Meet Vanessa, the new Intern at the Norwegian Embassy in Lilongwe

Vanessa - the new Intern

The Norwegian Embassy in Lilongwe offers one student each semester the opportunity to gain insight into the work of the Embassy and the Norwegian Foreign Service. In July, Vanessa Mbamalu will bring with her to the Embassy’s team a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Manchester and a plan to specialise further within the field of Political Economy.

Vanessa is from a town outside of Oslo called Lørenskog, but has for the last few years been living in Manchester, where she has undertaken her Bachelor’s degree. She believes an internship at the Embassy will be a formative experience that will give her an opportunity to acquire valuable experience and knowledge. It felt natural to apply to the Embassy in Lilongwe, she explains, given her interest in African politics and her African background. During her studies, she has co-founded and chaired as Secretary General for the student-led organisation Aspiring Young African Leaders. It is a society that gives people a platform to debate and engage in socio-economic issues related to Africa, but also to discuss ways of development and positive change on the continent.

Vanessa is confident that this internship will allow her to learn more about the political processes of foreign relations. Norway and Malawi are two quite different countries, but they are brought together in development cooperation and work towards achieving similar goals. Mirrored against her academic background, Vanessa is eager to learn more about the economic aspects of the bilateral relationship, such as how Norway assists Malawi in the developing of a more self-sustainable economy.  Subsequently, she is also inspired by and keen on learning more about growing social enterprises and innovations in Malawi.

Besides expanding her knowledge about political processes and development cooperation in Malawi, Vanessa finds the prospects of exploring the beautiful nature which the country has to offer attractive. Although living on a different continent and adopting to a new work context could be challenging, she hopes that this experience will help her map out her future academic and professional career. After her internship, Vanessa plans to return to UK to undertake a Master’s degree in Political Economy in London. The Embassy is delighted to welcome her in July!