From ETIA to the Austrian Trade Union Federation

DA alumna Miriam Baghdady on her career since graduating from ETIA 07 in 2015


DA: You work for the Austrian Trade Union Federation as an economist. What exactly are your responsibilities on the job and how did your career path look like so far?
Miriam Baghdady: In my job at the Austrian Trade Union Federation, I lobby for employees and workers. My areas of focus are fiscal and tax policy as well as competition policy. I analyse how different policies can affect employees and workers and strive for their interests to be adequately represented. I comment on bills submitted by the government or other bodies and provide economic and political reviews on policy proposals. In cooperation with our different Unions I also work on our own policy proposals. In addition to that I give lectures on economic policy to workers councils representatives.
Before I started working for the Austrian Trade Union Federation, I interned at the Austrian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and at the Austrian Ombudsman Board. After that I worked in the economic department of the Swiss Embassy for over three years.

Have you always been interested in economic affairs, or has this interest developed over time?
I always had an interest in understanding why inequality exists. When I was younger I was fascinated by the United Nations, as an organisation that tries to promote and achieve the respect for human rights. Over time I started to get more interested in the role that economic affairs can play in reinforcing inequalities and wanted to learn more how economic policies can promote and lead to equality and social justice and thus provide a good life for everyone.

How has the DA helped you develop your career?
The regular career talks provided by the DA gave me an insight in what it means to work for an advocacy group, which is also how I gained interest in working in a similar field. Studying with highly motivated colleagues further improved discussions on all kinds of political and economic issues. Thereby I gained new friendships and a valuable network for the future.

Is there a specific skill set taught at the DA that is particularly useful for your current job?
I graduated from ETIA, which was particularly helpful to me. The interdisciplinary approach and the versatile course program gave me an insight into topics from different perspectives. This is how I learned to analyse topics from a political, scientific/technical, legal as well as an economic angle. This is a highly important skills set, which is particularly useful for my job. Also the DA provided a number on extracurricular seminars on negotiation and political communication, which perfectly complemented the DAs course catalogue. Altogether the academic and extracurricular activities that have been offered by the DA have proved to be an invaluable asset for my career.

Where do you think will the future take you?
I do not have a specific position or institution in mind. What drives me is the vision of paving the way for a just and peaceful society, based on the principles of equality, solidarity and justice. I would like to contribute to that and that is also what I think will drive me in the future.

[December 2021]