As the EST Board of 2016-17 graduates, the former Board members reflect on their experience within the European Student Think Tank and share their insights on the past year.

2016-17 President – Carlota Núñez Strutt

Two years in the Executive Board of the European Student Think Tank have been an enriching experience for the EST’s graduating President Carlota, which she is lucky to have shared with a diverse and driven team. Inspired by how communications are inherent to delivering the work of the EU and making it democratically accessible, she joined the EST as Director of Communications in 2015. This was after interning at the Council of Europe. In 2016 Carlota was elected President of the EST, where she chaired the organization while interning in the European Parliament. During this exciting period in the EU capital along with the Board she worked on strengthening relationships with the EU, notably organizing two debates for young people in the European Parliament.

Currently interning at UN Women, Carlota is busy in New York working with the Communications team of UN Women to create awareness of UN Sustainable Development Goal 5; for gender equality and the empowerment of women. She can usually be found drinking copious amounts of coffee and writing stories from UN Women’s work in the field, researching and editing short films. She will continue her studies in the King Juan Carlos University of Madrid this year, while serving as Ambassador to the EST. She hopes a career in academia or diplomacy lies ahead in the future.

2016-17 Secretary – Jonne Kamphorst

“The past year at the European Student Think Tank as secretary has been challenging and vibrant. From collaborating with partner organizations to assisting the rest of the board, the year was full of both opportunities and challenges. I will not easily forget the enthusiasm and devotion the rest of the board and our partners brought to the table.

Next year, I will continue my studies at the University of Oxford, where I will definitely stay informed about all the amazing work of the EST. I wish the new board all the best, I am sure they will do an amazing job and push the EST forward. Good luck!”

2016-17 Treasurer – Laurens Van der Sluijs

Having completed his term as Treasurer of the EST, Laurens is very grateful for the opportunities he received and the knowledge and experience he gained. What he liked best about this experience is the interaction and cooperation with different nationalities and the collective efforts of the board to support and encourage young Europeans to take part in discussions on various aspects of the European Union.

Next to his board year at the EST Laurens also completed his degree in European Studies and worked as an intern at the Host Country Affairs Division of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague. As a result of his hard work as an intern, he was offered a temporary contract as a policy officer, meaning he is now implementing the results of the thesis he wrote during his internship. In January 2018 Laurens will revert to the academic environment where he will pursue his academic career in international relations with a specialization in European Affairs.

2016-17 International Officer – Johannes Tropper

Having been involved in the EST for two years, first as an ambassador to Austria and afterwards as the International Officer, Johannes has to say goodbye to the youth organization with a heavy heart.  In the past year the International Office has expanded quite massively and the network of ambassadors reached out to all corners of Europe. Under the direction of Johannes 30 ambassadors represented the EST in 24 European countries.

While the position of International Officer carries a lot of responsibilities in coordinating this vast network, Johannes found this multifaceted work very rewarding. The time at the EST has been challenging, but also very exciting and allowed Johannes to hone his organizational skills in a truly international environment. He particularly enjoyed coordinating the network of ambassadors which he regards as the cornerstone of the EST allowing the youth organization to effectively connect students with current EU debates and sharing different perspectives on contentious issues.

Over the course of the year Johannes also gathered valuable experiences outside the EST. Not only did he participate in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, but also started working as a student assistant at the department of European Law at the University of Vienna. Entering his final year at law school, Johannes wishes the EST and in particular the International Office all the best for the upcoming year and is already looking forward to reading insightful articles from the new ambassadors.

2016-17 Editor-in-Chief – Tanith Lee

After completing her board year at the EST, Tanith will remain at the University of Amsterdam for the final year of her Bachelor’s degree in Politics, Psychology, Law, and Economics. In addition to her studies, Tanith will serve as the Secretary General of the 2018 edition of the Amsterdam Model United Nations Conference (DamMUN) and is working as the Head of Press for Inter, one of UvA’s Law Faculty student political parties. While her time with the EST has ignited a passion for European politics, events in the past year have prompted Tanith to return to her roots, so she will be focusing on influencing U.S. politics through her work with the Centrist Project from this point onwards.

“I cannot thank my staff in the Editorial Office and the dedicated, passionate ambassadors enough for their hard work this year. The EST underwent an extraordinary year of growth and professionalization that could not have been possible without them and, of course, the driven visionaries that were my fellow board members. Best of luck to the new board, I look forward to seeing the great things you do with the organization!”

2016-17 Events Manager – Cecilia Passaniti

“September has come, and with it, a new board of the European Student Think Tank is set to take its rightful place at the lead of the organization. If I think back to one year ago I could not imagine the life-changing experience that this year has been. Last Semptember I was getting ready to start my last year of the Bachelor’s Degree and with that my thesis and my last internship. Nevertheless, I chose to take on the challenge of joining the EST board to keep my inspirations open. And what a wonderful ride it has been! From the immense support of all my colleagues inside the board to the many events and projects I got to be part of, the EST has brought innovative ideas and youthful energy into my life, but also to the front of EU policies. The leadership of Carlota Nunez Strutt has been an indispensable tool to the unity that was formed among the different backgrounds of the members that proved once more that we truly are united in diversity.

To the new board, I wish an energizing and inspirational year and the best of luck in continuing on the path of unity, empathy and innovative thinking that the EST represents.”

2016-17 Director of Communication – Jonas Fritz

“After working for the European Student Think Tank the last year, first I want to say thank you. Thank you to the other board members! All of you were truly inspiring and it was a pleasure to work with such an ambitious and determined group. Besides the board I also want to thank the ambassadors, the authors, the readers and everyone who commented, shared and discussed online and at the events: the network you build makes the European Student Think Tank what it is now!

Finally I want to wish the new board all the best! I can’t wait to see the EST grow further through your work and I am very lucky to stay part of this incredible network as a reader and honest supporter. Keep up the spirit!”

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