Q&A with alumna Margit Johansson

Margit took a Degree of Bachelor of Science in Social Work in Lund and graduated in 1986. She have long experience from working within the social services in Sweden and in this Q&A she tells us about what she likes most about her job today and how her time in Lund has influenced her career.

What have you been up to since your time here in Lund?
I’ve worked within the social services in Sweden, mainly with focus on children, youths and families. I started working as an administrator and later worked as a manager. Since two years back I’m working with regional development questions in a county-overlapping perspective, specifically in the field of social child- and youth care.

What is your best memory from your time at Lund University?
The studies made me develop as a person and the education gave me knowledge that has been useful and valuable to me both in my work and private life. The variation between intense studying and all the other parts of the student life in Lund, such as nights at nations, was fun.

How would you describe your first year after graduating?
I was nervous when getting out into “reality”, but I got good guidance from my colleagues which made it easier to get into my new job.

How has your time at Lund University influenced your career?
The knowledge I got from my education gave me the courage to challenge myself and try new things.

What is the most unexpected thing you learnt at Lund University?
That the more I learnt the greater insight did I get in how complicated things can be.

What is the best thing with your work today?
To get to work with development questions and by that get the opportunity to improve the social services in Sweden so that it can be better used for what it’s meant to be used for.

What would you like to say to current students who are soon graduating and now preparing to start their career?
Have the courage to challenge yourself, but never be scared to ask for help when you need it.

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How does Lund University sound?

This fall Lund University, as the first university in Sweden (as far as we know), got a new sound identity. The sound identity was created by Johannes Dalenbäck and Christian Tellin at Mirror Music and in this interview Johannes tell us more about what a sound identity is, why it is important for an organisation to have one and where they got their inspiration for how Lund University should sound.

What is a sound identity?
Like a graphic identity describes what a company’s or organisation’s communication looks like a sound identity describes how the communication sounds. It’s a model that gives an overview of how the communication should sound in order to be uniform and mediate the “right” feeling.

Why is it important for an organisation to have a sound identity?
Sounds and music influence us in many different ways, whether we like it or not, and by taking control over how the communication sound you can control and guide how you want your message to be perceived. To work with music is to work with emotional communication which for example can affect how one remember things and relates to an experience.

Where did you find the inspiration to Lund Universty’s sound identity?
The inspiration came from workshops and interviews with co workers at Lund University. The participants told us about experiences and situations where the university is presented in different perspectives. To work from real situations and stories has been the key to create a foundation that can be translated to music.

What feelings do you want to deliver to the receivers when they hear something that comes from Lund University?
We want the music to strengthen the communication that comes from the university. What feeling the receiver should get to a large extent depends on the message the rest of the communication gives. Innovation, tradition and togetherness/belongingness/fellowship are feelings that constantly reappears in the university’s communication.

Since your are both LU alumni – have you been inspired by your own time at Lund university while creating the sound identity?
We’ve definitely thought about our own experiences during our period of studies, especially while thinking about how we have perceived the communication from Lund University. Although, it’s been important for us to let the the stories from the co workers weigh heaviest when creating the sounds because the music represent Lund University and not us personally.

What is your best memory from your time at Lund University?
There’s so many lovely memories so it’s hard to pick one. The trip to Paris with Malmö Academy of Music’s chamber chorus and the performance of a piece by the organist Nadji Hakim is high up on the list/are two favourites.

Want a taste of what Lund University sounds like? Click here to watch the presentation film about Lund University or click here to watch the Alumni Homecoming Weekend movie, both with music made by Johannes and Christian according to the sound identity.

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Networking in Harare

Last week, a delegation from Lund University visited University of Zimbabwe and met with the Ambassador of Sweden, potential students as well as alumni and friends in Harare.

