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Lund student life – an invaluable source of work experience and personal development

Lundakarnevalen balloons

For many students, their time at Lund University is a crucial period in their lives, when they gain a world-class education that puts them in a good position to have a successful career. Studying at Lund University also provides access to everything student life has to offer in Lund and Helsingborg. A few examples of Lund student life events are the Tandem Relay, the Lund Carnival, innumerable balls (such as the Gustav II Adolf Ball which is Europe’s largest student ball and the next-largest white tie event in the Nordic area, second only to the Nobel Prize dinner).

Year after year, the people who pull together the range of student events and run all the student organisations are the students themselves. Students who, through their commitment, take part in creating, developing and running projects together. Their involvement enables the students to gain innumerable skills in areas such as leadership, marketing, finance, logistics, teamwork, project management, fire safety and creativity.

“ʻIf you can stage-manage a Finn Ball, you can be a purchasing manager for Ericsson’, I was told at my first employment interview – and I got the job. I then worked for 18 years at Ericsson”, says Måns Weimarck, currently organisational development officer at Region Skåne, procurement division.

“My many years of involvement in the student nations did not, in fact, determine whether or not I got a job. However, it did entail a lot of experience which has helped me in my work and thereby benefited my career. One element that is invaluable is the experience of social interaction that you acquire in your encounters with both acquaintances and strangers when you get involved in student life”, explains Håkan Abrahamsson, chair of the municipal council in Perstorp.

One skill that Erik Stenberg acquired from his involvement in student life was crisis management and dealing with setbacks:

“As an accommodation manager for Lund Nation I was once sued, and one morning I had to call 6 different car owners and explain to them that their cars had been crushed by a minor glacier that slid off our roof. (The two events were not connected). It feels completely overwhelming when it happens, you can feel terrible, but you survive. Student life is more forgiving of spectacular failures than professional life. Failing and learning from the experience is an important thing to take with you,” says Erik, currently a project coordinator at Innovation Skåne AB.

Lotta Månsson and Anna Karlsson, who are now respectively the principal of a pre-school and assistant principal at an upper secondary school, say that their time as event managers within student life contributed to their interest in leading and inspiring others.

“Student nation life laid the foundation for many contacts but it was also the start of my own personal development”, adds Lotta.

Personal development was also something experienced by Fredrik Friberg and Dag Oredsson during their involvement in student life.

“I was given responsibility I wasn’t mature enough to take on, but I had to grow up. I had to be on time, convince public officials, manage my duties, purchase things I didn’t even know existed. Today I have my own company with eight employees, and we continue to grow. I currently manage marketing, finance, human resources, purchasing, logistics and a lot more. I acquired the basis for much of this knowledge through the responsibilities I was given and the contacts I established during my involvement in the student nation”, says Fredrik.

“It was thanks to student life that I realised what I wanted to do in the future, without being able to put my finger on it. I was given responsibility, I was part of implementing amazing things, I got lessons in humility and an unshakeable belief that we can achieve anything if we do it together”, says Dag, who is currently communications manager at VA Syd.

“I would assert that the experiences from time in the student nation are invaluable when doing ‘real work’ in a management role. You rarely get other opportunities to acquire practical experience of leadership roles. Without the practical knowledge of finance that I also gained at the nation, I would probably not have my current job. I would probably not have got my first real job at a law practice either without my involvement in student life, as my then manager had a background in the Academic Society”, says Magnus Janghed Askler, who is now credit manager for the south of Sweden at SEB bank.

The ability to be creative is key to student life. Creativity is required for example to bring together a unique and memorable Lund Carnival, to find solutions to problems and to produce material for student cabaret shows.

“I became a cartoonist because of friends I met in the Lundaspexarna student cabaret troupe and after being steeped in Lundensian humour”, says Frida Malmgren, cartoonist for Girls at the Top, a cartoon published weekly in Aftonbladet newspaper.

Student life has also been an invaluable source of friends for life and a broad network that has accompanied many throughout their career.

“Studying enabled me to get involved in Lund Nation, the Academic Society and the Lundaspexarna student cabaret troupe, which gave me the entire platform on which I then built my professional life. Invaluable and absolutely crucial times! In my new job at Visit Lund, I close the circle in a way and will be working with many old contacts from my student days to create new events and activities – as I did during my time as a student. It will be a bit like becoming a student again”, says Per Welinder, the newly appointed CEO of Visit Lund.

“I established invaluable contacts through student life”, observes Emme Adebó, manager of Skåne’s handball association.

“My involvement is the reason why I got the job I am doing today”, says Ylva Lidin, the recently appointed manager of VentureLab.

