1. What aspects of the WIFP were you most appealed to?
The way it broadens the perspective from the often quite technical and theoretical subjects at SSE to the realm of international affairs and international business. It also opens the doors to some of the most recognized practitioners and scholars of actual policy making in D.C., where it seems the rest of the world is closer than in most other places.
2. Tell us about the internship you’ve had this summer. Where were you situated and what did you get the chance to do/experience?
I spent the summer at the Peterson Institute of International Economics, working with the well-renowned Swedish economist Anders Åslund. I have done research and produced graphs and prepared material for several areas for his book on "How to fix Europe", a policy related book examining examples of successful European countries, tackling such demanding questions as how to create an environment inductive to innovation, how to curb unemployment, how to create a competitive tax system, get the pension system right and so on. At the Peterson Institute, I was in the midst of the ongoing debates about the Trans-Pacific Partnership which was negotiated in Congress during summer, as well as numerous events targeting the economic challenges Ukraine is facing to balance its budget as well as the economic effects sanctions are having on Russia.
3. What will be most fun, but also challenging during the term?
I am looking forward to the various events aimed at giving us exposure to leaders in different areas which we will be participating in. I have already visited Freedom House, the World Bank and the World Resources Institute, as well as numerous think tanks in D.C. We are planning visits to the Capitol, the IMF as well as other organizations.
Most challenging I found climbing the North Dome in Yosemite National Park - more than 1000 meters in elevation gain. We took the opportunity of traveling there, spending 5 full days hiking, taking in the stunning vistas of Yosemite, with my favorite being Cloud's Rest with a view over the Half Dome.
4. You’ve arrived quite recently, how does it feel?
D.C. is an active bee-hive in summer. It's a good time to be here, with concerts everywhere, tourists flocking around along the Mall, the iconic museum area with completely free of charge world class museums and countless people enjoying a beer in the sun for the mandatory happy hour. It's not only tourists who flock to D.C. - also interns from all over the U.S. come to try their luck for a summer in the intern-heavy capital. When you arrive new to a place, one of the most important things is to feel welcomed and be able to make new friends. After a couple of months in D.C., I have made many new friends and had an intense experience of the bustling capital of the U.S., now settling in for intense studies and many more new friends at Georgetown University.
5. Any tips for those who are interested in applying?
Think outside of the box. The Wallenberg Fellowship Program is meant to make you broaden your horizons, seeing more career choices you haven't contemplated before, and getting inspired by the sheer width of international organizations in D.C. If you have an interest in international affairs and want to broaden your international profile, this is for you.
6. Any other comments?
The Wallenberg Fellowship Program aims at nurturing future leaders, providing individualized assistance in finding an internship that fits your personal career plan, as well as organizing various activities throughout the semester aimed at further developing the participants' professional network.