Student gains MEP office experience

Banbridge Academy student Kerri Smyth recently completed her work placement in the office of Jim Nicholson MEP in East Belfast.

Monday, 10th March 2014, 6:31 pm

Kerri, who is a lower sixth year student studying French, Spanish, Business Studies and English Literature, spent a few days in Mr Nicholson’s office learning about the European Union.

As Mr Nicholson spends four days per week in Brussels, Kerri was kept highly informed about the European Union and the workings of the European Parliament throughout her time on placement. Kerri also got the chance to meet the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, Mike Nesbitt, and two former leaders; Tom Elliott MLA and Lord Empey of Shandon.

Speaking after completing her placement Kerri said: “I found the whole experience very interesting and beneficial to my studies. I was informed in detail of the large range of careers on offer in the European Parliament. I was able to translate some French documents concerning the EU and Parliament, and I learnt a lot about its functions in the process.”

Kerri, who is passionate about languages and foreign cultures added: “It was so useful to learn about the member states of the EU and to be informed of the wide variety of opportunities available to language students such as myself. I learnt a lot about the Erasmus + programme, which provides opportunities for young people to study and gain work experience abroad, which is very appealing to me. The members of staff in the office were so friendly and were more than willing to answer any questions I had. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and now hope to further my linguistic ability.”