Love@Lund 2019

Lund University has not only filled the minds of many students, but it has also filled their hearts. The Love@Lund exhibition introduces you to couples who found love in Lund – in the corridor, the AF building or the classroom, just to name a few places where sparks flew. Most couples shary their stories in Swedish, but poster 1, 7, 9 and 12 are in English.

We’d like to give a special thanks to the couples who volunteered and sent us their stories! Did you meet your great love in Lund, share your story with us (info@alumni.lu.se) and be a part of Love@Lund 2020!

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Alumni Events/Love@Lund 0

Meeting alumni in Thailand

At the end of last year, Lund University caught up with alumni based in Thailand, as part of a Career and Alumni Networking event organised by the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce.

International Marketing Manager Megan Grindlay with alumni in Bangkok


The event brought together eight Swedish universities as well as several Swedish companies based in Thailand, including Tetra Pak, IKEA, Volvo, Atlas Copco, Astra Zeneca. The evening was an opportunity to network with prospective employers and alumni alike.

In the centre (dressed in black) is Lund alumna Siriorn Sutheerawong (MSc International Marketing and Brand Management 2013/14) who was a part of the alumni panel, chaired by Dr Pojanath Bhatanacharoen, Executive Director of the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce

The event took place as part of the Swedish Education and Career Days in Bangkok, with Swedish universities, Swedish companies, the Embassy and Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce collaborating and attending the OCSC Expo (Higher Education Fair) and visits to two Thai universities.

Alumni Events/Updates 0

LU Alumni around the world: Warsaw

This week we meet Elina Jonsson, alumna from the Master degree in Law and the Master degree in Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law (class of 2014). Elina has work experience from Georgia, the USA, Switzerland, Russia and Poland. Today, she works as a diplomat at the Swedish Embassy in Warsaw.

Q: You currently work at the Political Section of the Embassy of Sweden in Warsaw. What does a typical day at work look like for you?

The days vary quite a lot in the work of a diplomat. Some days I gather information in meetings with interlocutors – from officials to experts to activists – while other days I participate in conferences like COP24 in Katowice. In Russia I was a frequent observer of trials and protests. Now and then I travel in the country. Embassies regularly host delegations from Sweden and representation is naturally a big part of our work. Most time-consuming at the political section may be the writing of diplomatic reports.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about your job as a diplomat?

The variety of tasks and the need to think on your feet. Sometimes one has to come up with unconventional solutions quickly – but still in an elegant manner. To me it is enriching to strive for that balance and step by step learn the craftmanship of diplomacy. Problem-solving was also very important in my previous work as a peace observer.

Q: Has your education from Lund University been beneficial in your work? In what ways?

A legal background is always useful. Especially in diplomacy where negotiation and written communication are two of the cornerstones. In previous positions at the UN and EU I had more practical use of my knowledge of human rights and international humanitarian law. The playful spirit of Lund has been particularly beneficial in my work – not to take oneself too seriously.

Q: During your studies, you worked as a Qurator at Östgöta nation. What are your biggest takeaways from this work experience?

Everything. The one year full time Qurator position gave me invaluable experience in management, coaching, contract writing, event planning, budgeting, problem solving. A great insight into business management – and the practical experience that I needed to land my first assignment at the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN in New York. It was also fascinating to work in a voluntary environment – as one has to motivate people to engage without being able to offer a salary. Someone with experience from work at a nation is usually a welcoming host with organizational skills – things I look for in a CV today.

 Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you travel and why?

Home. I love living in the countryside of Sweden. I am hoping for the European night trains to run soon again – in order for me to fly less. To others I would strongly recommend a summer trip to Moscow – an exciting, beautiful and biking friendly megacity – recently ranked among the top six urban destinations in the world.

Q: You have work experience from Sweden, Georgia, the United States of America, Switzerland, Russia and Poland. What is your advice for alumni interested in an international career?

I believe languages are key. And a social understanding of cultural differences. It is also important to understand the differences between a foreign employer abroad, a Swedish employer abroad and an international governmental organization abroad. For instance, at the embassy I mainly speak Swedish – and enjoy Swedish fika – while at the EU or the UN I speak (and get to practice) the languages most used at that office – but I also need to adjust more.

Q: You speak several languages, Swedish, English, French, Russian and Chinese, among others. What is your advice for alumni wishing to learn more languages?

