"I do different things every day”
Purushottam Adhikari is an alumnus of the Master’s Programme in European Studies, Social Science Track. Today he works as a Political Associate at the European External Action Service, EU delegation to Nepal.
What made you choose the University of Gothenburg for your education?
"I got the chance to complete an internship at the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD) at the Department of Political Science during my undergraduate studies, where I worked as a Research Assistant. During this period, I was given the opportunity to participate in and arrange a variety of events, seminars, and other gatherings, all of which provided me with insight into the excellent Master's programmes that are available at the University of Gothenburg."
People from a variety of backgrounds work for the EU, so having a thorough understanding of the EU, how it functions, and contemporary knowledge of various EU policies have been beneficial for me since day one.
What did you like the best about your study programme?
"Having a background in political science at the undergraduate level, I often felt the need to narrow my focus, which led me to a Master's degree in European Studies.
Certainly, the internship semester was what allowed us to put our theoretical knowledge into practice. It was a unique opportunity to combine the internship with traditional academic semesters. The classes gave us a thorough understanding of how the EU operates. In addition, the internship gave me the hands-on experience necessary to advance my communication, project management, people and language, and policy implementation skills. Finally, the program was engaging and covered a variety of relevant subjects that I am able to apply in my daily work life."
Describe your work, what do you do?
"My duties in the political section of the EU delegation change on a daily basis. On certain days, I work primarily from my desk, conducting research, preparing political reports, and scheduling meetings with the local government, other embassies, and civil society. On other days, I am away from the office attending meetings, cultural events, or even missions that allow us to travel to locations outside the city to see the implementation of EU projects.
Additionally, I have had the chance to plan high-level visits from Brussels to Nepal for the 10th inter-parliamentary meeting between the European Parliament and Nepal since joining the EU in September.
I recently also took part in election observation for Nepal's federal and provincial elections. I have also helped plan events like the EU-Nepal Film Festival and two roundtable discussions on online violence in Nepal as part of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaigns and the experience of marginalized groups in Nepal's 2022 federal and provincial elections.
Overall, the most interesting part of my job is that I do different things every day."
What do you benefit most from your education?
"People from a variety of backgrounds work for the EU, so having a thorough understanding of the EU, how it functions, and contemporary knowledge of various EU policies have been beneficial for me since day one."
Did you find it easy or difficult to get a job after graduation?
"Although I was still in the midst of writing my Master's thesis, I decided to start the application process early. The application process was lengthy and draining, and I had to go through multiple interviews, so I would not exactly call it simple.
I had also been turned down for several local jobs, but I kept sending out applications for anything that piqued my interest until I finally landed in the European External Action Service halfway across the world in my birth county."
Your three best career tips?
- Prepare early and accept rejection.
- Narrow down your interests based on the topics that are most interesting to you and the geographical region that complements your current skills and qualifications.
- Apply for jobs where employers can benefit from having you onboard from day one.
Name: Purushottam Adhikari.
From: Kathmandu, Nepal (Citizenship: Swedish & Nepali).
Professional title: Political Associate.
Workplace: European External Action Service, EU Delegation to Nepal.
Full education: Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Högskolan Väst and a Masters of Science, European Studies Social Science Track.
Gothenburg with three words: Welcoming, friendly and inclusive.