Roman Oeschger, a graduate of both AAU's School of Humanities and School of International Relations & Diplomacy, has now gone on to found his own political think tank: FOMOSO.
Meet our Swiss-Czech alumnus Roman Oeschger. After getting both his BA in Humanities and Social Sciences and his MA in International Relations and Diplomacy, he founded FOMOSO, a think tank that researches political issues in East-Central and Southeast Europe, and he also works with Lucky service, s.r.o., which bridges Czech products to German-speaking markets.
Oeschger has also agreed to give back to the AAU community by establishing FOMOSO as one of AAU's internship providers so current students can have the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of founding an NGO as well as political research and commentary.
Our Alumni and Career Specialist, Elizabeth Nováček asked Oeschger to reflect on his #AAUPrague experience, how it has shaped his career journey and share some advice for future graduates.
What was your favorite class or teacher at AAU?
It is hard to say since there were a few teachers who I really liked but since I did both my Bachelor and my Master at AAU, I would like to mention two favourite classes. During my undergraduate studies I really loved the class East-Central European Politics. At that time, my knowledge about that region was limited. This class aroused my deep interest in that region. Since then, I have been very much concerned with East-Central and also Southeast Europe. Certainly, this class was one cornerstone for founding my own NGO in this topic area later. During my graduate studies the course Conflict Studies was very fascinating. Learning about certain conflict environments opened my eyes for understanding international conflicts. This class gave me the conceptual tools which I still use today when reading or learning about current international tensions.
Something you learned outside the classroom at AAU?
Well, I would rather say experienced. Beside the classes, I liked the atmosphere very much at AAU. I always liked to go to the beautiful AAU building and meet interesting people from different countries. The best part was all those interesting discussions I had during breaks or after classes. All in all, this intercultural atmosphere was a great experience!
If you had the opportunity to give a TED talk, what would you speak about?
No doubt, I would speak about the importance of European integration and what could be done by Europeans in order to maintain it. You know, we like to talk about European values such as democracy, freedom, liberalism, justice and so on. All these values seem to be self-evident in some cases and people might think that these achievements will last forever but without active people and without a stable political framework in which such values can thrive, all these achievements can be weakened. In the present, Europe faces some challenges. For example; re-nationalisation or migration and it is therefore important that Europe moves on with an integration process which further consolidates European values.
Knowing what you know now, what would you advise yourself when you were just graduating from AAU?
I would have advised myself to travel throughout Europe by train for 2–3 months. It was always a dream of mine to travel by train and to see the cities and countryside of all European countries. Nowadays, I do not have the time for such a long trip. Who knows, hopefully I will get a chance again in the future.
Lastly for fun, what is the first thing you like to do when you’re in a new city?
Honestly, I do the typical touristic stuff and go to the main places of interest. But if the city is a capital city of a country then I will always go to see the parliament building and the city hall. It's fascinating to me to see buildings where political decisions are made.
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Publication date: January 24, 2020