To be brave and curious and social. And to try to live in the country. Although I have studied Russian at university – I did learn most of my Russian in taxis or in neighbours’ kitchens or by explaining the rental bike system in Moscow. I am genuinely interested in people and I never really mind making mistakes, quite the opposite – a linguistic faux pas may be a great icebreaker. I also communicate with all kinds of people – as long as they are nice and friendly – and in that way I learn so much about the culture and country in which I live. Also in Sweden.

If you are interested in following Elina, see the links below:

instagram.com/elinajonssonklefstad/

linkedin.com/in/elinajonsson/

twitter.com/elinaelinaelina

https://elinaelinaelina.blogspot.com/

Inspiring alumni/LU Alumni around the World/Q&A with alumni 0

Arrival Day kicks off the new semester

The spring semester in Lund kicks-off with a new Arrival Day for 500+ exchange students. We took the opportunity to meet a few of these news students. All a bit jet-lagged but mostly excited about all the opportunities to explore a new part of the world and many new friendships.

Name: Liam
From: Canada
Studies: Mechanical Engineering
Why did you choose Lund University?
I have Swedish heritage, so I wanted to explore the country.
What are you looking forward to right now?
Travelling, I’m planning to also visit Norway, Belgium and Ireland.

Name: Emily
From: Canada
Studies: Political science
Why did you choose Lund University?
I want to experience Swedish culture. I like the lifestyle and I’m interested in the sustainability perspective.
What are you looking forward to right now?
I’m looking forward to meeting new friends from all over the world.

Name: Jessica
From: Canada
Studies: Economics
Why did you choose Lund University?
Because of the Swedish, and Nordic, lifestyle. It seems kind and advanced.
What are you looking forward to right now?
Meeting other international students and travelling around Europe.


Name: Fanny
From: Austria
Studies: International Business
Why did you choose Lund University?
I have always wanted to come here. When I was an au pair in France I had Swedish friends, so it’s a trip I always wanted to do. I also want to take the opportunity to explore the rest of Sweden, Finland and Norway.
What are you looking forward to right now?
To meet new people from different countries!

Name: Antonia
From: Austria
Studies: International Business
Why did you choose Lund University?
I recently visited Sweden for the first time and I liked it a lot. I researched study opportunities in Sweden and found that Lund University was the best choice for me. It is very good university and I also like the closeness to Copenhagen, that it is possible to be close to a bigger city while I’m here.
What are you looking forward to right now?
I’m looking forward to see how school here differs from Austria and experience the teachers’ approach to my field of study.

University happenings/Updates 2

Happy winter holidays!

We at the Lund University Alumni office would like to wish everyone a really happy winter holiday! We are taking a few days off for vacation and will be back in business again on 8 January. 

The plans for 2019 are not yet set in stone, but here are a few things to look forward to:

  • The joint alumni event at the House of Sweden in Washington D.C. on 12 February
  • The Love@Lund exhibition on Valentine’s Day 14 February in Lund
  • Don’t forget to save the date for the Alumni Weekend 5 October! The gala dinner will once again be held at Grand Hotel in Lund. 

and more…

Updates 2

LU Alumni around the world: Bangkok

This week we meet Sarulchana (Pam) Viriyataveekul, alumna who was an exchange student during the academic year 2014/2015. Sarulchana studied courses in Swedish, Swedish social policy, Economics and the Scandinavian Model of Equality – Gender, Class, Ethnicity and the Welfare state. Sarulchana currently works as a Research Assistant at the World Bank in Bangkok, Thailand.

“A photo taken from one of the meetings where I attended as a World Bank representative”

Q: Why did you decide to study at Lund University?

The journey that led me to Lund University was driven by my fascination with the Swedish way of life and its’ welfare system, as I grew up watching documentaries and news about them. I wanted to get a taste of what the “happy” life is like in a welfare state, and learn how its’ elements can be applied in my country. Luckily, my university offered several exchange programmes with universities in Sweden, Lund University among them. The choice to study at one of the world’s top 100 universities was clear, especially as it is in the top 30 for development studies. I knew immediately that studying and living in a city where bright young minds gather would be one of the most memorable years of my life. And it turned out to be true!

Work with a view

Q: Currently, you work as a research assistant at the World Bank in Thailand. What does a typical work day look like for you?

My work days are rarely typical since I work for task team leaders in different units at the World Bank, and also at the Center for Research on Inequality and Social Policy (CRISP), Thammasat University. Both offices give me flexibility to design my work schedule. If I am not working from a café, I am either at one of the offices or attending meetings for my World Bank Task Team Leaders. Each day is unique, but below follows what a day at my work can look like.

