Carolien Mazal studied international relations (Master of Arts) at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She focused during her studies on EU law and decision processes. In her Master Thesis she looked at the principle of sovereignty versus the concept of the common heritage of mankind, focusing especially on the Amazon region.
After her studies, Carolien worked in different international environments, of which several years in Belize, Central America. She started specializing in the management of publicly funded projects in 2006, when she joined TNO, the Dutch institute for applied scientific research. At TNO she was responsible for the coordination of EU public funded projects in the area of Transport Safety. At Uniresearch, an independent grant consultancy, she continued to manage European research and innovation projects, broadening her scope to include sustainable transport. From 2009 until 2013, she worked as a Senior Manager at the Central Division External Affairs, Governmental and Political Relations of the Robert Bosch GmbH in Brussels and was responsible for R&D policy and the company wide coordination of EU public funded projects participation.