 

Text: Fanndis Hermannsdottir, 2020
Photo: Gunnar Menander

 

October 13, 2020

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World-class research at your fingertips – Future week 2020

Through the annual popular Future Week, Lund University wishes to spread knowledge about the university’s latest research. The week is aimed at students, the business sector, alumni, the general public and employees who are interested in the biggest future issues of our times. Due to the pandemic many seminars and lectures have left the auditoriums and can instead be seen online. So, no matter where you are in the world, as long as you have internet access and a smartphone, tablet or computer, you have world-class research available at your fingertips.

We have gathered a whole list of knowledge-filled online events in English taking place this upcoming week when the “Future week 2020” kicks off.

Future week 12-18 October

Theme: Forces in Motion
Which large and small forces have been set in motion – in society and in nature – and how can these affect our future? And what counterforces exist?

Seminar and events in English streamed online

13 October
Post pandemic trends on sustainability, 08.30-09.30 CET

14 October
FIKA: Talking Culture amid Crises – what you need to know when the crises come, 10.00-11.00 CET

The future of traveling, mobility and flying, 15.00-16.00 CET

15 October
The future is already here: A virtual tour of Lund University Humanities Lab, 15.00-15.30 CET

Social Movements – a force for change?, 16.00-17.30 CET

Who’s in charge? – Accountability and the Sustainable Development Goals, 17.00-18.30 CET

17 October
Repair: a force against entropy! 20.00-21.30 CET

Most major events during the Future Week are filmed and will be made available afterwards.

Films in English

Are you a future cat whisperer?

“Here” and “there”: How a partnership between Sweden and Mexico is helping us to understand communication about space

More info

Click here to see a full list of events in English during Future Week

Click here to see the full Future Week programme



October 9, 2020

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Working life after the pandemic

Just over seven months old, the pandemic has affected large parts of each individual’s everyday life. It has affected how we shop, move about, work and not least communicate with other people. In a very short time, we have switched over to working from home, social distancing and digital meetings. Conference tools that were previously an unusual element of our meeting habits are now handled with great confidence by both colleagues and students at Lund University. The early days of fumbling in the dark with meeting participants trying to figure out who was talking to whom, people struggling with connection problems and at least one participant appearing against a backdrop of kitchen appliances, are now a thing of the past for most people. Now everyday life features a digital coffee-break with colleagues, with good lighting, high image and sound quality and a magnolia tree or the main University building as a background image.

It is obvious that the pandemic has shaken people’s foundations, but what will happen afterwards? How will working life change and what demands does that place on future leaders? We spoke with alumni and industry figures Bert Nordberg and Nina Åxman about their views on the pandemic’s effect on future working life and leadership.

“Digitalisation has jumped forward by a decade”

Bert Nordberg chairs the board of Danish TDC Group and Vestas, as well as being the proud founder of Sigma Connectivity in Lund, a board member in several major companies and vice chair of LU Holding. What effects does Bert believe the pandemic will have on future working life and leadership?

“I am quite sure that digitalisation has jumped forward by a decade. People have now understood that videoconferencing systems such as Zoom, WebEx and Teams, together with the fibre optic network we have here in the Nordic area, means that we can work remotely much more and that this type of work is more accepted. People won’t pay so much attention to the ordinary working hours of 8 to 5 anymore either. People will perform their duties but not necessarily during office hours. This in turn will place different demands on leadership.”

Even with good digital tools, Bert sees challenges associated with only meeting digitally. Not all issues are equally easy to negotiate in a digital conference room.

“Of course there are downsides to not meeting as usual. If you work with mechanical issues and reporting results, it is perfectly fine to meet digitally. But if you are to have an intellectual debate about a future strategy, it is very difficult only to see one another digitally. In that case you must meet up. I am currently working like this with my board work and I have been doing so for about six months. With purely practical issues, it works fine, but with strategic issues it is more complicated. That requires a combination of meeting digitally and in real life.”

When it comes to future leadership, Bert considers one of the most important leadership qualities to be the ability to create the conditions for closeness despite distance. Regular communication and interaction is the key to enabling your employees and the company to thrive.

“Remote working places new demands on leaders’ communication abilities. Leaders must be accessible and perceptive, and keep in touch with their employees to a much greater extent than previously, when people met up at the office on a daily basis. If you want to retain good employees, it is important to ensure that they identify with the company’s brand and culture. Once the pandemic subsides, I would recommend having at least one day a week together at the office. Employees must come in and interact with their colleagues. You can’t work only for money; you also need to be energised by your colleagues.”

Remote working also has a great impact on the requirements for our physical work environment, Bert believes. Our office landscapes will look different, with a reduced need for vast expanses of cubicles but a greater need for meeting places for employees who spend most of their time working remotely.

“You can’t work in total isolation; you need meeting places. Once the pandemic is over, companies will need rooms where employees can come in from remote working and meet up. Companies are not only bilateral links between managers and employees; they also need the interaction between employees to develop. This is why meeting places are needed at the office for meetings and discussions between employees.”

