Panorama of Entrepreneurship and Career Development

von Martha Kontodaimon
The 2nd Virtual Panorama


KAS Greece and Cyprus supported this year again the 2nd Virtual Panorama of Entrepreneurship and Career Development, which run 7 - 9 Oktober 2021. In addition to our parallel actions and our online booth, we held a panel under the title "European Organizations: their work and our daily life". The keynote speakers were Athanasopoulou Marialena, Deputy Head of Economic Risk Analysis, European Stability Mechanism, Kampranis Dimitris, Head of Finance and Lending Applications Division Business Services Department, European Investment Bank and Keranis Nikos, Senior Press Officer, European Central Bank. The panel was coordinated by Martha Kontodaimon, Project Manager - Research Associate, Konrad Adenauer Foundation of Greece and Cyprus.


Athanasopoulou Marialena, Deputy Head of Economic Risk Analysis, European Stability Mechanism

She studied mathematics in Greece and continued with postgraduate and doctoral studies in economics in U.S. She has work experience at the European Central Bank and later at the IMF for about a decade. She then moved to Luxembourg, where she has been working for the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) for the last seven years.

The ESM is the permanent support mechanism for the Eurozone countries. It was created when EU countries needed financial assistance and support programs. The ESM consists of two pillars. The first pillar is the analysis of countries that have already received funding from the ESM, while according to the new decision of the European leaders, the ESM will henceforth proceed with a risk analysis, so that it can act on time in the future. Another important part of the organization is the financing of countries through its own. ESM is an institution that, in addition to the economic analysis of the countries and its preventive operation, also has a strong participation in the Markets.

As for the daily life of an economist in the Support Mechanism, this includes the monitoring of the country as well as research projects. The ESM also interacts with other European and international institutions such as the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, mainly at the research level.


Kampranis Dimitris, IT - Head of Finance and Lending Applications Division Business Services Department, European Investment Bank

He has completed his studies and doctorate in Greece, where he has worked for a decade. He settled in Luxembourg in 2015.

The European Investment Bank is the bank of Europe since 1958 and the largest development bank in the world. It is based in Luxembourg. Its goal is to raise funds from the markets and to provide loans on the best possible terms and with a view to growth. In total, it has mobilized investments of 4.5 trillion euros. It employs about 3.5 thousand people, both bankers and economists, engineers and experts in many fields. It has a presence with local offices in 51 countries, including Greece. The European Investment Bank is also one of the shareholders in the European Investment Fund. The bank's areas of investment are innovation, the environment, public infrastructure and small and medium-sized enterprises.

The work environment in the EIB is international and multicultural, as employees from the 27 EU countries work together on a daily basis. Both the requirements and the workload are high, while there is a need for regulatory compliance that exists in every bank. Finally, emphasis is placed on transparency and good governance.


Keranis Nikos, Senior Press Officer, European Central Bank

About 5.5 thousand employees currently work at the ECB, of which 270 are Greek. Many of them work on a short-term basis.

The main task of the European Central Bank is to formulate the Monetary Policy of the Eurozone with the main goal of Price Stability, to avoid high inflation and not to exhaust the purchasing power of households. This is the greatest contribution of a monetary policy to economic growth and job security. The inflation target is 2% in the medium term, while both low and high inflation are considered negative.

A second task of the ECB is banking supervision, with the primary objective of safeguarding the security and soundness of the European banking system. The ECB supervises the systemically important banks in each country. It also develops and issues Euro banknotes, with the use of new technologies, so that banknotes are safe, easy to counterfeit and wear-resistant.

In addition, the ECB ensures the smooth operation of the financial infrastructure, to ensure the efficient flow of money within each country and across borders. Finally, the ECB also aims to maintain the financial stability achieved through the identification of risks that could destabilize the financial system.

The work environment at the European Central Bank is demanding and the system operates continuously, often until late at night. As head of the ECB Press Office, Mr. Keranis has the advantage of moving horizontally and having an image of all job positions in the ECB.

More specifically, the ECB's press office is tasked with reviewing the press every morning, with everyone reporting on specific areas and reviewing the press on ECB issues. This is followed by a meeting where the main issues of the day are discussed. Then, there are questions from journalists. Also conducted among others: interviews of members of the Executive Committee, information on emerging issues, articles, studies, etc. At the end of the day, a summary of what happened is drafted and sent to the President of the ECB.

As for the work environment, it was emphasized that it is international and there is a common fellowship culture. Jobs often arise, and the process is meritocratic.


Key Discussion Points 

The discussion with the public focused on the basic skills that a professional must possess to join each institution.

The importance of foreign languages ​​was emphasized, with the basic condition of knowledge of English but also the importance of French. The academic qualifications of the candidate and the way of presenting the CV, which meets the conditions of the position to be filled are also crucial. The process is meritocratic, while the importance of someone entering the process to make applications was stressed.

Regarding the work in the European Support Mechanism, the doctoral degree is quite important for the junior positions, while in addition to the doctorate, the work experience of 6 to 7 years prior in a corresponding position for the senior positions is important. Finally, skills always depend on each position. For example, in positions for economists, the PhD is preferred, while in positions for bank supervisors, people who have worked in banks in Greece can apply.

Among other things, the entry of flexible and long-distance work - due to the COVID-19 pandemic - was emphasized without negatively affecting the productivity of workers, as in many cases it increased.

The speakers encouraged prospective candidates to be bold, to enter the interview process, to be persistent and not to be disappointed, as there are many choices in terms of jobs.



*A report compiled by Evangelia Kapeli



Martha Kontodaimon

Martha Kontodaimon bild

Projektmanagerin - Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin +30 210 7247 126