Barcelona GSE master program graduates apply economics training in the workplace

Barcelona GSE students spend one intense year training in the latest theories and applications of economics and finance, and then they graduate. When they do, they pursue a remarkable variety of careers, tempering their goals, backgrounds, and previous work experiences with the knowledge they have acquired during the master program.


Christopher Frieling '09

Hometown: Berlin, Germany
Currently: Brussels, Belgium

DG Research

You graduated from the Barcelona GSE Master in the Economics of Science and Innovation (MESI), and now you're at the European Commission.

I am a trainee in the DG Research of the European Commission. More specifically I work in the Unit "European Research Area Policy" of the Directorate "ERA - Knowledge Based Economy."

What are your main responsibilities there?

I am mainly working on the preparation of an ex ante impact assessment for a future strategic framework and an Action Plan for the European Research Area. I am part of a team of 3 people that prepares this assessment together with a consultancy.

What is a typical day like for you?

Most of the time my tasks are rather long-term and I work quite independently. As a trainee I also have the possibility to attend many meetings that I am interested in, most of them inside the Commission but also in the Council or in the Parliament.

What's been the highlight of your experience so far?

A nice thing to remember was the ERA 2009 Conference. It was a three-day conference held at the Commission. About 500 stakeholders of European research discussed issues of cooperation and research policy in Europe. Also two of the MESI professors, Ramon Marimon (UPF and Barcelona GSE) and Gonzalo León (UPM and guest professor in the MESI program), spoke during the conference. They are both involved in expert groups.

You've mentioned the job is very related to your coursework in the MESI program.

My unit is dealing with research and innovation policy in a quite broad and abstract way and in the beginning it helped me that I had a broad overview of research and innovation. The classes in European research organizations were especially useful. Further, some of the MESI professors like Reinhilde Veugelers (KUL and guest professor in the MESI program) and those I mentioned earlier are also involved in expert groups that advise my directorate.

It sounds like a natural next step after graduation.

I would advice current Barcelona GSE students to apply for the EC trainee program. It is good fun and valuable experience at the same time.


Other Alumni by Master Program

jamesmarrone09 James Marrone '09
Research Assistant
US Federal Reserve Bank
Xavi Xavi Cabrera '09
Department of Economy and Finance Intern
Government of Catalonia
Competition and Market Regulation
Annemiek Annemiek Wilpshaar '09
Chief Economist's Team
DG Competition
European Commission
Economics of Science and Innovation

Cristina Conesa'09
Project Manager
Global Talent Media

Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets
Giovanni Giovanni Gili '09
Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy Dept Intern
Banca d'Italia
International Trade, Finance, and Development
Edoardo Edoardo Campanella '09
World Trade Organization


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