Internship experience at OECD: think-tank with its global purpose to build "better policies for better lives"
Maria Zamyatina:I learnt about the internship through our Master’s program website and immediately became interested. OECD is a well-known ‘think-tank’. It is an international organization with a goal to build ‘better policies for better lives’. Being a unique center for knowledge creation and share of best-practices, the organization works to establish norms and find evidence-based solutions to a range of socio-economic and environmental challenges the humanity is currently facing. I was greatly inspired by the immense work the Organisation does to create and share knowledge throughout the societies, and I wanted to be part of it.
What about the selection process?
Applicants have to prepare a document set that includes CV, Motivation letter and a Sample Essay. They then undergo a double-sided selection process: university-level screening, governed by Professor Dirk Meissner, as well as an interview round with one of the OECD representatives, in our case, Mario Cervantes, before we could interview with the respective supervisors from OECD.
What was the internship plan?
I had a short but very enriching experience at OECD that lasted 2 months. I was enrolled to the Centre for Entrepreneurship (CFE): SMEs and Entrepreneurship Division. CFE department of OECD and SMEs and Entrepreneurship Division, in particular, is responsible for data analysis that helps create policies that foster small and medium-size enterprises and entrepreneurship and facilitate sustainable growth, competitiveness and creation of skilled jobs.
Can you describe your internship experience?
I really enjoyed my internship – from both, professional and personal development perspective.
It did challenge my skills and competencies a lot, taking them to a whole new level. As part of the internship, I simultaneously worked on two ongoing projects. “Enabling digitalization of SMEs” examines structural changes in SMEs due to digitalization and is supervised by Sandrine Kergroach, while “Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs: 2020” is a regular OECD Scoreboard on SMEs access to finance, supervised by Kris Boschmans. While the first one was more of individual work, guided by the supervisor, the scoreboard was a collaborative work with several experts involved in the drafting process. Both projects were very knowledge-intensive and I am beyond grateful for having learned so much and having met so many inspiring people!
I’d like to take this opportunity and thank the CFE department one more time for the immense support and advice I got during my stay.
What impressed you about the Organisation?
One of the most striking things is the atmosphere. OECD has brought together an international team of highly intelligent people that share the same values and are very passionate about their projects. Working alongside such people is extremely motivating and encouraging
What would you recommend to those interested in applying?
Try to show your commitment as well as technical and interpersonal skills. This internship is a great opportunity to grow and explore your real potential by testing your limits, so be proactive and don’t be scared of challenges.