Our Alumni


The placement at the Council for European Studies at Columbia University had a defining role in my professional path. Regardless of the small size of its core team, CES stands at the center of large-scale international programs, research projects, and events that bring together European Studies scholars. During the placement in the New York office, I had an opportunity to be involved in the publication of the flagship monthly journal EuropeNow; chairing the panels and assisting with the organization of the annual International Conference of Europeanists that took place in Madrid that year, were the real pinnacles of my experience.

Even as a relatively short-term placement, this opportunity, once deemed to be a far reach, was a great added value to other aspects of the IMSISS program. Back then little did I know that in a few months I would receive an offer from CES to coordinate the very same conference. Since 2019 my role with CES has grown and I take special pride in continuing the IMSISS-CES cooperation tradition that allowed other IMSISS students to closely work with the CES team on digital, as well as in-person international events. I also get to work with the faculty of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow through another collaborative research project “SECUREU”.

It feels humbling to remain connected to the institution that had such a lasting impact on my education and career. 

Rusudan Zakahidze, Annual International Conference of Europeanists Coordinator; Dissemination and Outreach Officer for the SECUREU project, Council for European Studies at Columbia University

Fascinated by the practical approach taken by the Summer School on Strategic Intelligence Analysis, I signed-up for a six-month internship with Prof. Dr. Markus Bresinsky at the OTH Regensburg during the fourth semester of my IMSISS studies. As a Technical University of Applied Sciences, the OTH has her place at the interface of academia and practice – and my internship experience was exactly that. I was able to build a broad portfolio of transferable skills, ranging from contributing to peer-reviewed research articles and presenting at international conferences to running workshops with practitioners on a wide variety of security-related topics and preparing analysis products as part of high-paced and dynamic team. 

After my internship had ended, I continued working for Prof. Bresinsky and the OTH in two scientific research projects. Today, more than two and half years since I moved to Regensburg, I am the research coordinator of my faculty. My current position allows me to stay on top of the most recent challenges and developments in research and technology across my own field as well as the interdisciplinary ones related to it. Among research managers, this INT domain is sometimes referred to as proposal intelligence.

Johanna Schroeder, Research Coordinator, OTH Regensburg

I work as a Diplomat at the British High Commission in Abuja, and absolutely love how dynamic, stimulating, and challenging my day-to-day role is. I lead our bilateral trade relationship, convene Ministerial Economic Development Forums, and progress UK-Nigeria Trade and Investment negotiations. My experience at IMSISS has genuinely helped me in this role; during the recent Presidential Elections, I was seconded into the Political Unit where I disseminated SitReps (much like I had practised during crisis management exercises throughout the IMSISS semester in Regensburg).

IMSISS was an invaluable programme for developing long-lasting networks, gaining in-depth research experience (which helped me land my first internship at a Libyan Think Tank), and practical learning like scenario modelling, the Cyber 9/12 Challenge, and a work-based learning placement at the UN in New York. Following IMSISS, my career path has taken me to the Counterterrorism Department at the EU, Intelligence Analysis at Deloitte, and Research on Serious and Organised Crime for Local Councils. My favourite aspect of IMSISS was definitely the intercultural, international student cohort and the enriching opportunity to study in multiple locations- it undeniably ignited my passion to pursue a global career in the Foreign Service!

Sana Chaudhry, SECINTEL (Pilot, 2015-2017) Cohort, Abuja, Nigeria