Henrik is doing an internship at Sida

2020-12-16

Henrik Nordström is currently enrolled in Bachelor Programme in Political Science. During the autumn semester 2020, he is doing an internship at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency's (Sida) unit for management.

Henrik Nordström

Where are you undertaking your internship? Why did you apply for an internship there?

My internship is placed at the government agency Sida. Sida works on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government with the aim of implementing Swedish development policies. Sida does not implement the aid interventions, but works in partnership with other actors. Their role is to allocate financial resources and to develop knowledge and competence, while their partners manage and execute the projects. My application to Sida can foremost be traced back to my interest in development cooperation. During my time at the university I had the pleasure to engage in different boards and organizations which worked with themes related to global development. My bachelor ended in me conducting my bachelor thesis in Sudan on Chinese development cooperation The possibility to get a closer look at the Swedish side of things was therefore particularly interesting. Since Sida is one of the world’s leading actors as well as one of the biggest donors, plenty of opportunities are offered to delve into development cooperation’s inner sanctum.

What are your main tasks at the internship?

As an intern, I have been placed at Sida's unit for management. The unit is responsible for a number of key processes at Sida and aims primarily to support the authority in realizing the government's goals and guidelines for Swedish development cooperation. As an intern, I, together with a small team, have been responsible for producing Sida's annual report with special responsibility for results reporting. The most fascinating as an intern is to be able to deliver such an important product in combination with being able to delve into both Sida's operations as well as key issues within development assistance, such as how we can demonstrate that Swedish development cooperation actually makes a difference.

To what extent is what you learned during your studies applicable in your internship?

In fact, in more ways than I could have imagined. Since my internship is at the intersection between state governance and Swedish development assistance, I have benefited greatly from my studies in administrative policy from my political-science courses. The analytical tools that the Bachelor of Political Science provides you also come in handy when summarizing the activities of such a large authority. It is when it is most complex - when one has to balance the government's governance, Sida's governance, the wishes of colleagues and at the same time not lose sight of the person who ultimately is going to benefit from all this, that I notice how well prepared this bachelor has made me for a future in this field.

Would recommend future students to do an internship? Why/why not?

Absolutely! It is one of the most fascinating things you will do during your bachelor. To finally be able to do something as concrete as an internship is interesting on its own. But it is also a great opportunity to test the tools and assets you have acquired during your time at the university. My guess is that you will be surprised at how far you come in just three years of higher education. I would recommend this specific internship if you have a special interest in either development cooperation (preferably state-administered) or government governance. If you feel you have a place in one of these camps, or maybe even both, I highly recommend you to apply for this internship.