Discovering the Allure of Rauma: My Internship Journey at Nordregio

During the past four months, I’ve had the privilege of interning at Nordregio, contributing to a project focused on the concept of small-town attractiveness. Specifically, my role involved delving into the urban charm of Rauma, conducting research, and engaging in interviews about this seaside city on the west coast of Finland.

Rauma was a compelling choice for this project due to its continuous and diverse development of urban attractiveness. During my research, I gained insights into the multifaceted ways attractiveness can be shaped, the key factors influencing residents’ well-being, and what makes them choose to stay in the city.I found this examination of smaller towns provides a distinctive and intriguing perspective often overlooked in discussions about urban development.

Picture of a wooden house in Rauma
Rauma, Finland

A Good Match with A Flexible Approach to Remote Work

As a student of Sustainable Urban Development, this internship was not only relevant but rewarding. The alignment between my academic background and the project’s focus provided a foundation for meaningful contributions. It allowed me to apply the knowledge and skills I’ve developed during my studies but also helped me understand the subject better.

My workdays did not follow the typical office schedule one might expect. Interestingly, I predominantly worked remotely from Finland. I dedicated an average of ten hours a week to my work, with fluctuations- some weeks less and others more. I also had the opportunity to visit Nordregio’s Stockholm office twice, marking my first-ever “work trips”. It was a delightful experience to meet my colleagues face-to-face, explore the office and soak in the atmosphere of Stockholm.

Lunch in Stockholm with project team

However, I found great satisfaction in remote work. As a full-time student, it allowed me to seamlessly integrate my academic responsibilities with work. While I had specific tasks and clear instructions, they were also very understanding of my schedule and the need to balance my internship and school, which added to the fulfillment of my internship experience.

The Welcoming Work Atmosphere

One of the standout aspects of Nordregio was the welcoming work atmosphere. Despite spending minimal time at the office, I always felt supported and knew I could seek assistance whenever needed. Their invaluable flexibility and understanding made me feel genuinely valued and listened to.

While there might be some additional effort required, overall, I discovered this type of work arrangement to be highly suitable for students’ needs and schedules. Balancing work and school demanded meticulous scheduling and prioritizing, yet with effective planning, it turned out to be a positive experience, potentially complementing my academic courses.

Continuing the Journey

Upon completing the internship, I was fortunate enough to extend my collaboration with Nordregio, embarking on the exciting journey of conducting my Bachelor’s thesis with them. This opportunity has filled me with enthusiasm, and I am grateful to be able to continue working with them!

My internship at Nordregio has been an enriching experience, allowing me to explore the concept of small-town attractiveness, apply my academic knowledge, and embrace the flexibility of remote work. It has not only expanded my perspective but also provided an exciting avenue for further collaboration.