Photo: Medieteknik/Alana da Silva

Meet our alumni

We have interviewed a few of our former students about their thoughts on their time at the University of Gothenburg and the experiences that led them to their current jobs.

A Master's in Mathematics led Babacar to a job at a Swedish bank

Babacar Diagné is from Senegal. He studied in Gothenburg in 2016 and 2017, where he followed the Master’s programme in Mathematical Science with a specialization in Financial Mathematics. Currently, he is working as a quantitative analyst at Handelsbanken in Stockholm.

How have you benefited from your education?

In a sense, I was pursuing a passion when applying to this master’s programme. Through my education at the University of Gothenburg, I have updated and broaden my scientific skills, and it also boosted my prospects professionally.

What made you choose the University of Gothenburg for your degree?

One of the many reasons why I chose to go to Gothenburg was the international reputation of the University, but also the quality of the education and the scientific research. I also chose the University of Gothenburg because the specialization I was applying to was given in cooperation with the School of Business, Economics, and Law (Handelshögskolan), also at the University of Gothenburg, which has a “Triple Crown” accreditation.

What was the best part of your programme?

To meet researchers and practitioners through seminars in the fields I was interested in. Beyond that, I built a network of friends with whom I still have professional contacts.

How did you experience your time as a student in Gothenburg? 

I had a great time in Gothenburg. I fully enjoyed this iconic city and had a wonderful social life there during my studies.

An internship and participating in a student organization were key experiences for Katharina

Katharina Blenk from Germany studied the Master’s Programme in European Studies between 2017 and 2019. Today she lives in Berlin and works for a political communication consultancy. “I mostly work for German ministries, but also other political organizations, and I develop communication campaigns, organize events, and advise our clients on how to better communicate with citizens.

What did you like best about the University and your study program?

The fact that our professors were approachable and whenever you had a question or a problem, you were able to talk to them. I also liked the many choices you had when choosing courses in the second year and the opportunities for doing internships.

Where did you do your internship?

At the Foreign Ministry and the Federal Press Agency in Germany, where I learned a great deal about how politics work. The internationality of the programme was definitely a huge advantage. We did not only study European politics, but we were actually sitting in the classrooms with people from all over Europe and from around the world. 

You were also active in the student community around the programme?

Yes! For instance, I was involved in Brännpunkt Europa, a student-led organization, where we organized events and lectures about topics that we, as students, found interesting. We were able to invite some really interesting people, experts, and politicians during my time in Gothenburg.

In which other ways have you benefited from your education?

I, of course, studied and learned a lot about politics in general and European politics specifically, which helps me in my daily work today. But besides the theoretical aspect, my time in Gothenburg was enriching in so many ways. I made wonderful friends all over the world, I was able to immerse myself into a new culture and broaden my horizon. I loved my time in Gothenburg, the nature is beautiful, and the city with all its cute little cafes and bars is really charming.

Yesum developed her “thinking hands” in Sweden and now has her own studio in Seoul 

About three hours north of Gothenburg, you’ll find the very small municipality of Dals Långed. There you’ll find the school Steneby, home to some of the University of Gothenburg’s craft programmes. And this is where Yesum Yoon from Seoul, South Korea studied wood-oriented furniture design and metal art in 2018.

What have you done since leaving Steneby?

After the education in Sweden, I graduated from my university in Seoul with a double major in wood and metal. After that, I started a studio with my friends. Currently, I am working on my projects in my studio and preparing for an upcoming exhibition!

How would you say your time in Sweden has helped you?

With my undergraduate studies through craft-based education, I’ve been able to develop my visual language. We usually call it ‘thinking hands’. I can express my ideas freely, while understanding the materials in depth. I am also more aware of sustainability.

What made you go all the way to Sweden from Korea to study crafts and design?

While studying the history of furniture design, I read a chapter about ‘Scandinavian design’, which was also trending in South Korea. I got curious about what it really would look like and how this movement has been shaped in Sweden. I found the exchange programme at the University of Gothenburg and got the chance to experience it for real.

What was the best part? 

The relationship within the community. All the tutors, technicians, cleaners, and students who I shared the school with. People in Långed were very open-minded to newbies and gave us enough courage to play around in the workshop. For instance, I’d studied as a silversmith, not a blacksmith, before coming to Sweden. So for the first time I was in a huge blacksmithing workshop, and I wasn’t comfortable. However, I was quickly able to start my experiments with new techniques and collaborate with colleagues, all with different backgrounds and talents. My colleagues in the workshop were so passionate about their work and so friendly, which made for a great synergy in the group.     

How did you experience your time in Sweden?

I was like a bird that needs to hatch from an egg to fly. I had a great chance to open up my world and make my ideas grow with creativity. I had a great time developing my skills and understanding our differences in lifestyle and surroundings. Since living in a whole different culture isn’t the easiest thing, it was an intense experience. Intensity might sound stressful; however, I found it was a great opportunity to extend my study in design.

“Studying in a different country opened my eyes to the world”

Kelly Borris was an exchange student at the University of Gothenburg in 2018. She is now continuing to study towards her degree in childhood education at home in Montréal, Canada, while also working as an adjoint manager in a kindergarten as a part of the administrative team.

How have you benefited from your time in Sweden?

For me, my studies in Gothenburg were a benefit for both my personal experience and my career. Because I work with a big team, I encounter a lot of diversity at work, such as ethnicity, age, gender, socioeconomic status, and so on. Studying in a different country opened my eyes to the world and changed my Canadian perspective. All this helps me to be a better educator and a better individual as well.

What made you choose the University of Gothenburg for your studies?

This university has a lot of good critical courses based on seminars and discussions. In education, it is so important to question our practice and reflect on our values and behaviours. Also, I wanted to experience something different. Scandinavia is highly rated in education, so I knew I was making the right choice. Also, Gothenburg is a very nice and safe city, which is important for exchange students when making a choice.

What was best with your studies here?

The discussions we had in class and the teachers’ approach to the material was very interesting. In Canada, university professors are privileged individuals so we talk to them very politely and our relationship with them is highly professional. It’s the opposite in Sweden. Teachers talk to us like friends, so our discussions were very deep and real. I very much appreciated that.

How did you experience your time as a student in Gothenburg?

Gothenburg is such a sweet city. People are always happy to help and the university organizes so many activities that it’s hard to keep up. It’s funny because... when I was in Sweden and told people I’m Canadian, they said things like “oh my god, wow! that is so far!”. And somehow, I still managed to make Sweden my home for four months. Gothenburg was my city, and it really, deeply felt like home. A part of my heart definitely stayed in Sweden and will stay there forever. I had the time of my life and brought back with me the best memories.