Up until a few days before going to Zimbabwe, the departure was uncertain due to the political circumstances. Luckily, the situation eventually settled and we were able to travel as planned. Lund University was the first delegation to visit University of Zimbabwe in the new era, and everyone we met was eager to collaborate. Previous sanctions had made them almost isolated for about 20 years, but now that they look forward to fruitful international collaboration.

The delegation with Lund University Vice-Chancellor Prof Torbjörn von Schantz participated in the annual SANORD-conference in Victoria Falls, which was also the 10-year celebration of SANORD as well as the council meeting. SANORD (Southern African-Nordic Centre) is the prioritised university-wide network for collaboration with Southern Africa and connects universities from the Nordic countries and Southern Africa.

On 27 November, the Alumni Network organised a networking event in Harare. Margareta Nordstrand, director of the Division of External Relations at Lund University and one of the hosts of the event, shares her experiences from the evening.

The event was held in connection to the university delegation visit to Zimbabwe and this was a great opportunity to meet with local Lund alumni and friends in Harare. The majority of alumni had either studied a master’s degree or were students of commissioned education courses at Lund University. All were proud alumni who have made great use of their Lund University education.

The key note speaker of the event was the Ambassador of Sweden to Zimbabwe, Sofia Calltorp, who emphasized the power and need of international relations in Zimbabwe today. It was certainly very interesting to visit Harare just a few days after the resignation of the former president Mugabe. Everyone was very happy that it had been a peaceful resignation and that the country now has an opportunity to have a new start. As a part of the new era, the interest and commitment from the rest of the world is very important and it was evident that the visit from Lund University had great symbolic value.

It was particularly interesting to listen to alumnus Tayson Mudarikiri who studied Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Lund. His work to help vulnerable women and girls in Harare is moving and inspiring. It is at moments like this when one truly sees the effect of Lund University’s vision – to be a world-class university that works to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.


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Will you get chipped?

Last weekend I dove into the Netflix series Dark Net, a series about the cyber world’s most unique, and sometimes obscure, applications and the people who create and frequent them. In the second episode, we meet people who upgraded their bodies with technology in different ways. A man with a camera eye, the Most Connected Man on Earth”, Chris Dancy, and a story from Stockholm with an art director who implants a chip in her hand. Connected to this story we meet Hannes Sjöblad, Lund University alumnus, and Chief Disruption Officer at Epicenter, famous for his work and insights into near- and inbody technology. As a biohacker activist, he works to democratize public access to powerful biotechnologies by spreading information about this groundbreaking technology with decision-makers, media and schools.

Check out Hannes Sjöblad’s TEDx talk below:

The chip technology is already here. The Swedish company, (actually Skåne-based) Biohax International offers biohacking opportunities for businesses all around the world. The travel company TUI offers all employees in Sweden the chance to get a chip implanted for free to get access to printers and the office entrance. At the Swedish railway company, SJ, you can let the train host scan your hand in order to see your travelling documents. Thousands of Swedes already use these ticket services today (Expressen, 2017-05-18) Exciting and a little scary, isn’t it?

I’m not an early adopter (and maybe seen the Terminator too many times), so for now, I’m a bit skeptical about implanting my bank codes, gym membership and office access card into my body. However, the world may look a lot different in a decade or two.

What do you think? Would you be interested in implanting a chip in your hand?

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Lunch with a Pro Helsingborg 2017

Last week the event Lunch with a Pro Helsingborg took place. A networking lunch where students and alumni from the same area of studies got the opportunity to have lunch together while networking, asking questions and inspire each other. This was the second year of Lunch with a Pro Helsingborg and it was as successful as last year, a lot of new connections were made and I’m sure that both the students and pro’s learned a lot from each other.


