DA alumna Julia Kostal on her career since graduating from the ETIA 11 in 2019

Julia KostalHow did your career path look like so far?
Since graduating from the MSc ETIA programme my career path took me to Brussels, then back to Vienna and now to Vorarlberg, a region in the western part of Austria.
My first job after ETIA was a position as public affairs officer for a private company in climate and energy policy in Brussels. Drafting position papers, engaging with stakeholders and speaking at events were also amongst my responsibilities. After almost two years in public affairs, I continued my career in the energy sector as legal expert for Österreichs Energie, the association representing the Austrian electricity sector. I therefore had the chance to move back to Vienna and gain experience in Austrian energy law and policy. Finally, a few months ago I moved to Vorarlberg to work as legal expert with illwerke vkw, an Austrian energy supplier. This is a great opportunity to apply my knowledge in law as well as skills I acquired during the ETIA programme.

Have you always been interested in this specific career or has this interest developed over time?
The ETIA programme broadened my knowledge in fields I was interested but not academically trained in, such as climate science, water management or atmospheric chemistry. Over time I learned that having a sound understanding of science and an academic background in law fit perfectly together. As my thesis topic in ETIA I chose to analyse the consequences of climate change on water resource management in an European river basin. This was a great opportunity to combine my legal background with the scientific knowledge I gained during the ETIA programme.

Is there a specific skill set learned during the second ETIA year at TU Wien that is particularly useful for your current job?
The DA certainly played an important role in the beginning of my career; the skills, the activities and the classes at the DA and at TU Wien enabled me to pursue a career in public affairs and energy law. Building connections with students from all over the world has enriched my professional as well as my personal life.

[March 2022]