“I often use the example of solving a crossword puzzle. It’s pretty difficult to do on your own. If seven people tackle it together it is much easier. If they are allowed to talk to each other. Otherwise it’s no use.”

Bert also observes that people have changed their habits outside working life in connection with the pandemic.

“We have taken a huge step forward with e-commerce and digital trade. People are shopping online to a greater extent today. There will definitely be less travel, both private and for business. Here in Sweden, we have learnt that there is a lot to see on home ground, you don’t need to travel abroad to satisfy your holiday needs. In the work context, nobody is going to think it is worth travelling from Skåne to take part in a short meeting in Stockholm. We will continue to have digital meetings. I also believe that, for the first time, digital signatures will be legally acceptable to a greater extent. Bank ID will enable us to manage many situations which previously required a signature in ink.”

“My understanding is that the development that we are seeing now over a short time would have happened anyway, but it would have taken an additional ten years. What we’ve actually done is gained ten years in our future.”

“Starting to see digital technology as a core ability”

Nina Åxman, who is also featured in a recent alumna portrait (Master’s degree in Industrial Management and Engineering 2009), works as Vice President for Global Operations at Sandvik Rock Tools and was recently appointed “Future female leader 2020” by the managers’ organisation Ledarna. What effects does Nina believe the pandemic will have on future working life and leadership?

“I believe we will see a shift of job opportunities and turnover from certain sectors to others, as the recovery in certain sectors will take time or may never return to previous levels. Hopefully, all the green investments in the wake of the pandemic are the start of an accelerated transition to a more sustainable society and industry.”

Nina also highlights a change in how people view the office space and its purpose.

“The office is to be an inviting and inspiring meeting place for interaction and collaboration, rather than a place where you simply have to be. As an employee, where you carry out your work duties will be less important; I predict that this flexibility will lead to more remote working and less commuting. We will become much better at using digital technology for effective collaboration and we will start to see it as a core ability that we actively develop within the organisation. There will be less travel as it will partly be replaced with digital interactions for things as different as trade fairs/client events and acceptance tests for new equipment.”

“Beyond the office as well, I think that many people have adopted new digital habits (such as online food shopping) which will continue and affect many sectors.”

Nina predicts that the increased flexibility in working life will place different demands on future leaders.

“As we become more flexible about where and how we work, this places different demands on how we lead. Both with regard to clarity in setting expectations and follow-up but also around the softer aspects of communication. A future manager will need to guide, reward and coach employees on the basis of performance and results, not attendance. And managers need to ensure that culture, values and work processes support and facilitate this type of workday. In this type of environment, the companies that maintain a strong focus on employee issues, especially inclusion and team-building, will be successful. It is important for future leaders to be digitally curious and eager to continuously improve the team’s collaboration.”

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The picture of future working life, after the pandemic, as painted by Bert Nordberg and Nina Åxman, is inspiring in many ways. A more flexible approach to work and our working hours, in combination with a new focus on the office and meeting places to encourage interaction between employees, sounds undeniably exciting. The increased flexibility can hopefully be a piece of the puzzle that will help many people to improve their work-life balance in the “new normal” everyday life.

 

Photos: News Öresund – Johan Wessman, CC BY 2.0 (Bert Nordberg) Karina Ljungdahl (Nina Åxman)

September 25, 2020

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LTH alumna Nina Åxman is the Future Female Leader of 2020

A good combination of engineering, economics and management within the world of tech companies led Nina Åxman to choose to study Industrial Management and Engineering at Lund University’s Faculty of Engineering (LTH). It proved to be the right choice and has taken her to several exciting workplaces around the world. She is currently working as Vice President for Global Operations at Sandvik Rock Tools, a job which has enabled her to work with both engineering and leadership. This year, she was appointed Future Female Leader of 2020. Click here to read the interview in Swedish

“It feels fantastic and is a great honour. It is especially fun that they chose a leader from the tech industry. It is important to show that there is a diversity of people capable of moving the engineering sector forward. If I can contribute or inspire someone to get involved in this, that is a great outcome”, says Nina Åxman.

Nina Åxman grew up in Hallstahammar and decided to move to a real student city, and since she had always liked Lund and the Öresund region, her choice fell on Lund University’s Faculty of Engineering, LTH. She also showed an early interest in engineering and had attended ABB’s industrial upper secondary school programme.

“Industrial Management and Engineering offers great opportunities to choose your own professional career.”

Memories from LTH

Nina’s memories of Lund and LTH are very positive, both with regard to the study programme itself and Lund as a city and the wide range of activities on offer.