Among the students at the lunch were Johanna Carlsson who studies Strategic communication at Campus Helsingborg. Johanna also participated in the event last year, when she had just started her first year of studies, and she went to the event with hopes of a nice lunch where she would hopefully learn something new. Little did she know that the event would actually give her much more than that. During the lunch Johanna sat next to the pro Johanna Peterson, a strategic communication alumna who works at Contentor Marketing. A few days later Johanna (student) got an e-mail from Johanna (pro) asking if she wanted to come to her workplace and try out the work for a day. One thing led to another and today Johanna has been working extra for Content Marketing for one year. She’s not only gained a lot of experience regarding her field of studies but also learnt a lot about being in a professional context.

Johanna Carlsson

This year Johanna participated in the lunch again to keep practising her networking skills and get inspiration from meeting new people interested in the same field as her. This time she wasn’t as nervous as last time, felt more secure and was brave enough to take initiative to conversations with the pro’s she was interested in getting to know more. She recommends all students to participate in Lunch with a Pro or other networking events and give us her top tips to students who will participate in Lunch with a Pro (or another similar event) in the future:

  • Be prepared. Look up who you want to talk to in advance, learn about the person or company and prepare some questions you want to ask them.
  • Take initiative! Everyone is there for the same reason – to network. Don’t be afraid to make the first move and take contact with someone.
  • Relax and have fun 🙂
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Campus Open 2017

Every year Campus Helsingborg invites curious guests to Campus Open, an afternoon filled with interesting presentations about new research, innovations and organisations and an opportunity to have fika and network with old friends and new connections. This years theme was the digital city and the sharing economy.

The key note speaker, Martin Güll, is a Lund University alumnus who has studied civil engineering and now works at Helsingborgs stad as manager of digitalisation. He opened up his presentation by asking the audience about what they thought was the hardest part with his job today and he got various suggestions such as cooperation, problem solving etc., but neither was right. Instead he answered the question himself by saying “the hardest part with my job today is explaining to my mother what I actually work with”. An answer that resulted in many laughs from the audience, but also says a lot about how fast technology is moving and developing and that it isn’t always easy to explain. In his presentation Martin wanted to share what’s happening in Helsingborg right now, and how they use digitalisation to develop their city. He talked about how they, among other things, work with making their co-workers have the courage to try new things and to dare to move fast in order to keep up with all the new expectations that the digitalisation brings with it. Click here to get to know more about the digital city Helsingborg.

After Martin’s opening presentation the researchers Cecilia Cassinger and Mia Larson presented their research about sharing economy. Sharing economy is about how people cooperate to quick and easy make use of and share products and services with the help of digital platforms. Airbnb and Uber are examples of this. Cecilia and Mia talked about the benefits of this such as efficiency, bringing society closer together and saving time and money. They also mentioned possible consequenses such as professional groups that may be unrivaled by different sharing platforms.

After this opening hour of the afternoon there were several presentations to listen to such as “Computer Safety: From hackerattacks to the futures quantum computers” by Paul Stankovski, “They talk about making a change – the shooting stars at the business heaven” by Emelie Dahlström, “Digital tourism information: Something for everyone?” by Lena Eskilsson and Maria Månsson, “Internet of Things makes the city smart” by Erik Larsson and “How tourism became a means for terrorism” by Christer Eldh.

It was an interesting, educative and inspiring afternoon and I thank Campus Helsingborg for opening up their doors and am looking forward to be welcomed back. If you’re also interested in participating in this event next year look out for Campus Open 2018, it’s open for everyone.

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Our workshop on how to network

On 15 November we organised a workshop on “Networking and creating lasting connections” for graduate students and young alumni. The workshop was facilitated by alumni Ana Devdariani, Head of Communications and PR at Ideon Science Park. It was a very well received event with lots of useful advice for everyone who wants to improve their skills to network and get to know new people.

Keep your eyes open here on the blog during next week for some top tips from the workshop (like how to remember a person’s name and face!).


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Alumni in Swedish politics

A few evenings ago, Johanna and I went to Café Athen to listen to a lecture about Lund alumni in Swedish politics.

