Interview of our new intern Katri-Maaria Kyllönen:
How did you become interested in working at the International Barents Secretariat?
Coming from Northern Finland I have always seen international co-operation as the best possibility to develop our region. Usually we hear about Arctic or European projects but Barents area as a uniting factor and basis for co-operation made me curious and I wanted to learn more about it.
In addition, I have heard so many positive comments about the internship at IBS so I had to apply!
Tell us about your background
I come from Rovaniemi, Finland and I’m currently studying my Master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Lapland. My interests are related to Arctic Politics and Peace & Conflict Resolutions. However, I’m writing my thesis about the collective memory of member states of the European Union. One could say all these themes are very far from each other but I believe that is what International Relations are all about; everything is linked and that makes it fascinating.
This is my first internship on my own field. I have quite a lot of international experience and in addition to travelling and studying abroad I’ve been working in tourism industry for many years, which has really opened my eyes to see how special our region really is. I have never lived further north than the Arctic Circle and I’m excited to explore the “far North” even more.
What does your work include at the IBS?
So far: updating the social media, writing small reports and planning some events. I got to participate in the CSO meeting during my first days at the IBS and that was very exciting. I’m in the very beginning of my internship and I expect to develop my professional skills during these couple of months.
What do you enjoy doing on your free time?
I like to do sports and travel. I’m an outdoor enthusiastic, especially if it has something to do with mountains. While I am in Kirkenes I would love to take up nature photography, which has been my dream for a while now.
I also like to get lost a lot. It’s impressive how many times a day one can get lost even in a small town like Kirkenes. Maybe it's not that bad after all... what I really love to do is to find and see new places and the best way to do that is to travel and just keep your eyes open. I love the scenery in Norway; wherever there are mountains that’s the right place for me.