Gustavus Students Benefit from Internships in Sweden

Posted on October 14th, 2014 by

Gustavus senior Lindsay Rothschiller '15 (middle) with her host family in Sweden.

Gustavus senior Lindsay Rothschiller ’15 (middle) with her host family in Sweden.

Story by Amanda Dyslin, Special to Gustavus

College is a time for young adults to explore opportunities near and far. For Gusties Nate Paulsen ’15 and Lindsay Rothschiller ’15, that meant spending the summer of 2014 in Sweden as part of Gustavus’s Wallenberg Scholars Program.

The Wallenberg Scholars program was made possible thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation, as well as various Gustavus alumni and those with connections to the College who live and work in Sweden. The program provides an opportunity for Gustavus students to study, research, and intern in Sweden. For Paulsen and Rothschiller, the experience turned out to be an invaluable one.

Eradicating carbon lock-in

Rothschiller is double majoring in Environmental Studies and Physics. So, yes, you could definitely say that the issue of carbon lock-in is of particular interest to her.

Carbon lock-in refers to our reliance on fossil fuel-based energy and the difficulty of introducing alternative energy sources. It’s the challenge Rothschiller got to tackle over the summer when living in Husaby, Västra Götalands Län, Sweden, thanks to her Wallenberg scholarship.

“I loved it there,” said Rothschiller, who is a member of the Society of Physics Students at Gustavus.

Rothschiller worked for a man named Magnus Fredricson. Her professor at Gustavus, Jeff Jeremiason, knew him and helped arrange the internship. Fredricson’s work involves creating a model for implementing a sustainable design for rural development.

It was Rothschiller’s job to research how to “use the least amount of effort and get the most amount of response” regarding ideas for implementing systems that would mitigate our reliance on carbon. She researched, read and analyzed numerous articles, and she applied the theories and methods to ideas for breaking through the carbon lock-in cycle.

“My paper was about what I thought the best approach for mitigating the lock-in cycle was,” she said.

Fredricson will be visiting Gustavus in November, and he and Rothschiller will present their work to the College community and discuss sustainable development.

Rothschiller wants to be an engineer after graduating from Gustavus, so she said the internship provided an interesting hands-on look at the field of civil engineering. And while her family doesn’t have roots in Sweden, she said it was a great experience to recognize so much of Gustavus’s history and traditions in the country.

‘A stereotypical Gustie’

Paulsen couldn’t possibly find any more time in his schedule for activities at Gustavus. He’s a Collegiate Fellow, he plays varsity hockey, and he’s heavily involved in campus ministry, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and running Bible studies, among other things. Paulsen was even named Mr. Gustavus last spring at the pageant sponsored by the Theta Xi Gamma Sorority.

Not that Paulsen deems all this involvement in the College as unusual. In fact, he calls himself a “stereotypical Gustie,” meaning involvement in one’s community and the concept of giving back are simply part of the fabric of Gustie culture.

Gustavus senior Nate Paulsen '15

Gustavus senior Nate Paulsen ’15

Paulsen, an International Management major, had always been interested in studying abroad, but because of his hockey schedule, that wasn’t possible. That’s why he was so thrilled to learn the news of receiving a Wallenberg scholarship to study in Sweden over the summer.

“It’s an amazing blessing, and it helps students find a way over there,” said Paulsen, who said he couldn’t have afforded such a trip without the generous scholarship and help from Tom Young (Advancement) and Vincent Thomas (Center for Servant Leadership).

After receiving the scholarship, Paulsen landed an internship in Stockholm at a real-estate management company called Hestia. His job was to conduct market research for the purposes of expanding Hestia’s reach into the United States market.

“My job was to look at how we can better, as a company, reach American investors,” Paulsen said. “My initial reaction was, ‘You need me to do this in a month?’”

Paulsen embraced the challenge of the tight timeline and got to work researching international law, trade, finance, and marketing issues related to the project. He created a presentation and paper that outlined his findings. And despite the fact that he’s not considering a career in real estate, Paulsen learned a great deal about the cultural implications related to international business, among various other things.

“It was an amazing, amazing experience,” he said.

Following the four-week internship, Paulsen spent a couple of weeks in Amsterdam volunteering with the service organization Youth With a Mission, and he then spent time in Romania working with Stepping Forward Ministries, an organization dedicated to empowering children.

This year Paulsen will be busy at school ushering in new leaders in all of the organizations that he’ll be sad to leave behind when he graduates.

“The last year of school is about handing it off to the people younger than you, building up the young adults that are behind me,” Paulsen said.

About the Author

Amanda Dyslin is a freelance journalist and editor who worked for the Mankato Free Press for 12 years, including several as the newspaper’s higher education beat reporter. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in communication studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato.



Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


Comments are closed.