Erika Rahmqvist – new scholarship holder in New York

27 January 2017

Uppsala University’s scholarship for a one-year internship at the Swedish–American Chamber of Commerce in New York is in its sixth year. Erika Rahmqvist has already arrived in New York and is looking forward to learning about the work at the chamber of commerce and developing the University’s alumni activities in the city.

Erika Rahmqvist just finished her Bachelor’s degree in business and economics, with a specialisation in international business and marketing. She has found accommodation in Brooklyn and started her new job on 16 January.

“I handed in my Bachelor’s thesis last Friday, and then I travelled here on Saturday morning. It’s great to be here and settled in. This morning I had a meeting with Per Ståhle who is chair of the Uppsala University alumni chapter in New York.”

She will take over the internship at the chamber of commerce after Gabriella Andersson. The position involves 75 per cent work for the chamber of commerce and 25 per cent work with Uppsala University’s alumni activities.

In what way will you be helping Uppsala University’s alumni and alumni activities?
“I will be secretary of the alumni chapter board, and will also be in charge of planning many of events. There’s the ‘Valborg gasque’ we have every year, and a another gasque in the autumn for the annual general meeting. And then there are a few other events such as a speaker event in the spring and one in the autumn. There will also be smaller events and a lot of fundraising since this is a non-profit organisation. The focus will be to recruit new members and to get them involved, with the goal of developing and improving the alumni activities. We are dependent on our members and we are here to serve them.”

What tasks have you been given at the chamber of commerce?
“The Uppsala University scholarship is tied to a specific position. It’s mainly working with communication, helping Yasmina Backström who is Head of Communications. This includes producing newsletters, a magazine seven times a year, an annual report, a half-yearly report and managing the member registry. I do a lot of work in Indesign, cutting and pasting everything together.”

Why did you apply for the scholarship?
“Well, why wouldn’t you apply? It’s a great opportunity to live and work in the US, especially in New York which is such a world metropolis. Then of course I enjoy the job itself with communications and Indesign. I like travelling and experiencing new cultures a lot. It is also a unique chance to meet new contacts in the Swedish business sector and opens the door to future career opportunities.”

During her studies at Uppsala University, Erika went on an exchange to California.

“I have a connection to the US since I was here for one year. I think people here are very open. And New York and California have a lot in common. But you notice that California is more laid back and New York is more hectic.”

What happens after the internship in New York remains to be seen.

“I will have to figure that out during the year. I like international business and travelling, so it would be great to work in an international company even if it is in Sweden.”