Marc Payola

"I received a proposal from the UAB Research Park in Barcelona for a full-time job as a Project Manager"

Role: Project Manager 

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With a background on Political Sciences and European Studies, I participated in the first edition of the Master in European Project Planning and Management organized in Florence by Pixel in 2012 – 2013. Although I had different options to continu my studies, I chose the programm from Pixel since it was deeply oriented to the labour market, with a detailed program aiming at enlarging our knowledge on the European Funding opportunities as well as improving our skills on project planning and management, as well as a mandatory internship included in the program.

In spite that Pixel proposed my several organizations where I could perform the internship, I decided to identify one the perfectly suits with interests and objectives. I found Conexx-Europe, an NGO based at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium. I move there for a 3 months internship and at the end of the period they proposed my a full-time contract in the organization.

Altough the master courses provides you with a wide information about projects, programmes, frameworks and funding opportunities, the truth is that you start mapping and organizing this information once you start working on the field. Therefore, the internship experience was very usefull for me in order to understand the full picture, as well as get into the working flow of the Eu funding atmosphere.

After 6 months working at Conexx-Europe, I recived a proposal from the UAB Research Park in Barcelona for a full-time job as a Project Manager in the international department of the organization, basically, supporting projects outside Europe.

After 20 months working at the UAB Research Park, I received a proposal from a network of Spanish universities (Allianza 4 Unievrsidades) to become Coordinator of the network while the current coordinator was on maternity leave, for a period of about a year. Although I was happy with my job position it was quite challenging and interesting to accept the proposal. After a negotiation, both oganizations (UAB Research Park and Alianza 4 Universidades) accepted to contract me in a part-time job so I had the chance to work in both positions.

I was working in both organizations during 15 months, when the person I replaced at the Alianza 4 Universidades get back to work on October 2016. At that point both organizations poposed my a new full-time contract but I decided to stay at the UAB Research Park, as a project Manager under the Innovation projects unit, and from then until today that has been my job position.

I do belive that the Master organized in Pixel is an outstanding gate to entry in the European funding world. Noneheless, it really depends on each of us to take advanteg os this opportunities an turn it into real job opportunities.

Barcelona, April 2017