We took you to Germany, Spain, Netherland, and Denmark. We talked with young jobseekers, employers, and managers. Today, we move to Austria, in a slightly different context, and we meet Prof. Davide Ret, a university researcher in Vienna, for a new interview.
The university and the EURES TMS project
Davide tells us about himself: ‘I am a researcher at the Technical University and the Medical University of Vienna. I’ve been employed here for a long time, primarily conducting chemistry-related research and experiments. My academic career began in Pordenone, where I started studying chemistry, then I moved on to Trieste, where I began/start to work, and finally, here in Austria, in Vienna.” A life dedicated to science and study, but also a great deal of attention to young people and those who want to embark on a path of professional growth within the academic world.
“For many years, I have relied on European mobility initiatives to find trainees to assist me in the preliminary early research work efforts. I started enquiring already during my Ph.D.: I needed help in the lab and so I hired a young student for a traineeship. At that time, I met Stefania Garofalo, a EURES adviser in Friuli Venezia Giulia, with whom I still keep in touch. Stefania introduced me to the EURES network and, consequently, to the EURES Targeted Mobility Scheme initiative, a project that I find to be very interesting because, as I frequently mention, it can be challenging to access funds funding to recruit for research.”
Davide explains the planned activities for the traineeship: “I work on the presentation of early results of from the research I do with the trainees, including Alessio, a trainee employed by EURES TMS. In addition, to give students their first introduction to the workplace, the traineeship model enables me to collect funds for the research itself, and perhaps, even find other fundings to employ the trainees in the future.”
And it’s true: “Over the years, it has occurred several times that students who began by participating in traineeships with European mobility programmes, have continued their path and have been hired by the university; others, however, change their minds and look for other jobs. So, what I want to bring out is that having the chance to do a traineeship is a unique opportunity for training and facing/meeting with the working world.”
More on traineeship
The definition of traineeship found on European Commission portal says: “Traineeships are understood as a limited period of work practice, whether paid or not, which includes learning and/or a training component. Traineeships are a common way for young people to gain the necessary work experience before entering regular jobs. They help young people gain practical and professional experience, improve employability and facilitate transition into regular employment.”
“I believe it is crucial to have the chance to work with someone and discover their skills together. You need a few months to do this. The traineeship is an opportunity for getting to know one another better. In my opinion, one interview is not enough to completely appreciate someone’s potential, especially in our sector.”
At EURES TMS we know this very well. Mobility means opportunities for work exchange, as well as human and cultural exchange. However, it is necessary to have a solid and experienced network behind you. And in fact, Davide Ret tells us that “it is not always easy to find the right profiles, I get on very well with the Adviser who has been following me for years, Stefania Garofalo. I have also tried through other channels but I have not been successful in those cases. I recently gathered a series of contacts with professors from Spanish and Portuguese universities, and I would like to involve and introduce them to EURES TMS to them as well. It could be a chance to broaden the horizon of profiles to look at.”
To conclude the interview, Davide Ret offers us some closing thoughts on the value of open, diverse, and global work settings: “I think the best workplaces should be as diversified and international as possible. The Erasmus experience I made during my time at University was for me a push to this kind of thinking. I believe it’s critical to promote ongoing international exchange. It enables us to broaden our horizons, learn from the things that make us unique, and come to know ourselves better. I absolutely consider myself a supporter of Europe and the projects and programs it offers.”