Picture of student Mihaela GruiaPolitics Student Shortlisted for National Employability Award

An undergraduate student from the Department of Politics has been shortlisted for a national employability award thanks to her outstanding work with a public affairs company during her placement year in Brussels.

Mihaela Gruia, BA International Relations and Politics with Employment Experience student, is one of five finalists out of 400 nominations for the Student Contribution to a Small to Medium-sized Enterprise Award in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards 2015. The nomination comes following Mihaela’s placement year working with FleishmanHillard Brussels, one of the world’s leading public affairs and communications firms, during which time Mihaela well and truly exceeded her expected responsibilities by winning new business, leading projects and by winning two external awards.

During her placement, Mihaela was part of the company’s Environment and Chemicals team. Her formal responsibilities focused on monitoring of policy and legislative developments from EU institutions and media outlets in the sector, creating weekly client-specific reports and conducting research on an ad-hoc project basis.

Mihaela participated in a competitive essay contest, which saw 200 submissions, aimed at public affairs consultants under 25-years-old in Brussels and won second prize. Through her achievement and initiative, she challenged herself to prove and improve her communication skills, while also raising the company’s profile.

Moreover, Mihaela had a crucial role in designing and implementing the social media strategy of a communications campaign aimed at encouraging young people to vote. Alongside four senior colleagues, her team orchestrated a highly successful campaign, which won the NGO Campaign of the Year at the European Digital Communications Awards.

Mihaela was the only intern in FleishmanHillard’s history to bring in new business.

James Stevens, Senior Vice President and Senior Partner at FleishmanHillard, said: “There’s nothing better in life than providing a young person with an opportunity and seeing them grasp it with both hands. In her year with us as an intern, Mihaela did just that. It was her ability to go beyond what was required that marked her out in her peer group.”

The winner of the Student Contribution to a Small to Medium-sized Enterprise Award will be announced at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards in February 2015.