Global Development Institute Blog

The Global Development Institute offers a range of taught master’s programmes. The MSc Human Resource Management programme aims to equip learners with a robust theoretical framework for careers in HRM and at the same time to provide students with an opportunity to gain insights into practice-focused HRM across a wide range of management contexts and sectors. The MSc HRM Enhancement Programme (HRMEP) has been developed over five years to offer closer student engagement with a wide range of organisational contexts in the field of HR practice. This year, due to the impact of Covid-19, alternative plans have been made for the enhancement programme to invite experienced HR practitioners from a wide range of organisations to engage in a series of webinars. with our HRM students on matters of HR practice. 

Building on our previous cooperation with the European Commission in Brussels, a virtual webinar was organised in this HRMEP (MSc HRM Enhancement Programme) on Wednesday, April 21st, 2021. Colleagues from the European Commission provided outstanding inputs to the webinar, interacting with GDI staff and students, as part of the Management and Governance in Development (MGD) Human Resource Practice II module. 

Isabelle Van Keirsbilck, from the Directorate-General and Directorate for Strategy & Corporate Communication in the European Commission, Haydn Schofield, from the Directorate-General for Communication and Fredrik Beckvid Tranchell, from the Directorate-General for Trade in the European Commission joined staff and students in the webinar for over two hours. The event included an overview of the European Commission and European Union, its mission, vision and strategy. The webinar also specifically focused on issues in management and development in the organisation, such as career development in the European Commission and skills for international negotiation, illustrated with examples from EU negotiations with China and UK (on Brexit). Current challenges in the context of Covid-19 were also discussed, including how managerial practices have been modified in the organisation to reduce the impact of the pandemic on employees. 

The MSc HRM Enhancement Programme through online webinars such as these, supports the MGD-GDI students’ learning experience, linking their study of theory with insights from HR practitioners into current practice in different organisational contexts. This engagement also consolidates our cooperation with our fieldwork hosts, many of whom we have met previously in better times in the UK and abroad in organisational site visits.

Some students of the MSc HRM (ID) Programme reflected on their experience of the Webinar on behalf of the 180 students that attended:

‘This week’s Virtual Tour to European Commission was fruitful and I really enjoyed the knowledge shared by the lecturers. One of the most remarkable points mentioned by the lecturer is about negotiation skills. I totally agree with the point that 50% of the negotiation process is not done in a formal meeting contact process. In addition, this virtual visit gives us the opportunities to think and to explore potential possibilities for our future career. As MSc Human Resource Management students, this tour inspired us to explore possible options in our career pathways in areas such as consulting firms or international organisations.’


‘It was a very good experience to get to know about the EU Commissions.’


‘I am very grateful to those EU staff for sharing their time and experiences with us. We learned a lot about the EU from the lecture. The presenters are well-prepared for this lecture and very friendly.’


‘I was pleased to see the people that work in the EC […] I greatly appreciate the effort of these people who have shared their experiences with us.’ 

Thanks again to our colleagues, Isabelle Van Keirsbilck, Haydn Schofield and Fredrik Beckvid Tranchell in the European Commission, for making this webinar possible by sharing their working experience with our students.

Find out more about GDI’s MSc programmes in Human Resource Management and Development

Photo by Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash

Note:  This article gives the views of the author/academic featured and does not represent the views of the Global Development Institute as a whole.