This year Norfund introduced an internship program. Four enthusiastic graduates get to experience how it is to work in a development finance institution. In the following weeks the interns will give a quick look into how life is in Norfund. Following is their first letter.
Sore Legs and Eager Minds!
We are now eight weeks into our internship at Norfund and what a journey it’s been so far! From attending exciting conferences to travelling to Kenya and Nigeria this internship has showed us what Norfund is all about.
Intense First Weeks
During our first week we were warmly greeted by the Norfund team, and it didn’t take long until we understood what a great place Norfund is. We got right down to business with a great introduction to how Norfund operates and what a Development Finance Institution does. We quickly recognized the passion for development in Norfund.
Filled up with new knowledge, we set off for Beitostølen for some team building after work on Friday. It was a great way to get to know our colleagues better and we quickly understood that Norfund does not joke around when it comes to hiking.
With sore legs from our hike we jumped right into “Norfund week” the following Monday. This was an amazing week, full of activities and interesting sessions. We got to meet all our colleagues from the regional offices in Africa, Central America and Asia and learn from their valuable experience.
With Norfund’s new strategy there was a lot of useful discussions on how to collaborate to achieve our goals and it was valuable to understand how difficult it is to invest in some of Norfund’s regions. It is safe to say that we were blown away by the competency in the organization.
In addition to this, the Norfund Conference was a highlight of the week providing a great introduction to the valuable work Norfund does. Lectures from some of our portfolio companies, together with the Minister for development demonstrated the imperative importance of Norfund’s investments with regards to job creation. The theme of this year’s conference was Moving Money – Improving lives, which we found very fitting to Norfund’s role.
It’s safe to say that we were proud to have an employer with 304,000 jobs in its portfolio.
Back to Reality
After a hectic start we started diving into the different projects we had been assigned. We all work on different projects, but work together on a country analysis of Senegal, which is one of Norfund’s new core countries. Did you know that 60% of the population in Senegal is under 24 years old? Or that Switzerland is Senegal’s second largest export destination?
Going forward we will be busy working with our respective projects but will provide updates from some exciting projects.