FAQ: Master Thesis – How did you find one in an organisation?

I thought about a good sequel to my last post focused on career opportunities. If you missed it, read up on here. This post is pretty much me sharing the process of getting my Master Thesis Project. Seeing that it is a sequel, I would connect the highlights from the last post to each point I make from now on. So, let’s get the ball rolling…

Network!

Remember how I mentioned the importance of having the right people in your network and how the seemingly unimportant social events can open one’s eyes to opportunities lurking within. I was having fika with a friend and “master thesis” came up. This friend of mine was just rounding up his master thesis project with Scania. My take-home from our conversation was simply this:

there is nothing like too early, start the search so that you will be prepared when opportunities come knocking

Where are these jobs?

I am that person who listens to advice and runs head-on. Therefore, I started with a quick google search, “Master thesis in Stockholm”. I saw that companies advertised on both Linkedin and glassdoor. From then on, I intensified my search on these platforms. Remember I mentioned that KTH also posts job openings? I found out at this same time that there was a master thesis opportunity in Vattenfall posted both on KTH portal and Linkedin. Guess who decided to give it a shot?

Well-written CVs and cover letter

Before summer, I took my CV to one of the CV events organised by KTH Career Services. This helped me to ensure that I had a well-written one by Swedish standards. Then, being the double-checker that I am, I sent it again to few friends working in the industry to ensure that I had drafted the final copy appropriately (still showing the power of your network). KTH also has a checklist and a good example of what the cover letter should predominantly look like. Following these tips and ensuring that I highlight my skillsets, I drafted the cover letter for this job posting.

Let’s wrap up…

See how I address the different points highlighted in the previous post? These all make up the first step. After sending the application, the rest of the process until you receive the offer varies from organisation to organisation. Therefore, the next steps were peculiar to this company.

I had two interviews before I was told I was successful. One of the interviews focused more on my technical skills while the other was focused on behavioural skills and questions that were geared more to finding out who I am as an individual.

More deets on my master thesis would be given towards the end of the project πŸ˜‰ I hope you were able to see the link between the tips I shared and how they all came to play in finding my thesis within a company. One more thing that I would like to add is, be confident during your interviews. Always remember that your interview is the time you have to express yourself past the cover letter and ensure that you do this well :). As a final note, never leave things to the last minute, that internship, master thesis, part-time job…your search begins months before you need it. This is because organisations plan way ahead for these things as well.

Bye till the next post:)

Oluchi

Loppis everywhere

Loppis, a “must” word that you’ll have to learn when you start your journey in Sweden. Why? Well, because it the word that describes “flea market” and where you’ll be able to fine super nice stuff for a super cheap price (trust me, you want that as a student). Flea markets in Sweden, and I guess all around the world, can take place in private places (like garage sales), public places where you have a bazzillion bunch of people selling stuff in a public space, and flea boutiques.

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Source: Expressen.se “Loppis i Stockholm”

Now, let me tell you something, Swedes are cray cray about their loppis! There are almost one (or more) every week with thousands of second hand things that most probably will satisfy your needs and make you save some kronor! If i’m giving you this advice is because once you move to Sweden, Facebook will start suggesting your attendance to all of these “Loppis” around the country haha. Moreover, it is super nice way of decrease our consumption of newly made products! (i.e. lower our environmental footprint)! Why is this important? Well, you may be super excited about moving to such a country like Sweden, but it is important to highlight that Swedish environmental footprint is far away from sustainable!

Swedes are currently living lifestyles that would require the equivalent of four Earths to sustain – 4.2 to be precise.

The Local, Sweden (2016)

Hey! It is important because they (we) are only 10 million people approx. living here! 10 million people having a lifestyle that requires 4.2 more resources than the ones there are available out there! Let’s close the circle of consumption and let’s start by reducing and recycling πŸ˜€ as a matter of fact, I was going bananas trying to fine a nice chair/sofa for my room as I had a desk that I was not using at all. I went to one of this loppis and found an Ikea chair (normal price 80 Euro – ish) for the price of *suspense in the post* … 7 EURO! Yes! SEVEN! So you see, closing the loop is good for the environment and the economy πŸ˜€

This is my new 7 Euro chair πŸ˜€

Want to know more about the Loppis being organised in Stockholm? Click here! And remember to think twice if you really need to buy something brand new πŸ˜›

What are weekends like for a KTH student?

