Name: Dhruba Jyoti Borah
When, where & what you studied in Sweden:
I studied Masters in Industrial Engineering & Management with a specialization in Innovation Management at Linköping University, Sweden (2013-2015).
Current occupation and future plans:
I have started my PhD in Innovation Management and Policy at Manchester Institute of Innovation Research of Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK from September’2015. Alliance Manchester Business School and Research and Development Management (RADMA) jointly fund my PhD project. RADMA is a UK based charitable trust that supports activities relevant to technology and innovation management field of research. I consider it a pleasant achievement because only six candidates received RADMA doctoral scholarship in the entire UK in 2015.
My research project focuses on how national innovation policies of emerging countries (more specifically India) affect the innovation (R&D) performance of the foreign multinational companies present in the emerging nations. I have also been selected by United Nations to participate in an internship in the division “Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific”, New Delhi during the summer of 2016. This internship would allow me to work in a project on national innovation systems of South East Asia, which would contribute directly to my PhD thesis project through new knowledge, access to policymakers for qualitative data and access to UN databases for quantitative data.
My long term goal is to become an innovation policy analyst in national or international organizations and thereby assist the policymakers through relevant research.
Please describe what impact the SI scholarship has had on your life:
The best impact that comes to my mind when I think about SI scholarship is that it gave me an opportunity to obtain my master’s degree in innovation management from the most innovative country in the world. Since I did not have to worry about my financials, I could concentrate more on my education and research. SI scholarship enabled me to think big. As a student coming from a middle-income family in India, I had never thought of going abroad for higher studies. SI scholarship made it possible. It boosted up my confidence and the results are quite visible.
It also provided me enough opportunities to network with other SI scholarship holders and to learn from them. Mr Mohsen Emadi Khiav (an ex-SI scholarship holder), who is currently pursuing his PhD in University of Connecticut, USA motivated me a lot to pursue academic research career and also guided me in writing PhD research proposals for my PhD applications. I will always be indebted to him for his guidance. Apart from Mr. Khiav, I am also thankful to all the students, with whom I have studied and spent enjoyable learning sessions, who directly and indirectly contributed towards prolonging my learning curve.
The last but not the least, inclusion of SI scholarship to my CV definitely made it better. After my masters, I ended up getting full scholarship offers from UK and Ireland and also a research position in Switzerland. And I believe that SI scholarship played a crucial role here.
What will you miss about Sweden?
I miss the culture, the people and the language. I have met some wonderful people there, made a few friends for life and I hope to see them soon. I also miss the 15 minutes fika breaks after each hour of lecture.
I must say that Sweden is the safest country in the world. When I was in the last phase of my master thesis project and was working late nights in the lab, I used to walk at 2am-3 am in the morning and I can proudly say that I neither faced any problem nor was I ever scared of walking alone in the midnight. I undoubtedly miss the joy of travelling alone at any time I want.
Another important parameter, where Sweden scores better than most of the world is discipline and time management. The lectures start on time; the busses come on time, not even a second here and there.
I miss the snow. I had some wonderful experience such as snowmobiling, dogsledding and a visit to the ice-hotel etc., when I was in Lapland last winter. I also saw the northern lights and it is indeed a moment that I will remember and cherish throughout my whole life.
What’s your best recommendation to new students in Sweden?
There will be times when you would feel that things are not going your way and therefore, it is important to keep motivating yourself throughout the master programme especially during the winter. Swedish winter can be harsh at times. Study well and do visit Lapland if you have time.