How was your first time here in Umeå? The first time was a bit turbulent, or, at least a bit bumpy. I didn't access to my apartment in Sandbacka until the first week in September, which implied some house-hunting there for a while. However, Umeå stroke me with its charm instantly; the people, the school and all the happenings at the beginning of the semester. Coming from the south of Sweden, where the people are a bit... Stiffer, one could say, made Umeå's open and warm welcoming even better. What goes for the program, it started of with this tailored-made course "perspective on strategy" within the whole module that was really great. We were taken care of by the teachers, got in superb groups and got to work with interesting cases from the beginning.
What did you study before you come here? Before coming to Umeå, I did my Bachelor's degree in Business Administration at the University of Gävle. A slightly different city from Umeå in terms of student life and the size of the campus – it is smaller in both matters. Looking at this in retrospect, I believe the urge of living a proper student life appealed to me in a way.
How did you find housing? I found housing through personal contacts. The landlord of my apartment is a friend to the family.
How do you like Umeå? What is best with Umeå? I love Umeå! For real. I thrive in this place and dare to say it is because of the warm and friendly approach from the people. Gävle, my previous city, had this kind of Stockholm complex over it – wanting to be like the bigger city and all that follows in this. Umeå, however, is more like "we are up here, we do our own thing, welcome to join in". The people are friendly, openhearted and used to having different nationalities and people from all around Sweden to be here. You could really feel this. Everyone is like: "I got this thing today, you should really come and join in". It's not like everyone has their own personal squad of people and won't expand it – vice versa.
How do you like your program? I believe the program up to this point has been, and is, very good. But I came into this program with a conviction and long hours of thoughts that this is what I want to do. There are two kinds of economists: the ones who work with numbers, and the ones working with words. If you're leaning to the former, this program is useless, frankly. But if you are – like me – leaning towards the letter, it is idealistic.
What is best? Personally, the best thing has been to meet likeminded people, to meet persons with the same passion for management as oneself. Bare in mind: I know diversity is necessary for intellectual development, but passion and hunger for learning – as you get with people who is interested in what they do – is in my opinion better than diverse, dispassionate people. As you may hear from my words, people are central, always. In education, in life, in business – value is created through and between people.
What has been the hardest? Frankly, nothing has been overwhelming hard. But of course, the exams are (as they should be) not any exams you pass by start studying a few days before. You need to start in time and start study in time to pass it.
Which modules have been most interesting? In the first module, I would say that perspective on strategy and project management appealed to me the most. These two had only interesting moments to them and interesting literature. Also, the practical moment in strategizing (last course in the first module) gave a whole lot. We got to work with a company and make a complete strategic review and give advices based on that. Perfect experience to work with people in the business world and not just to read articles!
How does the contact with the teachers work? It's super smooth. The teachers encourage us to reach out if we wonder something. They also have their doors open and available most of the time (if they aren't out having "fika", which they tend to like!). Jokes aside, they are very available and they're often so tight with the students that everyone is on first-name basis!