Unlocking Opportunities: How My Stockholm Internship Transformed My Career Path

Pfifer Blackman - Stockholm Internship

Unlocking Opportunities: How My Stockholm Internship Transformed My Career Path

My name is Pfifer Blackman and I’m an American currently studying at the University of Georgia. I’m a junior double majoring in Real Estate and Finance in the Terry College of Business. I have attended this college my entire university timeline but began as a premed student. I have always been passionate about helping people and analytics involving numbers.

After heavily dedicating myself to the medical pathway for most of my life it was difficult to admit to myself that it was not my forever pathway. I pivoted to my current career path the summer after freshman year.

I’ve always wanted to go abroad to explore foreign lands. So, when I stumbled upon an immersive work experience opportunity, I was immediately intrigued. Without hesitation, I embarked on an incredible journey through the Stockholm internship program, in collaboration with Absolute Internship.

Pfifer Blackman with two other interns in the program

Me with two other interns in the program

During my time abroad, I was lucky enough to work with the established Real Estate company, Hostini. The founder, Hedvig, saw the need for assistance with sustainable accommodation in both the short and long term.

With a passion for traveling and a genuine experience of the city, Hostini was formed in 2019 and began making its mark in and around Stockholm. Hedvig has held strongly to her ideal of a close-knit group in order to maintain a healthy mindset when arriving at the workplace. The team collaborates tightly to assist in the financial obligations, resident turnaround, and customer satisfaction of those traveling to their destination. Although each member holds their designated position, there is little hierarchy and lots of crossover between tasks.

Something else that is quite unique for Hostini is that the majority of the team is working remotely, and did so even before the pandemic. These part-time workers are held in the group as we try to gather the team every second month for a workshop, team event, or dinner to meet face-to-face.

“I was able to expand my leadership skills dramatically through my time in Stockholm”

I’ve held this internship particularly close to my heart as the people there are very accepting and wish for me to get the most out of it. They were willing and able to place various tasks on my plate and allowed me to earn significant exposure to the inner operations of the organization.

I was able to expand my leadership skills dramatically through my time in Stockholm. We held weekly meetings every Tuesday morning with the entire staff. This is particularly useful within this company as there are many checkouts that occur Monday mornings from weekend visits. These meetings are essential to get the team on the same page and are typically run by a long-term employee. This job was later handed over to me.

“I found myself learning in corners I never expected”

My passions have always aligned with problem-solving while helping in a larger setting. Along with this, I always saw myself working with varying situations and numerous people. All these traits led me to find commercial real estate to be the perfect career. Working on different projects, making a difference within the city I end up in, all while connecting with the people. This led me to be especially excited about the corporate accommodation portion of Hostini.

Although I did enjoy each corporate project, I found myself learning in corners I never expected. Handling the company’s finances was not something I had expected out of this internship, but I enjoyed every second of this responsibility. It was a great feeling to confirm my love for math and numbers and have them applied in a real-life setting. I plan to take these skills back with me and hopefully apply them to a job in the fall around Athens while completing my senior year.

Gamla Stan, “Old Town”, where my office was located

Gamla Stan, “Old Town”, where my office was located

I’ve always been very driven and expect myself to work hard to reach my goal of working in a large city to help build it to its fullest potential. I’m continuing with this goal, but what I discovered is that my happiness will not directly link to this.

An incredible support system with involved leadership is much more important to success and happiness at a job than an individual’s determination. I achieved as much as I did in my short two months because I felt so supported to ask questions and felt my coworkers pouring their knowledge into me constantly. Not only did this help my productivity, but I no longer wanted to do well for myself.

Each day I wanted to give my all to not just achieve my own goals, but to support the amazing company that my boss and coworkers themselves were so invested in. Their passion for the company and each other roped me into an amazing mindset. My work efforts rarely faltered and I was happy to make those around me feel at ease with my tasks.

As this was a very developing experience in my life, I would recommend it to all. Coming in with an open mind and room to grow were two things that assisted my success.

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