Alumni Wave: Where Are They Now?
For this month’s Alumni Wave, we are featuring a lovely lady from S W E D E N: Anna Strandberg. Keep reading to see how this former STN Staff member is doing now, and what she’s doing to pursue her dreams!
Anna Strandberg first came to Surfing The Nations in January of 2011, and – although her intentions were to stay for a 3 month internship program – Anna ended up staying for over a year, making the move back to Sweden not until April of 2012. During her stay, Anna worked hard to improve the internship program as the Internship Coordinator. “It was amazing to meet people from all over the world, and watch them learn to give back to their communities. I also loved seeing how much the interns could grow in character and leadership skills in just three months.”
Though Anna was teaching and guiding people through the Internship program, she, too, grew a lot as a person and learned skills she uses today. “STN is an environment where you get to try and fail to learn both practical – and not-so-tangible – character and leadership skills for yourself.” She has transitioned to other leadership roles, including being a project leader for World Values day, and founding a leadership group movement. “Even though everyone at STN works totally without wages, I saw that the work gave us something else – we were working for a greater good. Our work had meaning, and we new why we did what we did. I learned (the hard way) to never let the work itself become more important than the people I’m working for and living life with. To prioritize people, to work with the purpose of giving back, know why I do what I do has helped me through my engineering studies.”
Anna now lives in Sweden and is preparing to go through the Unitech program in a month. The program consists of 6 months of ‘exchange studies’ and a 6-month internship. Unitechs goal is to “prepare qualified engineering students for their professional future… by connecting corporate and academic talent to develop technical students across borders and cultures to jointly face tomorrow‘s business challenges.” Anna has already been studying engineering and product development in Gothenburg Sweden, and is excited to learn more about management within the sphere of business and technology through this program. “I want to make a difference for employees, companies and the people that companies impact in society through it services and products in some way!”
Recently a unique experience enfolded that proved that her hard work is paying off: Anna had the privilege of meeting The King of Sweden! Because of her decision to pursue leadership, she was provided with an opportunity to be a part of the Value Based Leadership program. This course is an initiative from His Majesty The King of Sweden and “gives young leaders competence to lead themselves and others through values in a society characterized by diversity”, and everyone enrolled was invited to The King’s castle and private library for a diploma ceremony at the end of the course. Wow!
“My future goal is to become a successful values-driven business leader, with one foot in the non-profit sector, and one foot in the profit sector.” Anna hopes to do projects based in product development, humanitarian engineering, Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Leadership Development, and Management Consulting. “Find the reason for why you do what you do. And if you can’t find the ”why”, quit the “what” and start doing something else. Your life is too valuable to live it without a deeper meaning and calling.
We are SO thankful for the work that Anna has put into Surfing The Nations, and inspired by everything she is continuing to pursue!