I was sitting in my classroom and heard the principal calling out in the speakers. He said my name. He called me into his office. ”What have I done?” was my first thought. I do not exaggerate when I say that it was several nervous steps from the classroom to his office. I was waiting outside and his assistant showed me in. It turned out that he wanted to give me an exclusive pen and said I was the best secretary the school council has ever seen at my age. I was 11 years old then. He encouraged me to continue to engage myself in extra curricular activities; he said he saw talent in me. And so I did. That was all it took for me to start off this career.

Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to contribute into making this world a better place. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s my motivation. I got my first paid job when I was 14 at a Motel and Restaurant in Sweden’s smallest city called ”Åmål”, I moved from home at sixteen and couldn’t wait to start studying at the University.

I grew up with high goals where only the sky was the limit, in Upper Secondary school I said I wanted to become a Minister of Foreign Affairs in the future, however I didn’t want to go the political way. So my mentor Lisa said that I could apply to become a diplomat after my studies, and that I should aim to make an internship at United Nations in my bachelors to increase my chances. After working towards it for seven years I finally became an intern at UN Headquarters in New York, and then a fellow at UN World Food Program in Rome, all while finishing my masters in Global Studies at Gothenburg University.

I had the chance to meet former Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon while doing my internship in New York. UN-photo by Eskinder Debebe.

For seven years after that I was working as Secretary General for the Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption (Medveten Konsumtion). I was not a diplomat nor the Minister of Foreign Affairs (joke’s aside), however I found a job where I could practice both diplomacy and networking all while working for a better and sustainable world. Most of all I found the red thread, or a circle if you will, that kept all of my passions and interests together. Because with our ”consumerpower”, i.e. every time we buy something we take a stand, and therefore also can affect human rights, Womens’ rights, Childrens rights, growth, sustainable development and the environment.

To closing the loop. I started to engage myself in extra curricular activities within board work as an 11 year old, first in student unions at my previous schools and later on at a professional level as well as in the housing cooperatives. Today I have close to fifteen years of experience, and I thank my previous principal for that.

And lastly, this is what my (mostly early) twenties looked like…

How can I be of service?