Today, I started at 8 a.m. On my way to my first stop, I read online newspapers to check for news about inequality trends worldwide. Once I arrived at the research center, we had our weekly 9 a.m. meeting to lay out the plan for our first Newsletter. From the research center I traveled to The World Bank Office for another weekly update meeting with the Senior Human Development Specialist, where I was assigned new tasks for the whole week. By 11.30 a.m. I was back at my desk performing desktop research.

At around 2 p.m. I took my lunch break at a food court in the mall nearby. Sometimes I buy take away food to eat at the kitchen, so I can enjoy the stunning Skyline view while eating. By 3 p.m., I had switched to doing work for the Social Development unit, coordinating with a private sector partner to plan a Brown Bag Lunch session on ‘LGBTI Friendly Workplace’, a topic I am excited about. Once the sun was starting to set it was time for me to pack up my stuff and head home.

Q: Has your Lund University education been beneficial in your work? In what ways?

My Lund university education has been beneficial both directly and indirectly. In one of the research works on the welfare card scheme in Thailand, I was tasked with writing a literature review on the challenges and effectiveness of poverty targeting programmes in different countries. Having studied Swedish Social Policy, it is easier for me to grasp the concept of welfare systems in general. In my work at the World Bank, the knowledge I gained from the Scandinavian Model of Equality class equipped me with a gender and rights-based lens to apply to gender related projects.

Most importantly, the international environment in Lund prepared me well for the culturally vibrant working environment in my professional life. The soft skills honed from networking with classmates and new friends from diverse backgrounds helped me become more open and understanding, and allowed me to communicate more effectively with foreign colleagues as well as clients.

“A photo from my student time in Lund, here together with my corridor mates”

Q: I see that you have worked at the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce. During your time there, what were your biggest learning outcomes?

I learned that this year marked 150 years of relations and commerce between Thailand and Sweden. During some of those years, the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce (TSCC) has played an integral role in the enhancement of Swedish businesses in Thailand. When I worked for TSCC there were more than 120 members, most of which are Swedish companies such as ABB, Saab and Tetra Pak. Many of our member companies directly contribute to the progress of Thailand 4.0, an economic model which propels growth through innovation and technology. Not only do Swedish companies help transform the Thai economy, they also introduce Swedish values to the society. IKEA Thailand recently began granting four weeks of paid paternity leave to its’ employees, setting a great precedent for Thailand, which currently only grants paternity leave for state officials.

There were many interesting projects over the years; such as seminars and networking events on anti-corruption, corporate social responsibility, and digital economy with high-level speakers from the government and business sector. The project I found most exciting to work on was the upcoming ‘Swedish Education and Career Days 2018’, in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok. At the Chamber, we were a small team consisting of four people, but we were planning the biggest international education event in Bangkok with over 20,000 visitors, together with organising alumni networking, and roadshows at Thai universities to connect Thai students and young professionals with world leading Swedish companies and universities (Lund University included!). The planning involved collaboration with various stakeholders, which spans across multiple sectors and nationalities. 

Lucia celebration at the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce

Q: What is the most unexpected thing you learned at Lund University?

Being in a foreign country, pretty much everything was unexpected. For me, the most surprising thing was the Student Nations. I was overwhelmed by the options presented to me (it felt like Lund was the Swedish version of Hogwarts!). During the second semester, I volunteered at Kristianstads Nation several times, rotating my responsibilities from selling entrance tickets, preparing food, making drinks, to cleaning. After each time, volunteers were invited to attend a ‘Tacksittning’ (‘Thank-you-sittning’). Never before had I attended a dinner party where one has to dress up according to a theme AND sing (in Swedish) before each course. Even though I did not know the meanings of the songs most of the time, I still had fun trying to mouth the words and dancing to Håkan Hellström’s or Eurovision songs with the new friends I made at the end of the night.

Inspiring alumni/LU Alumni around the World/Q&A with alumni 0

“Sweden, Italy, Europe: together for the future”

On 15 November the President of Italy, His Excellency Sergio Mattarella, visited Lund University. The event was also attended by his daughter, Laura Mattarella, and the Swedish King and Queen, His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and Her Majesty Queen Silvia. The visit to Lund and to Lund University marked the final day of the Italian President’s three-day official visit to Sweden.