Studying in Lund also had the great advantage of offering access to the entire University. For example, Nina Åxman studied an introductory law course as a complement to her studies. At Industrial Management and Engineering, she found the first two years to be heavy with theoretical content, but it got more engaging as she went along. The last three years included several integrated projects in various companies, which Nina appreciated as she felt they were very close to real life. In addition, there are good opportunities for exchanges with other higher education institutions; Nina herself went to Australia.

Traineeship at Bombardier

Nina Åxman knew that she wanted to start her career in a major international company – preferably on a trainee programme which offered the opportunity to work internationally. And that is what happened; after her studies she started on a trainee programme with Bombardier transportation in Germany.

“It was an eighteen-month programme where you worked in three different six-month projects in various parts of the world. It was very good, with authentic projects. We were 15 people on the trainee programme and we made great strides together.”

Nina Åxman stayed with Bombardier for ten years, taking on many different roles in various locations in Germany, China and Sweden and moving up from a trainee position to her last assignment as a factory manager in Västerås.

One memorable project was in China, where she was responsible for doubling the production capacity of train engines in only ten months. This involved everything from investments to reorganising the work into a new shift structure for those working in the factory – keeping production going all the while during the conversion process.

“I like working in China – they see most things as doable and they are flexible and results-oriented.”

Six factories and a worldwide network in 130 countries

In early 2020, Nina started her new job at Sandvik Rock Tools, which produces drilling tools for the mining and contruction industry. As the manager for global operations, she is in charge of the global supply chain with six factories in different countries and a worldwide network in 130 countries.

“We are to reach our customers in 1-3 days. This requires a lot of planning, in particular because our tools are heavy and bulky so we try to avoid using planes, preferring to ship them by sea instead”, says Nina Åxman.

Her job involves a lot of strategic planning, with employees around the world reporting to her.

“I get to work with technology and leadership, and every day I am in contact with people from all over the world. I have great colleagues, and meanwhile there is potential for our organisation to become even better and I have a mandate to bring about change”, she says.

Normally, her position entails a lot of travel, but as for everyone else, this year has been very unusual and also demanding. Many of her working hours have been dedicated to crisis management as a result of the pandemic. It has also required a different approach to work, using a home office and holding digital meetings.

“There are both advantages and drawbacks. Many things work well and my team is spread out around the world so we have many Teams meetings anyway. At the same time, I miss the energy that arises when you meet your colleagues in real life and things are not as spontaneous as usual”, says Nina Åxman.

Her job also gives her the opportunity to work on issues that she feels very strongly about. Diversity, together with integration and sustainability are three such issues. Nina Åxman has a strong belief in the equal value of human beings and that everyone has their own intrinsic strengths and abilities which must be safeguarded. During the refugee crisis, she got involved in helping recently arrived refugees and Bombardier welcomed language trainees who were offered an insight into the industry sector.

“I also want to show that it works perfectly well to be a female leader within the tech industry. Many people have an old-fashioned image of a middle-aged man in a suit, but I am an example of the great opportunities there are and that you can be a factory manager at 32 and wear a red dress instead”, says Nina Åxman.

 

In brief

What does a typical day at the office look like? No two days are the same. In certain periods, there is a lot of strategic work, sometimes we need to do a lot of recruitment and then a lot of time is spent on being a sounding-board and a problem-solver together with my team.

What do you do in your spare time? I meet up with friends, exercise a lot, I go to classes at the gym, dance, do yoga and running. I love being outdoors. Diving is a major interest of mine – preferably abroad and if possible with sharks.

Do you have any life hacks? I try to simplify my life and automate as much as possible in my home. I use voice-controlled devices and my latest installation is a system that voice-controls all the lighting in my house. The vacuum-cleaner is also fantastic – it’s great to be able to tell it that it’s time to do the cleaning.

How would you like your colleagues to describe you? I want to stand for positive and future-oriented leadership and inspire new ways of tackling problems. I want to encourage others to be courageous and creative. I want to be accessible, committed and challenging – while providing support. I hope that I am perceived as fact-oriented, fair and clear. And I believe that I am perceived to be authentic and calm.

What is your strongest memory from your studies at LTH? In terms of studies it’s a course in software development of major systems. It was an unusual course that was so enjoyable and reality-based. In addition, I met one of my best friends there. Besides that, I very much enjoyed going to student “spex” and of course I attended the Lund Carnival. And I was also a big fan of the Gerdahallen sports facility.

 

Text: Jonas Andersson
Photo: Karina Ljungdahl

September 24, 2020

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Revisit the historical articles from our newsletter Lundensaren

We have gathered many of the previous historical articles from our newsletter Lundensaren for you. Maybe you missed a few or would like to reread one. There really is an article for all moods and interests. For instance, what does the beast of storsjön in Jämtland have to do with Lund University? Or maybe you are more interested in reading about murder and love scandals. If so, the articles “A bone of the devil” and “When Alfons met Polly” are the perfect read. If that is too dramatic, you can always get to know the first female students at Lund University and the struggles they encountered.

