CERGU Interviews Candice Astorino
CERGU and CES (The Centre for European Studies) have a close connection with the student-run group Brännpunkt Europa, providing administrative support, funding, feedback and advice. The students who lead this organization are ambitious, driven and inquisitive, and we recently conducted an interview with the chairperson of Brännpunkt Europa, Candice Astorino, to hear about her experiences during her years with Brännpunkt Europa.
Angie Sohlberg: Thanks for agreeing to chat with me, Candice! First off, what have you been studying during your time at the University of Gothenburg? Any special areas of interest?
Candice Astorino: I have been studying the Master in European Studies, where I developed a special interest in European external affairs and conflict resolution. I have even written my Master thesis on peacebuilding and the conflict resolution process in Kosovo.
AS: What made you decide to get involved in Brännpunkt Europa in the first place?
CA: I found out about Brännpunkt Europa on my first day at GU, I quickly got along with the former Chair and Vice-Chair and it made sense to join this association that was directly linked to my studies.
AS: What has been the most interesting part of being the chairperson of Brännpunkt?
CA: The most interesting part was to meet incredibly smart, engaged, and fascinating people, not only our seminar guests but the students involved in the association. To share and discuss with such interesting young people has been the best part of the job.
AS: Do you have any fun stories from your time being in Brännpunkt? Any favorite seminar guests?
CA: Yes, I have some fun stories, especially from our “study” trip to Berlin last year which will stay in Berlin. The very diverse events and our little gatherings after school are also good memories, Brännpunkt Europa is not only organizing seminars, but creating a friendly environment for the students.
AS: How has the situation with the Coronavirus affected Brännpunkt's seminar series, and how will Brännpunkt go forward with planning for the autumn?
CA: Besides cancelling a few seminars, that will be rescheduled for next year, we have also had to cancel our study trip to Brussels. We had so much planned, from meetings with institutions to cultural events… The newly elected board, from the Master’s in Political Communication, has already made so many (virtual) plans for the fall semester. I am confident that they will continue to make Brännpunkt Europa grow even with social distancing!
AS: What is coming up next for you?
CA. Hopefully, an internship in Brussels in September, which I probably wouldn’t have been able to secure without my experience in Brännpunkt Europa. It will give me some time to prepare my PhD application for the fall 2021.