommend doing an internship at the Chamber to get some hands-on work experience!