How did you become interested in working at the International Barents Secretariat?
In a time where Western ties with Russia are becoming increasingly complicated, the IBS was attractive to me as an organization that works to create constructive cooperation by uniting the people of the Barents region across borders. With an inclusive and society-orientated approach to border cooperation, the IBS seemed like an organization I wanted to work for! Coming from the South of Norway, it is also very exotic to experience the nature and the culture of Kirkenes.
Tell us about your background
I grew up in Groruddalen in Oslo, Norway but I have lived in the UK for the past 5 years and completed my Masters degree in global politics at the LSE. Throughout my studies, I was interested in political economy and trade, in Russia and the Nordic countries in particular.
For the past 6 months I have worked for NordForsk in Oslo, which is an institution that is part of the Nordic Council of Ministers. In November, I was the Instagram reporter for the Nordic Council of Ministers at their annual top-level meeting. These experiences with working for a regional organization, in order to create common added value, has motivated me to expand my experience in this field.
What does your work include at the IBS?
I have been here for a week so far and we are currently preparing The Barents Youth conference, which will be held in Luleå as a part of the Swedish Chairmanship to celebrate 25 years of Barents Cooperation. The preparatory work includes updating our website with information, engaging participants through social media channels and making sure all the practical arrangements are in place.
For the duration of the internship, my main tasks are communication related. I am passionate about engaging the people of the Barents region and conveying information about the Barents cooperation. With the freedom to focus on my main areas of interests throughout my stay, I want to focus on carrying out and improving the communication plan of the IBS, as well as writing for an international audience.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy doing sports and have already had a few trips to the swimming pool Barentsbadet, which is only 2 minutes away from my house! I hope to explore the nature while I am here and to travel whenever I get the chance to. I am currently waiting for the approval of my Russian visa application and I am very excited to travel to a country I have never been to before.
My colleagues at The Barents Secretariat are also very including so I have had a warm welcome to Kirkenes and to the Barents Cooperation!