Reflections by Our Intern Will Bennett
My name is Will Bennett and I am currently a senior at Lafayette College majoring in Government and Law from Rye, NY. I came to work as an intern at the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of Washington D.C. for a three-week period during my winter break at the recommendation of my previous internship host. During my time here, I was afforded a unique opportunity to work alongside Swedish business leaders at House of Sweden, a beautiful property situated on the Potomac River in Georgetown. I was primarily tasked with updating the chamber’s corporate and business membership inventory, which entailed reaching out to current and prospective members and business partners from the Swedish-American business community and gauging their interest. In doing so, I interacted with representatives from companies such as Volvo, Lockheed Martin, and the Washington Capitals.
Aside from the charming aesthetics and work opportunities, the chamber also hosts bright and personable young Swedish men and women who were always ready and willing to assist me with any tasks I needed help with, as well as older members happy to teach and provide for an overall worthwhile experience. I learned a lot from fellow interns and my supervisor, and it was great to learn from and interact with peers from a different country. This internship ultimately provided me with many situations to expand my network. I even had a chance to speak with a member of the Swedish Embassy.
In addition to my positive learning experiences in the office, I was able to further explore my political and academic interests through events in Washington D.C. I was granted the opportunity to attend events at distinguished think tanks such as the Brookings Institution featuring subject matter relevant to my major, visit museums, and speak with professionals from other fields about prospective career paths. I really appreciated these opportunities and gained from them a better sense of what I might want to pursue as I approach graduation.
There are countless things to do in D.C. and I made it a point to take advantage of everything it has to offer. I was able to spend some time with friends and family while I was down here, and really enjoyed exploring the city with them. A trip to see the White House, the United States Capitol, and the many memorials on the National Mall was very special, and I would of course recommend this to anyone planning on visiting.
Overall, my time at the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce of Washington D.C. provided me with valuable new insights, experiences, and an understanding of what I need to be successful as I continue to explore my career options. I welcomed taking on any challenges I faced while working here, and as a result grew more confident working in a professional environment. I am so grateful for the connections I made, the knowledge I gained, and the opportunity I had to see the best of what Washington D.C. and this chamber have to offer.