Following my previous post, busy weeks, assignments and deadlines call for a really fun weekend. Let’s talk a bit about how a typical weekend goes for a student at KTH.

Chasing the Sunday 23:59 deadline!

Something that we really don’t want is the deadline at 23:59 on Sundays. They take away the entire weekend! A smart student might finish it up during the week to preserve the sanity of the weekend, but the lazy ones like me end up sitting indoors, wrestling the assignment. Although this might not be the usual, a good chunk of the weekend will still be spent on the assignments. So let’s say at least 30% of the weekend goes for school work.

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Food for the soul- Literally!

Being a student comes with its own ups and downs. The downside of living a student life is the priorities and time constraint, and its impact on essential things like food. Yes, we tend to live off the easy food from the shelves, lazy noodles, mostly junk, lots of coffee, energy drinks to keep us pushing. So the weekend is really the time when we cook ourselves a good meal. I usually cook lunch boxes for the week that helps my wallet, it’s expensive to eat out in Stockholm.

Apart from cooking, the weekend is also the time to treat yourself to a restaurant food with friends. The time to satisfy the cravings- a crispy ghee roast Dosa that’s exactly like home, yum! I am really glad that home food is available here and it is not that very expensive. 100 SEK is still okay to spend, considering the experience you get. Any meal would cost around 100 SEK in Stockholm, so it’s not an extraordinary price.

Laundry and cleaning day!

Gone are the days living with my mom when doing laundry was nowhere near my to-do list, I now have to book my laundry slot online to wash my clothes and man, that is the one job I legit hate the most. I honestly bought more clothes only to be able to procrastinate my laundry day. Not at all the way to be! Weekends are the best to do the laundry, that’s when I do the deep cleaning, once every two weeks when everything shines and smells good. Yes, that a lot of work. On the days I have no Sunday deadlines, I have my laundry. This pretty much the case with most students- welcome to student life!

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Time with the new family- friends!

Well, we all need some cosy time with the people we love. The corridor is basically my home and the people I live with, my family. It is always a wonderful time to share stories and good food. Here is a post I wrote previously about the good corridor times I have been having. Although the big corridor dinner don’t happen every weekend, we still eat together, share a coffee and some chat about the week with a couple of them when they are around.


The weekend is also the time to meet my girls- my besties. Be it a game of Ludo, movietime, a walk around the neighbourhood drooling at every cosy house out there or downing on wine and hogging the cheese board. It is a very essential time with my people to keep me alive amidst all the craziness.

Crazy parties!

How could I write this post without mentioning the weekend parties! Partying every weekend is kinda the norm for many students. Well, they are also other ones, who would like their time instead spent on other things they enjoy. But a good drink, music and dance is sure the definition of a good weekend πŸ˜€



Soaking in some Stockholm

Best are the weekends when there is sun out and you can take your laptop to sit by the beach to soak in some sun, sipping some coffee while chasing your deadline. I can’t wait for the summer now. It is right around the corner!

Apart from nature, I really love to go for a walk in the busy streets of the city centre, some window shopping and just seeing people makes me feel really good. Weekends are indeed a good time to sit back, relax, get the good sleep you really deserve, taking in all of Stockholm and really taking the effort to keep the balance in life. Be it a student or a working professional, the “me-time” is important to maintain the work-life balance.

Wish you an amazing weekend in advance!

FAQ-Are there job opportunities in Sweden?

As the admission results date draws nigh, this has to be the question that I have received the most from different students. My answer might be glaring, considering I have worked/ still working, and I have friends that have had jobs ever since they got to Sweden. In fact, I was just over the moon some days back as one of my friends recently also got a job!!! Therefore, the simple answer to this question is YESSS!!!!!!!!!!!

However, as a student, who just moved into a new country, navigating through your new environment to understand how it works might be a bit hectic. Therefore, I will share some tips that I have learned along the way and I think would be useful as you decide to start this journey πŸ™‚

Well written cover letters and CVs

The way the CV especially is written differs from country to country or continent to continent. There are basic things that remain the same but I would tell you the style in which my Curriculum Vitae was written before I moved here is very different from what it is now. My first stop for help was KTH. I can tell you now that, KTH Career services is/was veeeeeeeery helpful for me. Click here to see sample CVs and cover letters that can guide you in creating yours πŸ™‚ Also, they offer career counselling services and you can actually get someone to look through your CV and cover letter once you have created one.

