This month our 5 questions with… interview series consinues with our colleague Lucia Verardi from the Policy Unit.
Lucia, how did you end up working in the energy sector?
I started getting interested in European politics when I was in secondary school. I was fascinated by how Brussels, miles away from my small home town on the Mediterranean sea, was impacting my everyday life. So I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Languages for International Relations, followed by a master’s degree in European Affairs. I moved to Brussels in 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic and right before the Fitfor55 package was officially launched in July 2021. I wanted to challenge myself and have the privilege to keep learning every day. Energy was definitely the right choice to make!
What would you advise the “younger you” before starting your job hunt?
I would encourage everyone to take a chance on themself. I entered the job market in 2020, a year that – as we all know – was extremely challenging. I know very well the challenges of leaving your home and family, the frustration of a job hunt – is it the right job for me? Is it what I want? Will I succeed? – the insecurities of not having any previous work experience. Within this whole chaos, it is important to remember that you, as a young worker, are a resource. Be confident and true to yourself, believe in the sacrifices and even the mistakes you made. By doing so, you will always stand out from the crowd.
If you could share one message with European leaders in a personal capacity, what would it be?
After two years here, I got to understand what it means to live and work in the EU bubble. On one hand, this has brought ideas and projects, with people all in the same place. But on the other hand, the bubble has left some out. It is without doubt that climate change is already affecting those who have less access to clean energy, energy efficiency measures, etc. I hope for EU actions that recognise the differences existing across Europe and its Member States, including its peripheries. Only by recognising the divergences, can we design European policies that are truly effective and that in the end will leave no one behind.
Lastly, what would you like to achieve by retirement?
One day, I would be happy if I could look back at my career and be proud of what I achieved. More than everything, I like to imagine that while looking back at challenging moments I will be able to see the professional and personal growth that came with them. And, why not bring some new ideas and projects back to where I come from, to show that Brussels is not that far away as it might seem.