St. Olaf College | News

Student uses internship abroad to analyze international water issues

Tea Dejanovic ’15 (right) worked with Katarina Veem ’86 (left) to organize an Interim internship at the Stockholm International Water Institute.

Many St. Olaf College students use Interim as a time to study abroad or explore their career interests.

This January, Tea Dejanovic ‘15 is doing both.

Dejanovic is working as an analyst intern at the Stockholm International Water Institute, a policy institute that devises solutions to water-related challenges.

Last fall Dejanovic reached out to Katarina Veem ‘86, a director at the institute, and together they organized a monthlong internship program.

Dejanovic then received an internship grant from the St. Olaf Piper Center for Vocation and Career, which offers numerous resources to help students explore potential career paths and hone their professional skills.

“Katarina gave me the opportunity to experience first-hand the impact that research facilities such as the Stockholm International Water Institute have as an intermediary between international organizations, governments, and local businesses,” says Dejanovic.

During her month in Sweden, Dejanovic is working on a project titled “Water as a Financial Risk.” She is researching how businesses can stay competitive while also acknowledging their corporate responsibility to reduce their water resource demand in emerging markets. The key, Dejanovic says, is in innovation.

Innovation in business has been Dejanovic’s passion ever since she joined Ole Ventures, the St. Olaf student entrepreneurship club, during her first year on campus. The Stockholm International Water Institute gave her an opportunity to explore the development of innovative solutions that promote foreign investment, while simultaneously giving back and helping local communities develop.

“I am applying the analytic skills gained in my economics classes to address the business side of the issue, while critically analyzing the pressing water challenges in a global context from the standpoint of a political scientist,” Dejanovic says.

This use of critical analysis to address real-world problems lines up directly with Dejanovic’s career interests.

“I would like to use my liberal arts education to bridge the gap between the corporate and the non-profit sectors,” she says.