Tell us a bit about your background and what you are doing currently?
I am 19 years old and studying full-time as a student at Rice University. Texas has been my home since birth, but I still struggle with the summer heat and humidity. At Rice, I study Classics and Mathematical Economic Analysis with an emphasis on Data Science. It’s a weird combination, but I enjoy being able to strengthen both my quantitative and written skills as a university student. When I’m not studying, I enjoy playing racquetball and coxing on the Rice rowing team. Our season was cut short due to the COVID-19 crisis, but I look forward to next year’s regattas. After graduating from Rice, I hope to work in international trade in some capacity, the ultimate goal being to become an Economic Foreign Service Officer for the US Department of State, building trade relations with foreign countries on behalf of the US.
Why did you decide to become an intern at SACC Texas?
In addition to the US Department of State, I am interested in pursuing a career in the US Commercial Service, supporting commercial diplomacy and advising US companies looking to export to foreign markets. The USCS and SACC offer very similar services, namely trade missions, export guides, business matchmaking, and networking. In that respect, I figured that interning at SACC would be a great way to learn how international trade is promoted by an NGO on the local level. Plus, SACC is one of the few Chambers of Commerce in Houston based out of a consulate. Given my interest in eventually working at US embassies for the State Department, I figured SACC would also give me the opportunity to see what working at a foreign mission is like.
What are you going to do at SACC and for how long?
My main responsibility is to help promote events, correspond with members, and increase SACC’s presence online and in the community. I initially intended to only work until the beginning of June, but the people are the reason I decided to continue working indefinitely. Everyone at SACC-Texas has been so welcoming, friendly, and helpful. The work has also been very novel; I am gaining skills that I would have not otherwise.
What would you like to achieve here at SACC?
I would like to help with the organization of a trade mission from Sweden to Texas and, more locally, help SACC further develop its brand in Houston.
What is your impression of Sweden?
From my experience with SACC, I get the impression that Sweden is very easygoing, casual, athletic, and environmentally conscious. I also get the sense that drinking is an integral part of the community experience, but not in the same way that it is for the stereotypical American college student. The Swedish drinking culture seems much more benign and focused on togetherness and shared experience more than anything else. Swedes, as far as I can tell, also have a very smart, witty sense of humor.