Tag archives for Career

Invitation to Alumni in Tanzania and Kenya: participate in Africa Student Fairs 2014, Dar es Salaam 28-29 July and Nairobi 1-2 August, 2014

The Swedish Institute will visit Tanzania on 28-29 July 2014 and Kenya on 1-2 August 2014 to attend the Africa Student Fairs Ed Expo in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. The purpose of the visit is to market Sweden as a Study destination and increase awareness about the SI Study Scholarships to Tanzanian students.

Read more » >>

Save the date – March 24: ‘Alumni Reception in Addis Abeba!

Dear SI alumni!

On March 24 the Swedish Embassy in Addis Abeba will arrange an Alumni reception for former Swedish Institute scholarship holders from Ethiopia The event is co-hosted by the Swedish Institute.
More information together with how to sign up for the event, will be posted within short.

Date: Monday, 24 March 2014

Stay tuned for more information and hope to see you there!

The story of becoming a PhD student

Are you planning to do a PhD? I have heard this question many times, when I was close to finishing my studies. In the end of a day it didn’t feel as a bad idea. If you do it in Sweden, it gives you job security for 4 years (sometimes even more, if you teach and do some other tasks) and a decent salary, and you have a chance to continue doing research (if you like it, of course). The employment conditions of PhDs vary across departments and universities, but generally they are good compared to other countries.

PhD ring

a PhD ring

That was my logic in 2010, and I embarked on the getting a PhD position. In the first place, I tried to continue in the same research center, where I worked during my master level studies. I participated in a project, and, after we had finished our manuscripts, there were several PhD positions available. I crossed my fingers and applied for one of them, and it went quite well in the beginning, as I was shortlisted and interviewed. But, in the end it didn’t happen!

The safest plan didn’t work out (getting a PhD post with someone you know is probably the easiest way to get one), so I started my project of sending applications to other universities. All in all, I made 16 applications within one year. Some of them were clearly hopeless, others more realistic. Out of these 16 applications I got 4 interviews and 1 job offer, and the latter transformed into my current employment at Uppsala University.

Uppsala University

Looking backwards, I can say that all was about knowing right people. The departments, where people didn’t know anything about me never contacted me back, whereas all interviews that I got were one way or another connected to my Stockholm studies, where I did my master. I suppose that it was easier for the selection committees to rely on the opinions of people they knew personally, rather than on my CV or motivation letter. After 1.5 years of working as a PhD student, my conviction about the importance of social capital is even higher. In the hierarchies and bureaucracies such as universities, it is really important to be attached to someone “senior”, who knows other people and help by “pushing” your career forward.

M.Sc and What Now?

So, it is done. The thesis is written, all grades are received, and you are waiting for the diploma to arrive. Summer holidays were the reward after six months of hard work, and suddenly you find yourself back to Sweden with no employment, no plans and no more studies to hang on to. Your brain goes chaotic and you only think about the buzzwords: “job”, “employment, “further studies”, “PhD”…

Well, you settle for searching a job. Your prospects do not look that positive at the beginning. One has to go through numerous stages of employment fairs, chats with friends and acquaintances, reading newspapers and writing CV’s. Your only dream at this stage is to receive a phone call with the interlocutor saying: “Dear M., we read your application and we would like you to come for an interview”.

Days feel like eternity, you lose hope, can’t sleep anymore, and lose weight. Your room feels like a prison sometimes. You desperately try to find something else to do, and then you check the calendar and realize that it has only been one week since you have started the search. A sigh of relief… and an idea: well it is not that bad yet!

You become one of the persons who is present on all social media, start your LinkedIn account, and change your status to: “In desperate search of a job”, underlining twice the word “desperate”.

You contact one of your classmates from the master’s studies period about some employment tips about. Your classmate responds by saying that a UN agency needs interns and there are quite good opportunities to get employed afterwards. You feel excited, you feel invigorated and you feel scared to start this new path. You send your CV, perform a skype interview and 10 days later you are in Italy working in the organization that was your goal four years ago, when you just started studying international relations.

Siting in Rome you finally realize what all those career coaches meant, when they were saying that the most important thing for one’s career is his network. You realize that no one really cares about your deep knowledge of critical theory and post-colonial studies. All what was important for you to get a job was your friendliness and openness to new contacts. You have your “A-ha” moment realizing that your master studies were as much about getting to know other people as learning new skills and competencies. This idea is not original by all means, but it is yours, from your own experience.

Invitation: Career fair Moscow – RGGU

Swedish Career Fair to be held on 15th of March at Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU)

The Embassy of Sweden in Moscow and  Business Sweden invite SI Alumni to the SWEDISH CAREER FAIR that will take place at 11 am at RGGU; Chayanova 15 (m. Novoslobodskaya).

For the third time the Embassy of Sweden and Business Sweden are organising a Swedish Career Fair in Moscow for Swedish companies and their future employees. Alumni as well as students and graduates who are interested in a career at a Swedish company in Russia are welcome. Lots of summer jobs and trainee positions are waiting for you!

At the Swedish Career Fair you will have an opportunity to:

This year such Swedish companies as Oriflame, Scania, Tele2, Volvo Group, IKEA, Ericsson will, among others, take part in the event. Special guest this year is Swedish Institute with lecture on Swedish approach to CSR. Working languages at the career fair are English and Russian. Registration per email is required.

If you would like to attend the fair please send an email to moscow.sweinfo@gov.se no later than the 11th of March.