Governmental Relations and Public Affairs specialist at Grayling

"I had an idea to make the world a better place"

Vadim-Biryukov-PS-GEG-testimonialnieuwVadim Biryukov  
Profession: Governmental Relations and Public Affairs specialist at Grayling  
Education: Master’s programme in Political Science: Global Environmental Governance

What do you do for a living?
After my graduation I was very glad to get the internship of my dreams at Global Reporting Initiative, a sustainability reporting company based in Amsterdam. The internship was a well funded opportunity to develop valuable skills, enrich my knowledge of sustainability topics, and enjoy Holland for another year. Currently I am a Governmental Relations and Public Affairs specialist at the international communication agency Grayling. In a nutshell, my job is to assist companies’ communication to stakeholders in various critical situations.

How did you find your job?
Once my Dutch permit expired, I had to decide on my future residence. I went back to Russia and got a position at Citibank Russia. It was a big contrast with working for a sustainability NGO in the Netherlands. After a while, I was able to find a job that related more to political science, my field of interest. I found this job by applying for a vacancy that entailed conducting research. This is how I ended up with a very interesting job at a communication agency working with foreign clients and very challenging assignments.

What aspects of your job relate to the Master’s programme you followed at VU UniversityAmsterdam?
For my internship at Global Reporting Initiative my VU degree was crucial. It gave me strong confidence in my research skills as well as a bird view of the general elements in social science. Once I moved to Russia, a degree from the VU looked very attractive on my CV for my current employer. I also enjoy applying the Dutch direct approach in solving difficult tasks at work. The Russian traditional shy and hierarchical manner of interacting are not always perfect for working efficiently, so the experience to address issues directly help me a lot.

Why did you choose this Master’s, and what job did you expect to find with this degree?
When I was applying for this Master’s degree I had an idea to make the world a better place. Once I had the degree in my hands, I thought to myself: I can work anywhere. I believe my qualifications are good enough to be part of an environmental or social justice NGO or a lobbying group. This is the spirit I had during my studies, and it still is so.