Skills

Create a checklist. What relevant skills do you currently have? What skills do you wish to have? What skills are relevant for the certain career path I am geared towards. Building your skills and competencies as you grow during the master’s programme would really help you secure that job. One way to creating your checklist this is to check through your interested job roles in various companies; then, assess yourself to see if you do fit in. You do not have to be an expert but start taking the baby steps to hone your required skills. One good thing about KTH is, through the project courses and assignments, students actually build relevant skills that are needed in their particular industry.

Network! Network!! Network!!!

Companies are more likely to recruit through their network. Never miss an opportunity to network with people within your field. Attend career fairs, strike a good conversation with companies you are interested in. Moreso, talk to your professors. Most of them run certain projects with the industry. Let them know you are interested. This is really really important. Always remember that you are not the only one with a good CV or relevant skills. Therefore, the ability to communicate these skills to people around you and show your enthusiasm will take you far!!

Ensure you socialise! You can’t live your life under a box and expect people to find out the great skills and talents that are hidden within your world. Being expressive and hanging out with people would also let you grow as an individual and ensure that you are aware of different happenings in your world. The result of socialising knows no bounds, I have learnt about job openings through mere social gatherings. Also, I have found out about interesting occurrences in my field of expertise, through these gatherings. Finally, it helps to build your communication skills, which is a huge asset for everyone:)

Also, do not just talk the talk but ensure you walk the walk. People are quick to recommend people who they have worked with in certain groups who were hardworking, fun to work with and ensured completion of tasks. These tasks can range from a small class project to volunteering events.

Where are these jobs?

Source:news.hamlethub.com

This post would not be complete if I do not even give you tips to actually start your job search:

  • Social media: The importance of social media cannot be overemphasised. These days, I have come across job opportunities from various companies through Instagram. However, I will emphasise that creating a good Linkedin profile is very important. To give an example, I found my master thesis through Linkedin. It was published on LinkedIn and I just applied. The rest is history, they say πŸ™‚
  • KTH Portal: Several opportunities are posted on the KTH website. This link right here should be another go-to platform for you
  • Career fairs: This is a good way to find out about other companies in your chosen field and also, gain contacts! remember what I said about building your network πŸ˜‰
  • Research labs: Based on your chosen programme, there are various labs that are involved in the industry or would even help you gain added skills to ensure that you build your portfolio. Sometimes, people involved in the research, find out firsthand of job opportunities and are in the right position to be easily selected for the role.
  • Also, there are platforms such as Academicwork.se that also post job opportunities many times throughout the year.

If you notice, I did not talk about how to nail the interview and my tips for a good CV and cover letter. The KTH career office is really helpful with this. Moreso, there are so many helpful tips over the internet to help with the interview phase. Therefore, the above tips cut across what has helped through my journey as a student and I can tell you that this goes way beyond the part-time jobs or internships. Some of these tips can be applied towards career advancement in your chosen field.

Goodluck with everything!

Oluchi

What is a normal day at KTH like?

Hi Hi, it has been quite very long since I have written a post. The days are getting busier and busier with really hectic times. Sorry for keeping you all waiting for my post.

So, after studying at KTH for more than a year and a half now, I exactly know what a typical day as a student at KTH looks like. I am sure all those waiting to come to KTH in the autumn will be eager to know this, because this was exactly what I was googling back in the days!

Classes at 8 am!

If you’re lucky, a usual day at school might start at 10.00 am, but yeah, I am not a fan of the 8 am classes, especially when they are at the M building, and I hate it, even more, when this combination occurs during the winter. M building is in the other end of the campus, on top of a little hill, and it is easily a 20 mins walk from the Tunnel bana ( metro). Here is map of the campus so you can familiarise yourself with the building names! Of course, we call the building with different letters, like “L” building, “U building, “E”, “M” and so on. I actually don’t know why they are named that way, I will figure it out for another post.

