One core service of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in San Diego is to help our member companies find trainees and interns. During the last four years SACC San Diego has helped one of our corporate members, Anametrix, host Swedish trainees with great results.
SACC San Diego met up with this years Anametrix trainees Per an Carl to ask them some questions about their traineeship and their perspective on the American business life.
Why did you choose to do a trainee program in the US?
Per: When I started studying at the university back home in Sweden, the university was promoting the possibility of doing an internship in the US. Since I have always wanted to see how it is to live in the U.S., it instantly caught my attention. When I had the qualifications to apply I started my hunt for an internship in the U.S. – and well, here I am!
Carl: After studying for four years at Chalmers University of Technology I wanted to test my theoretical and practical skills. While doing this and at the same time travel to San Diego was in my opinion a great deal. I had also heard great things about working at Anametrix from previous interns so I thought it would be a perfect company to train with.
What have you learnt about the American way of doing business so far?
Per: The American way is so much more straightforward than it is in Sweden. If Americans do not like something they will definitely tell you right away. It took a little bit of time to get used to that, being a shy-of-saying-something-negative-to-someone-Swede.
Carl: I personally think the ”American way” of doing business is diverse. It depends on where in America you work. In California it seems to be more relaxed than New York.
How do you believe this trainee position has differed from a similar position in Sweden?
Per: The position itself probably does not differ that much from a software engineering position in Sweden. However, the whole experience of being in another country by yourself makes it so much different than being back home in Sweden.
Carl: The main difference, and something I value the most, is the exploring possibilities outside of work. San Diego is a very beautiful area and there is always something you can do and explore here! I have visited other cities such as Los Angeles as well, and explored the nature of California.
In what ways will this trainee program prepare you for an international career?
Per: There is of course the English language practice, but more importantly, I get the chance to meet people from around the world through my work. The work culture is different all around the world and this trainee program helps me get more comfortable in these various ways of working.
I also get the chance to extend my professional network both within the company but also through the Americans I meet on a daily basis. That is also a positive thing about Americans, it is so easy to get to know new people! Just strike up a conversation with someone and you might just have found a new friend.
Carl: The act of coming to a foreign country and getting to know people with different backgrounds and cultures, while at the same time facing expectations to perform and contribute in their projects, creates an amazing starting point for my future career.
What do you expect to gain from this trainee position?
Per: One of the reasons I applied for this internship was that I was a little unsure if I wanted to be a software developer or if I wanted to change my professional direction towards a more economical aspect of the software industry. Hopefully I will have it all figured out during this year.
Carl: I expect to gain experience in my field and valuable international contacts while working with knowledgeable professionals. I also hope to gain insight into what academic direction I should pursue when finishing my degree once the internship is over.
If you want to learn more about SACC San Diego's Visa and Trainee services click here.
Interview conducted by Natali Suonvieri