In the second year of the AFEPA Programme, I completed an internship at the OECD in Paris. I was part of the Climate, Biodiversity, and Water Division of the Environmental Directorate. For four months, I worked in the Nitrogen team of the organization. The Nitrogen team was specifically a good fit for me as an AFEPA student, as nitrogen is relevant on different levels and links agriculture, agronomics, environmental and climate issues. Therefore, the theme of the internship fit perfectly with the portfolio of the AFEPA programme, and the classes offered at UCLouvain and UBonn.
During the internship, I had the possibility to contribute to a meaningful project, participate in events, and conferences. My superior entrusted my colleague and me with the task to write a report about the potential co-benefits of nitrogen policies on GHG emissions in agriculture. We assessed to which extent practices and policies to manage ammonia (NH3) and nitrate (NO3–) pollution from agriculture can produce co-benefits on agricultural GHG mitigation. Our report will be presented in the next Joint Working Party on Agriculture and the Environment and discussed by the delegates of the 36 Member States of the OECD.
My experience at the OECD was especially shaped by the team I was so lucky to work with. As an intern, I felt taken seriously and appreciated by my supervisor who gave us the freedom over and responsibility for a project, the support to handle challenges, and rewarded us by giving us credit for our work. I would highly recommend to do an internship and take the opportunity to put your academic knowledge into practice, deepen it, and experience to work in a highly professional and international work environment
As a first-year AFEPA student, I took the opportunity to do an internship at the Trade and Agriculture Directorate at the OECD during the summer between my first and second year in the proramme (only interrupted by the AFEPA summer school in Calabria). My time at OECD has been 3 months of enriching academic and professional experience, surrounded by highly capable senior agricultural policy analysts from several parts of the world. I mainly worked on an interesting research topic: the market transparency in the agri-food chain. However, there are many other topics in OECD’s Agriculture Directorate for students with different interests.
I strongly recommend for AFEPA students to take advantage of this important connection between the AFEPA consortium and the OECD (an associated partners of the AFEPA consortium) and apply for an internship in this prestigious institution. It is a great opportunity to collaborate in the “design of better policies for better lives” using our acquired knowledge in the AFEPA master program.