Alumni panel share their experiences on finding a job in Sweden

What do some of our former international students have to say about their job hunt?

On Wednesday 8 May, a panel of four alumni shared their experiences of how they landed a job in Sweden. Current international Masters students had the chance to listen in and hear first-hand about life after studies, while getting some useful tips for the job hunt. Whether it was submitting over 200 job applications or utilising their network, we got the inside scoop from these alumni.

Panel members included Allisa Lindo, Angel Nikolov, Markéta Urbanová and Sarthak Das.

Allisa Lindo is an alumna from the master’s degree programme in Media and Communication Studies, class of 2017. Today, Allisa works as a Growth Marketing Manager at Brandox in the Malmö start-up scene.

Angel Nikolov is an alumnus from the master’s degree programme in Management at the School of Economics and Management, class of 2017. Today, Angel as a Sales Development Representative, reaching out to new potential clients, at Web Manuals in Malmö. He is also board member of the Web Manuals Foundation whose focus is girls’ education and women entrepreneurship in developing countries.

Markéta Urbanová has two degrees from Lund University and is an alumna from the master’s degree programme in Globalisation, Brands and Consumption (2016) and the master’s degree programme in Asian Studies (2018). She started her career in Sweden as a Search Marketer at Sony Mobile Communications. Last year she moved on to try her wings in Denmark and works today as a Digital Marketer at DFDS.

Sarthak Das finished his studies from the Wireless Communications master’s degree programme at the Faculty of Engineering (LTH) in 2016. After a year in Gothenburg, Sarthak is back in Skåne working as a Developer at Ericsson.

Top tips and words of wisdom from the panel:

  1. Book an “informational fika” (a.k.a. informational interview). This is a great way to network and reconnect with your contacts, who could be helpful in the job search. It is also a chance to present your qualifications, leave a good impression and present them with the opportunity to help.

  2. When applying for a job, create a map that tells a story of your experience and what you can do, in relation to the job description. Mapping out your skills and experiences based on the job description can help you better construct your cover letter and CV so it stands out to the employer.

  3. It is good to have a strategy/plan for finding a job, but often times you need to modify it. Be open to that possibility.

  4. Reach out to interesting companies, even if they don’t have any postings. Or, even if you are not a fit for the posted position, reach out and see if there is a potential position that is similar and/or suitable for you. Sometimes it leads to getting hired, or possibly an internship. Worst case, they simply say no.

  5. Don’t be scared if you can’t speak Swedish. However, the openness to learn the language is a desirable trait. All panel members got a job without being fluent in Swedish.

  6. Everyone you know is your network and everyone in your network has a network. That’s lots you can tap in to!

    Here are a few tips for networking:
    • Attend meetups and events
    • Utilise informational interviews/fika
    • Write LinkedIn messages to enhance and expand your network
    • Check out InterNations.org
    • Remember that networking is not only about getting something from others; always present what you can bring to the table

  7. If you get rejected, ask for feedback. This can help improve your approach in other job applications.

  8. Our brain is limited to what we know and/or have experienced – so how do we know what our “dream job” really is? Don’t get too locked in on your “dream job” vision.

  9. Don’t be deterred if you don’t match 100% of the job description. If you are interested or bring something to the position, apply! Think of the job description as the employer’s wish list.

  10. Reach out to the HR staff during the application process so you’re in their mind when they review your application. (Note: There is a fine line between pushy/needy and genuinely enthusiastic. Keep it professional and contact companies only with relevant questions.)

Bonus tip for engineering students: ARKAD job fair is a good place to meet companies and potential employers!

Lastly, one of the attendees asked our panel, did you panic while waiting to hear back from the companies you applied to? If so, how did you handle that panic? Great question, and yes, they panicked. Our alumni advised that the best way to handle the feeling of panic is to accept that things are not always going to end the way you think…however, it can still be a successful ending. Remember that all job hunters are in the same situation. It is easiest to give up, but don’t do that!

Thank you, once again, to our panel of alumni! Your honest stories and experiences have inspired us all!

About Karen Paulson

Alumni Coordinator at Lund University
This entry was posted in Alumni Events, Career advice, Inspiring alumni, Updates. Bookmark the permalink.

COMMENTS

  1. July 29, 2019 | 01:44 | Reply to Anonymous

    I’m “sorry” to say but we don’t live in a world where you get a job based on the diploma. That’s the reality. And the point is to work and navigate in that reality. It’s actually really good because the diploma doesn’t mean much. It’s your personality, plus the skillset that matters. It’s a combination. And you should take it from there. It isn’t easy for anyone, and everyone is in difficult situations – health, family issues etc. Maybe start working on your mindset first. You start from the wrong end talking about a hopeless situation and that you will never get a job. Everyone gets a job! If they want! And I assume you still have a computer and internet, the roof above your head, got a degree. So what hopeless situation are you talking about? You are wrong about Internations and Meetups, it’s all for free. At least the basic accounts that are absolutely sufficient. Good luck with the search!

  2. I am not an extrovert person. We are all different as human beings. I am shy and careful. It takes time for me to open up and be more social with colleagues and classmates. It is even very awkward should I attend fika for networking but does not have any money to spend. I am also limited to only events in my town, as long as I just need to walk, because I have no money to pay for taking buses or trains to events outside my town. Membership on InterNations.org cost money which I cannot afford. I have been studying my last two years without any support from CSN because I used up everything on previous studies to take several diplomas and degrees. I did a lot messaging on LinkedIn in the past years, but it never worked for me. So how I am supposed to network? I have connected with many people who I know in real life. But none of has helped me by recommending me for a job. I have even been to several events during my years as student at Lund university and none of them have resulted in a job, no matter how good cv and cover letter I write. I applied for job at a company where I did internship once, but I was never accepted even if they had many open vacancies. And I never receive any feedback when I get rejected, even when I asks for feedback. The advice about networking has not worked for me. I need an advice on how to get a job solemnly based on my diplomas and degrees without being judged because of my personality, appearance, gender or ethnicity or religion.

  3. June 16, 2019 | 21:12 | Maria Johansson

    Hi! The main point of the advice in this post is not that you need to spend a fortune on “fika”, but rather that you in many cases need to use your social network when job hunting. We truly wish you the best of luck in your quest to secure employment! //Maria, The Alumni Office, Lund University

  4. This system is so stupid. Getting a job should be based on diploma/degree. I don’t have the resources to go on fika or events, because in the first hand I am without a job and without an income, when I have no money to support myself but have to live at my parents, from where do I get money to go on events and fika for job hunt?? I can only apply for jobs online at home. Also I don’t have any previous job experience in the field/industry I wish to work in. So I guess my situation is hopeless, I will never get any job…

Write a Comment

* Required