December 8, 2023
My name is Thorvald Hillesøy and I was an intern in the Green Infrastructure (GI) department in Norfund during 2023. Norfund’s mission and its diverse investment portfolio greatly inspired me, prompting me to see the internship as an opportunity to delve deeper into the field of impact investing.
Green Infrastructure stands as a key investment area, dedicated to fostering sustainable urban development, mitigating environmental impact, and enhancing living standards. With the global urban population projected to reach 5 billion by 2030, our focus on essential services such as water and wastewater treatment, and waste management (including waste-to-energy), is of great importance. Through investments in these critical sectors, our aim is to contribute to the creation of resilient communities and cities amidst the challenges of rapid urbanization.
During my time in the GI department I have worked on various investment deals with the team, analyzing prospective investments for Norfund. The work included everything from drafting investment papers to building financial models. Applying my academic knowledge in the dynamic environment of Norfund has been both rewarding and challenging.
The diverse range of companies and sectors I engaged with at Norfund provided a unique and enriching experience, challenging me to adapt and apply my expertise to new and unfamiliar challenges.
Trip to Tanzania and South Africa
As an intern in Norfund, I had the incredible opportunity to travel alongside the team to Tanzania and South Africa. Over the span of two weeks, our journey involved meeting companies specializing in water, wastewater, waste, and waste-to-energy sectors. The on-site experience, visiting plants and meeting these companies face-to-face, proved to be genuinely inspiring. It provided a nuanced understanding of various cases, one that is challenging to grasp solely through Excel sheets and PowerPoint decks.
Moreover, witnessing the challenges faced by these regions in person offered me a fresh perspective on the significance of Norfund’s impactful work.
The team at Norfund comprises individuals with incredible experience and expertise. From day one, the culture of inclusion was evident, making me feel like a valued member of the team. The trust placed in me as an intern played a pivotal role in boosting my confidence and fostering a sense of responsibility. This atmosphere of trust not only made the learning process more enriching but also empowered me to actively contribute to the team’s projects. The friendly and collaborative dynamics within the team further exemplified Norfund’s commitment to creating a supportive work environment, where everyone’s contributions are acknowledged and appreciated.