Mari’s experience as an ESA Young Graduate Trainee

Mari’s experience as an ESA Young Graduate Trainee

October 13, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


My name is Mari Eldholm, I am Norwegian citizen and I am 29 years old. I am currently a YGT in the Legal Services Department, in addition I am also the Executive Secretary for something called the European Centre for Space Law. The ECSL is a centre created by ESA back in 1989. We work with partners all over Europe and we organise conferences, courses and competitions, and we really work on getting the word out that space law is something important and that people should care about. My educational background is in Social Anthropology and International Relations. While I liked space, there was no obvious career path (I thought) into space with this kind of background. As I mentioned, the Norwegian Space Centre has a graduate programme and the year I graduated, they happened to be looking for someone who could look into space policy and what the U.N. is doing in space and I thought “Hey, perfect!”. This is where things are happening, this is where space law and policy are not just something abstract, it is something very practical that must be dealt with on day to day basis. And this is also where the experts are and I have to admit that this is something that really attracted me. Through my YGT programme at the Norwegian
Space Centre. It is perhaps the international aspect of
working at ESA. It’s an international organisation where people from different background come together to achieve something great. And it’s really quite cool to be part of. I wake up every morning excited about going to work. I think this is also in large part due to the duality of the position. There is never a day that’s alike. And perhaps also what is a bit special with
my position is that I get to travel quite a lot, which means I get to interact with people
all over Europe. There are a lot of fantastic people out there who are great to work with and who you learn
a lot from working with. If you apply and you don’t get it, apply again. I actually applied for a position before I got this one but I didn’t get an interview. And then, I thought, I’m interested in this, I’m going to keep getting engaged in the
space sector, going to conferences, learning more… and then the next year, when I applied for this position, I was lucky enough to get it. So apply!