Hi! My name is Alana and I am a rising senior at Skidmore. I am a double major in economics and environmental studies. This summer I used Skidmore’s Summer Experience Fund to extend my study abroad experience in Copenhagen, and intern for a design festival called 3daysofdesign. Copenhagen is a hub for scandinavian furniture design; the annual design event allows Copenhagen’s local artisans and designers to showcase their work to an international audience. I found the internship through a connection that my host family had. In the process of looking for an internship in Copenhagen, I talked with my professors in Copenhagen and sent out a lot of emails to companies that I was interested in. I am really happy that I contacted several companies and started early in the process because set me up to have a range of options. One of the benefits of interning through the Summer Fund is that it allowed me to have more flexibility with my internship. Before starting the internship, my boss and I talked about what she needed help on and the skills I was able to bring to the table. During this conversation, we customized the internship the fit both of our needs.
My first weeks in the office were hectic, I spent those weeks helping the team prepare for the festival. Excluding myself, there were only 7 people responsible for ensuring that this city-wide festival was a success. I spent these weeks biking around the city helping designers prepare for the event, by delivering necessary materials, answering questions, and providing support. The week of the festival I guided a group of international architects and interior designers through the exhibits in Copenhagen. While the 3-day festival was very stressful, it was also extremely fun. Being the guide for the group of well-renowned architects and interior designers allowed me to experience the festival as if I were one of them. I went around to the exhibits, spoke with designers, got insight into various design processes, attended networking parties, and ate at Michelin star restaurants.
The real work during the internship occurred after the actual event. After experiencing 3daysofdesign, I joined the team in reflecting on how the festival could be improved for the following years. The 3daysofdesign team is mostly made up of public relations experts, and graphic designers, they were interested in the more business-focused perspective that I brought to the table. I ended up holding a three-day workshop for the team helping them rethink 3daysofdesigns business plan and develop a new concrete strategy.
Spending my summer was not all about work, on the weekends and after work, I got to hang out with my host family and danish friends. I loved my semester in Copenhagen, but the city is especially vibrant during the summer. On sunny days, I would jump in the canals after work or meet up with a friend at a cafe or an outdoor concert.
I am leaving Copenhagen in less than a week. I am sad to say goodbye to my friends and danish family, but I am excited to share what I have learned with my community back at Skidmore.