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What Next? KTH. Why?

“What next?”
The question we face after every stage in our life from school, pre-university, graduation, postgraduation till the end of our life. The choices we make define the course of our professional and personal career. Thus, it is more important to understand our options and choose wisely through thorough research of professional opportunities along with introspection of personal values. I was faced with a similar question at the end of my graduation and I chose to work with a multinational company for three years. The intention was to gain practical engineering experience and explore the options to build my career further. Also, I had the impression that corporate experience would enhance my university application profile if I wanted to pursue Master programmes in future.  The work experience did expose me to the field of my interest and I researched further on the best place to continue working on it. And here I am at KTH, doing Master programme in Integrated Product Design.

Here are a few reasons, factors I considered Sweden and in particular KTH to pursue further studies:
1) Location of related companies: Sweden has a lot of companies dealing with product design and development. Scania, Volvo, Sandvik, Atlas Copco, the list is quite long. Thus, it would be easier for us to approach companies for future employment opportunities. KTH hosts a job fair named ARMADA, where there are opportunities for students to network with companies.

Forbes Global 2000 listed companies setting up in regional areas in 2014. Source: Forbes, ORBIS database, the Stockholm Business Region (SBR) and the Øresund Institute.
Website: https://www.investstockholm.com/globalassets/documents/report—global-companies-with-offices-in-the-nordic-region.pdf

2) Master Programme Course Content: I did a little bit of research on the course list and its content and the way it is taught in class. Few of our courses are handled by people from the industries, eg: Modularization of Products from a company called Modular Management. Thus, we would be learning contents that are contemporary to the industry’s requirement. Also, there are few guest lectures included in most of the courses. The guests who have delivered the lectures till now are CTO, R&D manager and quite a few people with prominent positions and experience in the industry. My course page displayed information about what kind of roles we might be taking up in the industries once we are employed. This gave me a little clarity about what I was studying for and the depth of expertise I can gain through this programme. 

The Master programme website indicating the career roles once we graduate

 3) Research Activites: I found out through the KTH website about the research activities happening on the KTH campus. I was attracted to KTH Innovation where entrepreneurs and their ideas are nurtured. There were also other clubs such as KTH formula car, KTH hyperloop and various sustainability clubs on the campus.

4) Sustainability: I remember one of my friends citing “Only Scandinavians are seriously concerned about saving this world“. I hadn’t taken this word seriously until I found out about the extent of work Sweden and KTH were doing in the field of sustainability. All the programmes and courses offered by KTH are linked to the UN sustainability goals. I had worked on a few projects in sustainability in the past, thus I figured that I could continue this with the resources available at KTH.

Results of KTH involvement in Sustainability

5) Work-Life Balance: I believe in “Life after Work“. Sweden is rated in the top 10 countries to have a good work-life balance. I had also heard about minimum politics in the workspace and more focus on innovation. This played a part in attracting me to Sweden.

Life after work hours.

6) Travelling: Honestly, this did play a major part in selecting the country I wanted to go to. Sweden has a lot of hiking trails, mountains, beaches, islands. There are also cheaper flights to other European cities. I did a lot of research along with a lengthy bucket list of the places to explore. So, you can expect a lot of blogs related to travelling 😋.

7) Expenditure as a student: I felt Sweden to be on the expensive side. However, it was comparable to the expenditure in any US universities. And I consider this to be an investment on myself. Thus, I have a liability to make maximum use of the facilities and resources at the campus in these two years. This would sometimes act as a motivator.

8) Language: One of the main reason for rejecting other countries and choosing Sweden is because of the spread of English. Although the city runs on Swedish, people are quite comfortable to speak in English. And I find basic Swedish somewhat similar to English, so its easier to manage. 


9) Food: There are a lot of Indian shops nearby where most of the Indian groceries can be bought (Of course, it quite expensive). So its quite hard to miss on Indian food here.

A ₹20 Kurkure sold for 15 sek (110). If this is not daylight robbery than what is!!!

10) Weather: The weather here is quite extreme, especially the winter when the day time is quite short. For a person like me from the subcontinent, the day without the sunlight is quite depressing. This is one factor which I considered and strategised on overcoming the blues.

 I know it is quite a long list. A life-changing decision should contain at least these many long lists of factors right?.
You could also read about how to select the right master program for you here
If you feel that Sweden and KTH is the right place for you, the applications are open from 16th October to 15th January for programmes starting in August 2020. You can contact the respective student ambassador for more information about the programme you are interested in.  
Comment below if you have any question and we would be happy to help you out. 

Vivek Anandbabu
Hej, I am from India currently pursuing Integrated Product Design at KTH. Moving to Stockholm has given me an opportunity to explore the new city like a local yet maintain the awe of a traveler. The vibrant KTH campus and its activities are itself a treat to a creative and aspiring mind. Join me on this journey of stories as we meet amazing people, exploring the innovation and sustainability pursuits happening throughout the KTH campus and the historical treasures of the city and the ways of employing jugaad to survive on a budget in one of the most expensive cities.