Keynote speaker was Ingvar Carlsson, leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party 1986-1991 and Prime minister in Sweden 1986-1991 and 1994-1996. He commenced his studies in political science at Lund University in 1956 and took his degree two years later to start his career at the age of 23 in the Swedish Prime Minister Office. However, it was not just the academic studies that left him with many fond memories from Lund. Ingvar Carlsson met his future wife Ingrid in Lund, he was an active member of Västgöta Nation, Utrikespolitiska Föreningen (The Association of Foreign Affairs) and spent many evenings in Café Athen in the AF-building.

During the his speech, Ingvar Carlsson discussed the importance of his time at Lund University for his career as a politician and also the importance of research in a democratic society. Universities, facts and research certainly play an important role in meeting the challenges our society faces today and in the future.

Ingvar concluded his presentation with our favourite quote of the evening:
Of all the amazing things I have experienced over the years, my two years in Lund are the best!

Tage Erlander, Ernst Wigforss and Östen Undén are three other alumni from Lund University who have played important roles in Swedish politics during the 1900’s. Interested in dusting off your Swedish history skills? Check out the Lund University 350th Jubilee book “Lund University over 350 years“.

The presentation was a part of a lecture series by the Royal Physiographic Society in Lund and Lunds universitetshistoriska sällskap organised for the Lund University 350th Jubilee Celebration.

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Dinner at the Swedish residence in Ottawa

The Ambassador of Sweden to Canada, Per Sjögren, opens his residence for Swedish and Canadian students and Swedish alumni for a dinner event on 24 November.


The invited guests are Swedish alumni living in Canada, Canadian students who are going to study in Sweden, Canadian students who have recently returned from Sweden and Swedish students in Canada. This is a great opportunity to exchange experiences of studies and life in Sweden and Canada, and to get to know more about the Embassy of Sweden in Ottawa.

Interested? Send an email to info@alumni.lu.se to receive the formal invitation and registration details.

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Q&A with alumna Frida Pommer

Frida studied Civil engineering at LTH between 2011-2016 and tells us about her first job after graduating and what she has taken with her from her university studies.

What have you been up to since your time here in Lund?
I still live in Lund and now work in Malmö. I started to work after a relaxing eight weeks of holiday in the summer of 2016.

What are you working with today?
I’m working at a construction consultancy company. I work as a project manager within construction projects in the southern part of Skåne.


What is your best memory from your time at Lund University?
All the lovely people I got to meet. Some of them are the closest friends I have today. We got to do so much fun stuff, both in school and during our spare time. It’s very hard to pick a specific memory.

How would you describe your first year after graduating?
It took quite a while before I realized that I had actually graduated and wasn’t going back to university. At first it felt like my new job was just a summer job. It took me at least 6 months before I got rid of that feeling. I was very lucky to get a job where they had a good plan on how to take care of new employees, specifically those coming straight from university. The first few months were very tiring. You have to put in a lot of effort to get to know your new colleagues and also your daily work. For me, even though it was tough it was easier than I thought to start working.

How has your time at Lund University influenced your career?
It has influenced my career a lot. Without my education I wouldn’t have the work I have today. Not only did I learn a lot of facts while studying but I also learnt how to collaborate with other people and how to put structure to my work.

What is the most unexpected thing you learnt at Lund University?
That it is okay to fail an exam. Maybe not the most unexpected thing, but it taught me a lot to fail an exam. It is not the end of the world.

What is the best thing with your work today?
That I feel like what I do actually matter to the outcome of a project. I can see that all my effort I put into a problem makes a difference for how the project as a whole will turn out. Another great thing is that I have the weekends free to do whatever I feel like, I don’t have to feel guilty that I don’t study if I do something fun.

What would you like to say to current students who are soon graduating and now preparing to start their career?
Don’t be to scared. Most employers know that you will be a “newbe” at your work. You simply can’t know everything as soon as you start working. You will get help to learn what you should do, and if you don’t, you should definitely ask for it. I think it is great to work and make my own money :-).

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