These are only a few of the historical articles from the past years. You can read any of them in English or Swedish, just click on the title of your liking to start reading.

Articles in English 

“As long as no sanitary inconvenience comes of it” – The story of Sjöström’s privies
When Alfons met Polly: a Lund love scandal from 1878
Lund students and France – a love that cooled
The academic gourmand
“An indecent and scandalous scene”: Carl Lindell and the coffin incident of 1884
“A curse on the very notion of lye fish”: on a forgotten Lund eccentric from the mid-1800s
A duckling visits Lund
The Associate Professor and the Beast : Peter Olsson as cryptozoologist
“Academic cock of the walk” who oversaw freshers’ footwear
(Un)shaping pastors into physicians – Lund University’s fifth faculty and pastoral medicine
“A bone of the devil” – graduate Nehrman and the horrifying bloody deed in Gränna
Gotlands – the nation that vanished
Svasse – the Lund alumnus who came up with the chorus line (Part 2)
Svasse – the Lund alumnus who came up with the chorus line (Part 1)
Who was Lund’s first student?
The female pioneers – the ones who paved the way at Lund University

Articles in Swedish: 

”Så länge icke någon olägenhet i sanitärt hänseende deraf förspörjes”– Historien om de sjöströmska avträdena
Äktenskap i Theorin : en lundensisk kärleksskandal från 1878
Lundensarna och Frankrike – en kärlek som svalnade
Den akademiske läckergommen
”Ett osedligt och förargelseväckande uppträde” : Carl Lindell och 1884 års likkisteincident
”Ett fy fan vid tanken på lutfisk” : om ett bortglömt lundaoriginal från 1800-talets mitt
En ankunge besöker Lund
Docenten och Storsjöodjuret : Peter Olsson som kryptozoolog
”Akademituppen” som övervakade novischernas skodon
Att (icke) dana präster till läkare- Lunds universitets femte fakultet och prästmedicinen
Ett ben av djävulen – kandidat Nehrman och det fasaväckande blodsdådet i Gränna
Gotlands – Nationen som försvann
Svasse – lundaalumnen som tänkte på refrängen (Del 2)
Svasse – lundaalumnen som tänkte på refrängen (Del 1)
Vem var Lunds förste student?
De som gick före – de kvinnliga pionjärerna vid universitetet




September 23, 2020

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Innovations of the future awarded in Lund

This Wednesday morning, the winners of the annual Future Innovation Award by Lund University Innovation and Sparbanken Skåne were announced. The competition aims to promote an innovation-friendly culture within the University, and to encourage more new ideas that can lead to future innovations. All student and employee projects that show a high level of innovation, commercial and/or societal benefit and newsworthiness are welcomed into the competition. This year, a solar energy system for schools in developing countries and a new treatment for patients suffering from heart attacks were crowned winners. 

Grand prize winners in the Future Innovation Award 2020. Photo by Lotte Larsen.

Off-grid power for schools in developing countries

Grand prize winners in the Student category were Wenjing Yang and Hanna Geschewski’s project, Solar4Schools. Solar4Schools develops an off-grid solar energy system for schools in developing countries that do not have access to reliable, affordable and clean energy.

Today, there are more than 2,8 million schools in developing countries that do not have reliable access to electricity. During her studies, Wenjing Yang made a field trip to Kenya, where 57,000 schools burn kerosene to get lighting. It affects the quality of education for more than half of the country’s students. This is where the idea for Solar4Schools was born.

Solar4Schools has developed an independent system with fewer components but which still meets the schools’ basic needs. By also offering a telephone charging service to the local community, with the help of mobile payments and IoT technology, the customer can self-finance the product.

Read more about Solar 4 Schools here

Revolutionary treatment of heart infarction

In the Employee category, Alexandru Schiopu received the grand award for his research on “A new anti-inflammatory treatment to reduce the consequences of myocardial infarction”.

Cardiovascular disease is the single most common cause of death in the world. Alexandru Schiopu’s project develops a revolutionary treatment for patients suffering from heart attacks. By reducing inflammation in the heart, the patient’s heart function can be improved, and the risk of heart failure reduced, which significantly affects the patient’s prognosis and quality of life.

In this project, a special pro-inflammatory protein that is secreted in large quantities after an infarction has been identified. The protein kills heart cells directly, intensifies the inflammation in the heart and worsens heart function. But – there is a small molecular blocker, which can stop the pro-inflammatory protein. The potential social and economic benefits of a treatment that effectively reduces the consequences of heart attacks can be considered extremely high and the intention is to further develop the project towards clinical testing. Alexandru works as associate professor at Cardiovascular Research – Immunity and Atherosclerosis at Lund University.

