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Anna De Marchi, IBEI alumni 2017-18

Name and Last Name: Anna De Marchi

Nationality: Italian

Master studied at IBEI: Master's in International Security

Class: 2017-2018

Current working company, position and city: Information officer and online writer at the European Commission, Brussels (BE).

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-de-marchi-836150154/

1. Why did you choose the IBEI Master’s in International Security?

The rise in Islamic terrorist activity in Europe after 2014 made me feel unsafe, so I decided to study International Security to learn more about rising threats such as terrorism and discover how I can be useful and prevent other people from feeling unsafe. I chose IBEI for its programme that brings together human, cyber and national security, letting students free to find their bearings while providing them with solid theoretical frameworks. Being at the crossroads of different cultures, IBEI is the ideal place to experience different points of views on what security means.

2. What is your experience at IBEI? 

The experience at IBEI has been memorable. I made friends for life, met inspiring professors, found what I’m passionate about, lived in a vibrant city that never failed to surprise me. The experience at IBEI is unique for everyone, but no one is disappointed at the end. It entails a personal and academic growth that made me the person I am today. I can’t deny it, it has been hard at times but I gained the experience and knowledge that helped me get to where I am now.

3. Describe your career path since graduating from the IBEI

After IBEI, I knew I wanted to move to Brussels and work close to European Union, I would have never imagined I’d end up working for the Commission shortly after graduating. Getting my first internship in Brussels wasn’t easy, but once I started working in the lobbying sector, my network grew exponentially and allowed me to get the right connections to land a job at the Commission.

4. What is your professional experience (your current position, your main functions)?

Currently I work at DG CONNECT, in the Investment in High-Capacity Networks Unit, where I am Information officer and online writer. This job allows me to reconcile my passion for writing and my expertise in cybersecurity and AI. I deal with 5G, broadband, data protection, artificial intelligence and much more. Being communication focused, I have the chance to exploit both my creative side and my analytical side, it’s never boring!

5. How did the master programme prepare you for the work you're doing now? 

The master programme has not only given me the theoretical tools to be able to understand and elaborate complex topics such as machine learning, but it - above all- taught me to be able to communicate these topics to a broad audience. This skill is key in my everyday work and I am very thankful to my IBEI professors that insisted on the importance of simple but effective communication on policies as a way to make citizens feel involved.

6. Is this more or less what you pictured yourself doing after the master programme?

Feeling European more than Italian, I’ve always wanted to work for the European Commission and give my contribution to the European Union. It’s a good start for my career but the best is yet to come!

7. What advice would you give to current students who want to follow this career path? / Some advice to future IBEI students? 

Let all doors open and never underestimate the power of networking. Every person you meet could lead you a step closer to your dream job, therefore be kind and always give the best version of yourself while staying humble.

8. What do you miss most about the IBEI? 

After having moved to Brussels, I realized that what I miss the most about IBEI and Barcelona is its warmth. Not only the temperature - which I miss terribly - but the friendliness of the people. Everyone at IBEI was a friend: classmates, staff and professors. I’ve always felt like I could open up to anyone and find support in case of struggles.