I grew up in Michigan, USA and went on to college in Minnesota where I received a degree in marketing and business. After I graduated I worked a few years in the finance industry, but over the last year I felt the need to change things up and started to look for new career paths. When a close friend of mine told me about the American Talent to Sweden internship-programme I thought it seemed like a great opportunity to gain some international experience and I applied.
Right now I am in Stockholm for a three month internship with a company called Grow International. Grow International helps expats that have relocated to Stockholm and works with clients such as Spotify and EA Games. The company offers services like language classes and cultural education as well as social events. I am the event manager and plan och coordinate events and activities for our clients and their entire families. I really like working here. Since it is a small company I have been given a lot of responsibility and the culture of the company is based on openness and trust. We share office space with other small businesses and I meet people from all over the world.
The process of applying for the internship and moving was surprisingly very smooth, everything just fell into place. I received a lot of support from SACC-USA and also got great advice from a previous intern about practical things such as which insurance to get and how to set up a phone plan. Finding housing was challenging, but I am lucky to have a network of friends and friend of friends to help me. Other obstacles were more personal in nature: it is a very big decision to move to another country and change up your career and I spent a lot of time thinking it over. It helps that it is very easy to stay in touch with friends and family back home with social media and I don’t feel very far removed from them.
Why Sweden? I always had a positive image of Sweden, both through a close friend who is from here and through my mother’s heritage. Now that I am here I really appreciate that people are active and into nature and fitness here, it is one way I have been able to connect with Swedes. Everybody rides their bikes to work and I don’t have to rely on driving. I try to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings in Stockholm and go running in the trails, listening to the birds and taking in nature. To get to know more people from outside of work I have joined a gym and visited a church.
My advice to other people who are thinking about going abroad for an internship or to work is to see it as a unique opportunity to get another perspective on life. It has really changed my perception on things such as workplace culture and what constitutes efficiency. It has been very rewarding, both professionally and personally. I have gained lots of new experiences, perspectives and confidence in myself and what I can do.
So what is next for me? I am looking into the possibility of staying and working here in Sweden. If not, I would really love to work for a Swedish company back home in the States.
American Talent to Sweden Programme
The Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce, SACC-USA, is looking for technology & IT candidates to join Swedish companies for traineeships up to 18 months. Sweden is a leader in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship and our partner companies are at the cutting edge of their field. Each position comes with a detailed plan for what you will achieve professionally during your traineeship. SACC-USA will assist with application for Swedish work permit and AmCham will provide a business network for you while in Sweden.
Learn more about the programme and see currently available traineeships in Sweden on the SACC-USA website.