Click here for more information about the award ceremony (in Swedish).
Curious about the Future Innovation Award? Click here to read more.

Click here for source to project descriptions
Featured photo by Polina Zimmerman från Pexels
Photo by Lotte Larsen.

September 16, 2020

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A quick hello from the Alumni Office

Our office has reopened again after the summer vacation. But it’s not really business as usual. Many of us are working from home and we are more often meeting through Zoom than IRL. Even the mandatory “fika” is now enjoyed with our colleagues during a “Zoom-fika”. We are also looking forward to meeting many of you online since we are planning a digital version of our autumn events programme for alumni. 

Here are some updates from Lund University, Lund and the alumni community from the last two weeks – exciting research news, a different type of Arrival Day, a new way to move around in Lund and an alumna competing for a masterchef title on TV. 

Photo above by Kennet Ruona of Sjön Sjön (the lake “Sjön”) by LTH.

New rapid and robust COVID-19 antibody test developed

A new COVID-19 antibody test developed by scientists at Lund University has shown robust performance upon clinical validation and application. The test detects antibodies in the blood targeting the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, and determines in just 15 minutes whether a person has had COVID-19, regardless of whether they have had any symptoms. Click here for more information.

1,024 new international students arrived safely in Lund

On Monday 17 August and Tuesday 18 August, Lund University welcomed 1,024 new international students. Due to the pandemic, a number of precautions had been taken in order to give the new students the safest and warmest welcome possible. Instead of having the halls of the AF building filled with enthusiastic and talkative students, Arrival Day was split into two days, offering a crowd-free self-check-in service. Many of the Orientation Weeks activities have moved outdoors or online. Like every year before, however, the international student mentors are doing a fantastic job helping the new students finding their way in Lund. Click here to read more about Arrival Day.

Arrival Day August 2020
From Arrival Day 18 August at Medicon Village

Alumna reappears in Swedish Masterchef

The TV show “Swedish Masterchef” is broadcasting a jubilee season where they welcome back former winners to compete for the title of “Masterchef of the Decade”. We are proud to see that alumna Jennie Walldén (Masterchef in 2013) back in the cooking show. Click here to read more about the show (in Swedish).

Premiere tour of first tram in Lund

The first tram “Åsa-Hanna” had its premiere tour in Lund on 17 August. Watch the tram travel at minimal speed through Lund in this video from Sydsvenskan.

August 21, 2020

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LinkedIn guide: Optimize your career opportunities

LinkedIn is one of the largest professional networking sites with 675 million monthly users and with 30 million companies on the platform, it’s safe to say that the platform is the right place to be if you’re looking to widen your professional network. But setting up an account isn’t as easy as it sounds. How do you make your profile stand out from the crowd? And what are some of the dos and don’ts? 

Earlier this semester the Alumni and Career Offices hosted a LinkedIn webinar where the certified CV and LinkedIn expert, Birgitta Möller, explained how you should think and act when setting up your profile, as well as when you’re using the platform to connect with others. Because so many of the viewers appreciated her tips and tricks, I’ve created a short written guide for LinkedIn based on her presentation. Enjoy!

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with millions of users

Step number one: Setting up your profile

A well-maintained LinkedIn profile will help build your personal brand, but keep in mind that your LinkedIn profile is not a digital resumé. LinkedIn is a social platform, so here you have the possibility to be more creative and personal when listing your knowledge and experiences.

These sections should be completely filled out in order to maximize your profile:

Language:

It’s possible to create a profile in a language that is different from your default profile. Therefore, always make sure your profile is available in English as recruiters will have an easier time finding your profile as their search results are in English. 

Profile picture:

Your profile picture is the first impression your profile visitors will have of you. So choose a picture that looks professional. Take a look at your picture and ask yourself: “Does this look like a person I would hire for this particular job?” Your photo does not have to be taken by a professional photographer in a fancy studio. However, try to avoid selfies. 

Selfies are great – but maybe not optimal for LinkedIn

Banner photo:

Your banner is part of making your profile more memorable. Try choosing an image that compliments your story and fits the context you want to be in.

Your headline:

In this section you have 120 characters to make an impression. So use the opportunity to tell your personal story by using keywords relevant for your field of work and/or be vocal about what you can help people with in your work. Or you can list some of your strongest skills. But try to avoid generic, cliché descriptions and buzzwords. 

About:

Here you should take the opportunity to market yourself! Make it a single job targeting text and give recruiters a chance to get to know you, your skills and what you have to offer. Write in first person as it sounds more personal.

Experience section:

When listing your experience, make sure to use real job titles that are commonly known, since they are searchable. Include relevant skills in each job description, but keep it short and don’t focus too much on details. In order to make your profile more interesting, try to include relevant media (you could add your thesis, photos, presentations, videos etc.) for each job description.