So, yeah, a typical day starts with 7 eleven coffee ( I recommend bringing your own in a thermos) at 8 or 10 am. It is easier to sleep through your alarm, being late is not very nice in Sweden, but I guess the 8 am classes are, hmm well, tricky. An early riser manages a lot of work during the day, so be there for the 8 am class!

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Running for the lectures

KTH is quite a big campus, and lectures don’t usually happen at your department building. They are scattered all around the campus, depending on the availability of the rooms I would guess. So one has to keep track of where the lectures are happening and must run to venue for every lecture. Well, keeping track is not so hard, it appears in your KTH calendar. Did you know that KTH follows academic quarter? Basically, all lectures start after 15 mins from the mentioned start time. It is a thing in Europian schools. So, if you’re calendar says that your class starts at 8, you can be there at 8.15. It is particularly there to provide the students some time to reach the lecture location from the previous lecture, if that happened to be at M then you might have to walk for 15-20 mins to reach “E” building.

Lecture structure

It is the norm at KTH that your lecture lasts for 2 hours. In some cases one might have 2 or 3 of those sessions back to back, but that’s a rare case. Well, don’t be alarmed by 2 hours. One must include the academic quarter and the 15 mins break in between. So, a lecture typically is only for 90 mins (45 + 45). Apart from lectures, there could be two-hour exercise tutorials with teaching assistants, lab sessions, assignment help sessions etc.

Brunch- Lunch!

I don’t even have a count of the number of days I have missed my breakfast and sailed right into the 12 PM lunch hour, welcome to student life and get yourself used to the brunch-lunch! Lunches are pretty fun during the summer, soaking in some sunlight during outdoor lunch with friends are one of those things you will remember for a very long time. If you’re a part of a student club, hyperloop or Formula student team, it is common to have lunch in the department lounge, Nymble, or the garage. It is actually not very expensive to eat out at the campus, good food at student discount is a sure thing to do, if you’re up for treating yourself after a successful assignment submission. Well, there are indeed those busier days, when your lunch goes into your tummy while you rush through the deadline due.

Hobby projects, assignments, cooking food – evenings be like!

Typically lectures don’t last after 5 pm. That’s when most people head home, or stay back to work on homework. Some of us head to the garage to work on our hobby projects. Also, you don’t have lectures throughout the day. depending on the number of courses you take, you might have 2 or 3 lectures in a day, and sometimes you have one or two lecture free days in a week. I use the lecture free days to do my student job at PMH and I keep the weekends for the assignments. But apart from the school stuff, every student has a very important duty to do in the evenings- cooking for the next day! Life becomes less expensive if you try not to eat out, Stockholm being the expensive city that it very much is, someone on student budget must strictly set aside an hour or two for preparing your food.

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So, that’s kinda how a typical weekday of a student looks like. Starts with coffee and ends with assignments and more coffee. Work-life balance happens mostly during the weekends, wanna know how the weekends look like? Stay tuned for the next post!

Sportlov, what’s with that?

Hey Stockholmers, if you are an outsider like me (as of not Swedish haha) you probably experienced the famous “Sportlov” last week without even noticing it. Why? well, because “Sportlov” stands for a special holiday kids have all around Sweden to enjoy the last piece of cold during the season and do some winter sports (“last chance” in the never-ending Swedish winter lol). Yes, so this “sportlov” is a one-week systematically holiday that happens during week 7, 8, 9, and 10 in this country; for us, Stockholmers, it just happened last week (week 9).

But what’s the deal with this week? Well, if you didn’t noticed, there was less traffic, less people commuting, and more kids on the streets! Yes, last week a lot of Swedish parents (and some others that are not) where enjoying a break from school either by going up North to the slopes or staying at home to enjoy what the municipalities had to offer. I’m posting about this because I didn’t get where this holiday came from until I did some research; as a matter of fact, back in the days of WWII where resources like coal and food where limited, the Swedish government stablished this holiday to keep the kids at their houses for a whole week to decrease the need of public heating in schools.

But it was not only sending kids to their houses to rationalise the heating, the government put focus on adding some extra activities that ended up shaping today’s outdoor activities. Later during the 50’s, sanitary arguments came to support this leave during late winter; this was due to the risk of spreading infections during that time of year, so basically it was practical to close the schools for a short time.

What do you think about this holiday? Do you have anything like this in your country? I’m sure in Mexico we don’t have this amazing break from school!