Starting a new adventure: Wallenberg International Fellows Program

“So when are you leaving Sweden?” I was asked in another as-a-matter-of-fact conversation. “Oh, just in two weeks,” I replied, mechanically recalling the date of my flight. It was an after-event mingle for Wallenberg International Fellows Program kick-off, and I was too excited to conceive that I’m leaving for the US in a matter of weeks.  Now, two days before I say good bye to Sweden, I sat down to collect my thoughts before starting the new adventure.

Firstly, this new adventure would not have been possible if not for Sweden. In fact, the program I got accepted to is supported by the Wallenberg Family, one of the most prominent business dynasties in Europe, who are also generous philanthropists. As part of the program, I’ll do my internship in Washington DC during the summer and study at Georgetown University in the Fall semester.

While listening to Marcus Wallenberg, a Georgetown alumnus himself, as he spoke on leadership in the modern world, a surprising thought crossed my mind. Could it happen anywhere else but Sweden? The man overseeing a business empire worth €250 bn. converses with a bunch of students on a Monday afternoon… The egalitarian culture and determination to foster leadership among the young are things that Swedes excel at.

Three amazing Georgetown students came to Stockholm to do their internships in the prominent Wallenberg sphere companies. Three of us, SSE fellows, are just about to get started in DC.  If you could do any internship in the world, what would it be? It was not a hypothetical question I asked myself in search of inspiration for another interview… In fact, the answer had very practical implications to where I’d end up this summer. I’m truly humbled to join the Innovation & Communication Technology Unit at the World Bank.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience,” so said Eleanor Roosevelt, and so be it, for life is one great adventure itself.

*** Photos from the event are courtesy of Raghu, who saw it all through the lens…

There was time for introductions… Not as formal as they seem=)
…and time for conversations.
It felt a bit like mingle of generations, with all those portraits of SSE Rectors & Founders on the walls of Ohlinrummet at Stockholm School of Economics…
And Marcus Wallenberg gave an intro on his vision of leadership; afterwards a panel discussion with students started.
So we are sitting in the first raw! Now, that’s uncommon… During regular lectures, the fisrt raw typically stays empty…

Written by Marta

10 Jun 2015