List your most relevant experience in your profile

Education:

Here you should list any degree or coursework that is relevant for the field in which you want to work. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, the education section is a chance for you to include any other relevant experience, such as licenses, certifications or volunteer work.

Skill section:

A very important section for search engine optimization. The more you include, the better the chance that recruiters will find you. But make share that the skills you list are relevant. Make use of top skills listed in job ads. 

Recommendations:

A great way to make your profile stand out. Your recommendations should come from someone who can directly speak to your characteristics and strengths. Never exchange recommendations with a classmate or a colleague – recommendations should be genuine!

Additional tips on optimizing your profile:

  • Customize your personal URL! By doing so, it shows that you know your way around LinkedIn and a short, personalized link looks good on your resume.

  • Fill in your industry and choose the one most relevant for you. Recruiters search based on industries!

DOs and DON’Ts when using LinkedIn

 Now that you’ve created a professional profile, it’s time to start building a network and finding exciting new opportunities. The key to finding these are through your connections. So how many connections do you need?  You should strive to have a minimum of 50 connections, but the more the better. This is because you usually find new opportunities through a contact of a contact.

Making new connections

When connecting with other people on the platform, DO NOT send a default contact message. DO write a personalized contact message instead. Explain how you know each other and why you are interested in having them in your network. If you don’t know each other, introduce yourself and ask if they are open to new connections. If they’re not, you can always follow them instead.

Being an active user

An important part of using LinkedIn is of course to be active. A great profile is not enough; you need to write posts, share, comment and like other people’s posts in order to be seen. When writing posts, DO NOT use advanced, complicated language. Instead, be conversational and personal as people are more likely to respond to posts that they understand and can relate to.

DO follow company pages. Follow companies you want to work at, it sends a clear signal to recruiters that you are interested in this particular company and want to hear more from them.

DO join groups. It’s a great way to meet new professionals within your field of interest. Be active in the conversations within these groups and share your knowledge. That way, you can connect with people who have the same interests as you. For example, join the Lund University Alumni Network group to connect with other LU alumni around the world.

There are a lot of tips and tricks on how to optimize your online presence and widen your professional network, however, I hope that this guide has given you some valuable advice on how to use the platform. Social media is all about building your own personal brand. And knowing how to do this, even if it’s just knowing how to set up a professional-looking LinkedIn profile, will definitely be a step in the right direction toward reaching your career goals. 

August 6, 2020

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3 good ways to go green – study a MOOC at Lund University

How do we live life more sustainably? How do we shape cities so both people and the environment can prosper? And how can we use materials for a longer period of time? Enroll in three MOOCs offered by the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University to learn about the answers to these questions.

Greening the Economy: Lessons and Experiences from Scandinavia

How do we live a good life on one planet with over seven billion people? This course addresses this question by looking into how individual choices, business strategies, sustainable cities and national policies can promote a greener economy. This course is offered by the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University.
Start date: 10 August
Click here for course registration.

Greening the Economy: Sustainable Cities

How can we shape urban development towards sustainable and prosperous futures? This course will explore sustainable cities as engines for greening the economy. This course is offered by the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University.
Start date: 10 August
Click here for course registration.

Greening the Economy: Circular Economy – Sustainable Materials Management

In this MOOC we look at where important materials come from and how they can be used more efficiently, longer, and in closed loops through innovative business models, policies and local initiatives. This course is offered by the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University.
Start date: 10 August
Click here for course registration.

Photo by Mehmood Yousafzai from Pexels.

August 3, 2020

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6 Inspiring Podcasts

A list of podcasts by Lund University or our friends and alumni. Enjoy!

IIIEE podcast: Advancing Sustainable Solutions (in English)

Click here to reach the podcast
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) is an interdisciplinary research and education institute at Lund University with activities focusing on the transition to low-carbon and resource efficient economies. In this podcast, IIIEE shares ongoing research and activities through engaging conversation that is relatable and applicable to our daily lives. Working from home? Check out the latest episode “Tips and Tools for Teleworking”!

Studentafton podcast (in Swedish and English)

Click here to reach the Studentlund website
Click here to listen to the podcast on Spotify
If you use another podcast app, please search for “Studentafton”. 
Interviews by the popular student organisation Studentafton which has welcomed distinguished guests since 1830. On the long, and old, guest list you find speakers such as Dag Hammarskjöld, Henry Kissinger, Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, Will Farrell and many, many more. Studentafton also invite their speakers to join their podcast. There are podcasts in both English and Swedish. Check out the links above for more information. 

LU Futura podcast (in Swedish)

Click here to reach the podcast
A podcast by the LU Futura Think Tank with a focus on understanding the pandemic and its consequences for our society. LU Futura is the University’s new think-tank, which will take an interdisciplinary approach to important future issues. With research conducted at nine different faculties, Lund University has a unique opportunity to look at future problems from all possible perspectives.