Her Majesty, Queen Silvia of Sweden
Photographer: Hassan Taher

Upon their arrival in Lund, the guests were shown around the European Spallation Source (ESS) research facility, which is in the northern part of Lund. Italy is one of the 13 member nations of the European Spallation Source ERIC and has contributed and invested in ESS. After the visit, Lund University welcomed His Excellency, his daughter, and the King and Queen of Sweden to the Main University Building, where the auditorium was full of eager students awaiting what the President had to say on the topic of “Sweden, Italy, Europe: together for the future”.

The beautiful interior of the auditorium in the Main University Building
Photographer: Hassan Taher

The speech touched upon many important subjects, such as the history of Europe, the importance of the European Union and the importance of higher education, in the form of universities. Mattarella began his speech by giving thanks to the Swedish Royal Family, for welcoming him, his daughter and the whole Italian delegation so warmly. He continued by speaking about the history of Europe, from the First World War to the Second, which ultimately led to the creation of the European Union.“The idea that we should promote unity to grow together, beginning on resources such as coal and steel, which had before been reasons for war”.

His Excellency, President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella
Photographer: Hassan Taher

Mattarella spoke about the contribution of the Kingdom of Sweden to the European Union and in fostering knowledge through academic and research-based institutions, such as Lund University. The role of the European Union, Mattarella said, is not to be a mere customs union, nor a business committee, but rather an economic power which should guard the free movement of people. To protect the citizens always and everywhere. To be an active part of the society of our lives, from equal pay for equal jobs in the labour market to the role of universities.

Vice-Chancellor of Lund University, Torbjörn von Schantz
Photographer: Hassan Taher

The President encouraged the students in the auditorium, the Erasmus generation, to embrace academia. To continue to travel, to study, to learn more about other peoples’ cultures, languages and dreams. “Dear sons and daughters of Dante, Goethe and Strindberg, the notion of time and space have changed radically”, Mattarella said, “we should embrace the knowledge we learn and use it to make the world a better place, for the world, ourselves and the generations after”.

The Main University Building
Photographer: Hassan Taher

Sources:

https://www.regeringen.se/pressmeddelanden/2018/11/forskningsministern-deltar-i-besok-till-ess-och-lunds-universitet-i-samband-med-statsbesoket-fran-italien/

University happenings/Updates 0

Voices from the Alumni Reception in Berlin

Name: Kerstin
Studies: Master of Arts in Literature, Culture and Media (class of 2011)
Works with: General Personnel and Organisational issues at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin

Favourite memory from Lund University: 
The close contact with professors and meeting students and people from other fields than my own.

 

 

 

Name: Maksim
Studies: Master of Science in Finance (class of 2018)
Works with: Project Management Intern at EBay in Berlin

Favourite spot in Berlin: Victoria Park in Kreuzberg. The park is situated on a hill, with fountains and beautiful scenery. It is particularly beautiful in the summer-time, when many people gather there to relax, spend time and chat with one another.

 

 

Name: Anne
Studies: Master of Arts in European Studies (class of 2015)
Works with: Inhouse recruitment specialist at Adesso

Favourite memory from Lund University: The people I met, definitely. I am still friends with many people, both from my programme and my student engagement at different nations.

Name: Josefin
Studies: Master of Arts in European Studies (class of 2015)
Works with: Copy Writer at Zalando at the Nordic office in Berlin

What do you think you will be doing in five years?: I honestly do not know. But I think this is part of the excitement, to be somewhere where I can not even imagine today.

 

Name: Sebastian
Studies: Master of Science in Environmental Management and Policy (class of 2012)
Works with: Guest researcher at Adelphi

Favourite spot in Berlin: A place called Heiliger See (English: Holy Lake). A place for contemplation, to enjoy the serenity of nature, to have a picnic while watching the sunset.

 

 

 

Name: James
Studies: Master of Science in Plant Science (class of 2018)
Works with: PhD studies in Urban Ecology at Freie Universität Berlin, conducting research on fungi in the city

Favourite memory from Lund University: Being responsible for the only international spex in Lund, at Kalmar nation.

 

 

Alumni Events/Inspiring alumni/Q&A with alumni/Updates 0

LU meets alumni in Berlin

On 7 November we hosted an alumni reception in the Felleshus, the cultural centre and event venue of the five Nordic embassies, in Berlin. Many alumni gathered after work for a fruitful evening of mingling and networking. Alumni enjoyed an inspiring talk by Ambassador Per Thöresson about the relations between Sweden and Germany. The relationship between our two countries has never been as good as it is today, according to the Ambassador. Sweden and Germany are joining forces when it comes to innovation and a sustainable future. As an example,  Sweden takes centre stage as the Hannover Messe 2019 Partner country partner country in March 2019 under the theme Sweden Co-Lab.

