European Bank for Reconstruction and Development internship - one student's experience

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) internship is a unique opportunity for Glasgow students seeking to work in the Corporate and Financial Law sector. Now in its third year of operation, the programme allows one Glasgow student to undertake an eight week summer placement at the EBRD’s London offices. Athina Kakli was the first student to take part in the internship in 2015. Here, she shares her experience of the scheme: Back in the summer of 2015 I had a two-month traineeship in the Local Currency and Capital Markets Department (LC2) of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London. During my time at EBRD I focused on the enhancement of the derivatives’ and bondholders’ legal framework in EBRD countries of operation i.e. “transition economies”, such as South Eastern, Eastern Europe and Central Asia countries.

The EBRD internship was a unique opportunity for me to get an actual insight into the functioning of what we call “capital markets”, while at the same time I had the chance to conduct legal research work in an international working environment. Furthermore, via my engagement in the 2015 “Assessment of Transition Challenges” (ATC) Report - published annually by EBRD - I had the opportunity to further develop and enhance my analytical and time-management skills. Overall, what I found extremely challenging was the very purpose of the work performed by the LC2 Team, aimed at the overcoming of fragmentation of local capital markets with the creation of a Regional Central Counterparty to boost Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) local capital markets and reduce risks in the financial system.

This experience has proven to be an excellent springboard for my career so far, since it played a decisive role in my subsequent appointment as trainee and later as Supervision Analyst in the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) of the European Central Bank (ECB), which has been responsible since 2014 for the direct supervision of the significant credit institutions of the Euro area countries. As you know, in professional life first steps are likely to be the most important ones; and in my case these steps were without any doubt the successful award of my LL.M degree in “Corporate & Financial Law” by the University of Glasgow and the subsequent EBRD internship. Therefore, I can only encourage the “new generation” of Glasgow students to join the brilliant, really energetic and knowledgeable people comprising the LC2 Team of EBRD, - even if only for two months! Besides, a metropolitan city like London is an experience in itself, especially during the summer! Just grab the chance, because a real chance is the most difficult thing to be given; especially nowadays!

~ Athina Kakli

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