Vetenskap & hälsa podcast (in Swedish)

Click here to reach the podcast 
A podcast presenting exciting research at Lund University within the field of medicine and health.

Öppet fall podcast (in Swedish)

Click here to reach the podcast 
”Öppet fall” is a podcast by the Faculty of Law at Lund University. In this podcast researchers analyse the most notable Swedish crime cases throughout history.

Sommar i P1 radio show with several alumni speakers (in Swedish)

Click here for more information 
Personal stories by well-known people from different parts of Swedish society. Pay special attention to episodes with Anders Tegnell, Betlehem Isaak, Patrik Svensson, Rasmus Troedsson, Ola Wong, Karin Smirnoff, Simon J Berger, Anna Takanen, Patrik Lundberg and Olof Stenhammar. We are proud to say that not only are they a part of “Sommar i P1”, but also a part of the Lund University alumni community!

 

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July 21, 2020

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Starting a new job during a pandemic – 4 tips from a recruiter

home office

In March earlier this year, I got a new job. I was over the moon excited, as I now was able to work full-time as a Communications Officer at the University. And this being my first ever full-time job since graduating in January, you can probably imagine how excited I was when I stepped into the office on my first day.

I was able to work for five days at the office, before my new boss informed us all that from now on, we would all work from home. In the beginning it was a peculiar situation, not only for me as a new employee, but for everyone. Luckily, I had a great onboarding and got comfortable in my new role very quickly.

My office for the past couple of months

As working from home is somewhat of the new “normal” right now, I can imagine that many of you who are currently looking for jobs will have a somewhat similar experience to me when starting a new job during these special times. Therefore, I had a chat with Anna Alpenhoff, who has experience with hosting digital introductions for new employees as well as digital recruiting, and she shared some of her best tips:  

  • Make sure you are given a contact person that will have time set aside in their daily work to be available for you when you need them. As a new employee, you will have a lot of questions and it’s comforting to know that this person will have time to answer your calls or emails.
  • During meetings, ask if it’s okay to record the video call. Then you don’t have to worry about taking notes during the meeting, instead you can go back to the material later if you need to refresh your memory. But make it clear that the recording is simply for your personal use only!
  • Have an honest conversation with your co-workers about how you’re feeling about your situation. Everyone can agree that the situation we’re in is unusual and there’s a mutual understanding that it can be a struggle, especially if you’re new.
  • If your office has a digital “fika” or other regular informal video meetings, make sure you attend them. These are great for being included in the informal conversations at the office.

Anna has also conducted Skype interviews when recruiting new employees, so she had two additional tips for those of you who are going to have a digital interview:

  • Do your digital interview in a calm, quiet setting where you feel comfortable.
  • Make sure the technical bit works beforehand. Having a microphone or camera that doesn’t work in the middle of a digital interview, will just be stressful and interruptive.

She also highlighted that even though digital interviews have some obvious differences from “regular” interviews, they aren’t that different. What’s most important is that you are prepared for the interview regardless of whether it’s digital or in person.

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4 smart ways to expand your knowledge of business and law – Enroll in a MOOC at Lund University

A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. MOOCs provide an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills and advance your career. Lund University offers a variety of exciting MOOCs and in this post you learn more about MOOCs in business and law.

Click here to learn more about MOOCs at Lund University.

Digital Business Models

Digital business models are disrupting 50-year old companies in telecommunications, transportation, advertising, e-commerce, automotive, insurance and many other industries. This course will explore how software developers are not just the innovators but also the decision makers in modern competitive battles from mobile to cloud, and from consumer goods to enterprise software. This course is offered by the School of Economics and Management at Lund University.
Click here for course registration.

European Business Law (course 1): Understanding the Fundamentals

The Lund University series in European Business Law ranges from considering the basic structures and principles of the European Union to focusing on specialized areas of European Union law. In this first course we will examine the core structures and principles of the European Union as well as the main sources of law. This course is offered by the Faculty of Law at Lund University.
Click here for course registration.

European Business Law (course 2): Doing Business in Europe

This course discusses strategic and financial considerations within Company law, as well as Labour law issues such as restructuring enterprises, working conditions and handling crises situations. The course also examines other legal areas such as Tax law, Environmental law and Private International law, and how they tie in to doing business in Europe. This course is offered by the Faculty of Law at Lund University.
Click here for course registration.


European Business Law (course 3): Competing in Europe

This course discusses how to compete on the internal market and protect your brand, product or invention. It includes legal disciplines such as Intellectual Property law (IP law), Competition law and specific branches within Public law, such as public procurement and state aid. This course is offered by the Faculty of Law at Lund University.
Click here for course registration.

 

Photo by Stefan Bengtsson of the court room at Juridicum, Lund University

July 1, 2020

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