At the event, we also listened to alumnus Ole Oberste Berghaus who talked about his engagements in Lund student life and how to stay involved as an active alumn. During the following mingle (with Norwegian treats), we truly enjoyed hearing that so many alumni were interested in staying in touch with Lund University and with each other.

Join the Facebook Group

It was great to hear that there is such an interest in starting a local group! During the event in Berlin, we came to the conclusion that we can get the ball rolling by starting a Facebook group for Berlin-based alumni.

You can join the group here and start inviting fellow LU alumni in the area. It’s an open group where everyone is welcome to add members, posts, photos and events.

Alumni Chapter info

The ambition is that this is now a group you all can use to meet other alumni and plan your own activities. Perhaps after a couple events, and if there is a group of alumni who would like to form a committee, we can create an official chapter in Berlin!

Check out our website here for more information about starting a chapter.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or ideas for future alumni activities in Berlin!

Alumni Events/Updates 0

LU Alumni around the world: Berlin

This week we meet Ole Oberste Berghaus, alumnus from the LUMES programme and the School of Economics and Management, class of 2014, who will share his daily life as a management consultant in Berlin.

 

 

Q: You have a master’s degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science and also studied Economic Growth and Innovation at the School of Economics and Management. What have you been up to since you graduated from Lund University?

After graduation I started working at a boutique consulting company in Nuremberg, Germany. I stayed with the company for two years – until I got successfully headhunted to my current employer. The company is state owned and has its headquarters in Berlin. Today I am responsible for projects with a focus on innovation in public administration. I work with topics such as new technology, cyber security, climate impact assessment and strategy development. My job is aimed at improving administrative processes and structures, as well as increasing sustainability in public administration.

Q: What does a typical work day look like for you today?

Usually I get up shortly after six in the morning and get ready for work. A morning run, a small breakfast, a cup of good coffee and the morning news are a must before the 30 min commute. While on the local train I usually read a book – I like to learn something new every day, I have a thing for non-fiction books and popular science. My workday starts at 8:30-ish at the office with a short chat with my colleagues to prioritize the tasks of the day. Regular and frequent meetings with the customer occur usually during the mornings and last preferably not too long (other than major review meetings). Our lunch breaks are usually spent going to a small restaurant around the corner of our office. Afternoons tend to have a super small coffee break – much shorter than a Swedish “fika”. When in the office we often discuss ideas with each other to make sure that everyone is involved and is heard and that the different viewpoints are included. Since my current employer looks closely on overtime, my colleagues and I can usually finish work at 18:00.

If I skipped the morning run, I tend to go to the gym for a short workout after work. Or I attend political forums, volunteer activities or dinner and drinks with friends – far too seldom I attend opera nights and theatre plays.

Q: How would you describe the business culture within your industry in Germany?

Especially in consulting and public administration the business culture is quite conservative: men are expected to wear a dark suit with an optional tie. Dressing down during Fridays is only accepted when not at the customer’s. Public administration is also known for its hierarchical structure and many operative rules and fixed processes.
As an external consultant you are much freer to jump hierarchies – you are more of a court jester than an actual part of the administration itself – much to my delight.
On the contrary: within our company hierarchies are flat, including an open-door policy and we work on a first name basis; from CEO to administrative staff.

Q: Has your Lund University education been beneficial in your work? In what ways?

Lund University’s education has been very beneficial. Especially the focus areas of human geography, innovation, systems-thinking and sustainability have helped me a whole lot! Furthermore, student life has been a huge benefit for my career: At Lund university I could learn how to manage substantial budgets, large groups of people and how to create an added value with small budgets. The chance to try yourself out is very unique to smaller university towns. Big city life distracts too much and shifts the focus away from true innovation and creative thinking.

Q: What are your plans for (the rest of) 2018? Any new career or personal life goals?

I already got a substantial rise of my salary – I am super happy about that! Career wise I am currently training to take over similar responsibilities I already had at LundaEkonomerna (the student union at LUSEM): managing projects and people. In 2017 I already managed my first smaller project – 2018 and 2019 will bring some larger projects. For personal development I am looking forward to get a lot of trainings and mentoring sessions to reflect on my current work and to learn more and more and more … a life of lifelong learning.

 

Q: If you have one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it?

I usually use my additional hours as a member of the supervisory board of AFS Intercultural Programs Germany and as a volunteer for the Junior Chamber International (JCI) chapter work here in Berlin.

Inspiring alumni/LU Alumni around the World 0