"KTH was welcoming since the very beginning"
Sharmishtaa Kumar comes from Delhi, India. She did her Bachelor’s in Biotechnology at VIT University, Vellore. She is passionate about playing badminton and travelling to new places.
What made you choose KTH and your Master's programme?
Over the course of my Bachelor’s degree, I realised that there is much to be known and discovered in this field. This programme, being a joint degree from three renowned universities, had a lot to offer in terms of exposure to research and development. This course also offered knowledge on analytical techniques and computational biology, which I believe is a necessity in today’s research.
My opinion so far is that this programme is a great opportunity to identify one’s true potential, ranging from high-throughput sequencing analysis to brain tissue sectioning, you get to try it all. All one has to do is to take the initiative.
What do you like most about KTH?
KTH was welcoming since the very beginning, what with organising various events to make us feel comfortable and bond in an international environment to hosting many activities and parties. The library is one spot where I spend most of my time when on campus because it is so cosy. With the KTH learning management system, called Canvas, it is highly convenient and easy to manage your schedule and your deadlines.
What are your impressions of Stockholm and Sweden?
I am really glad with my decision to come to Stockholm. It is a very serene and beautiful city, cleanliness is top notch, public transport is systematic, and last but not the least, the people are kind and helpful. This was the first time I was living away from my family, on my own, but Sweden has taught me how to be independent and to do things on my own. I have made some really good friends, and if given an opportunity to stay here after graduation, I’d love to take it.
What is your best memory from your time at KTH so far?
My best memory would be attending the royal welcome reception held for us at the Stockholm City Hall. It was an extravagant affair and the orchestra was absolutely brilliant. I also loved the initial activities planned by KTH like our trip to Skansen (the open-air museum and zoo), the photography tour around Gamla Stan (Old town), parties at Osqvik, kayaking in the lake (my very first time), along with a royal Swedish banquet.
Are there any differences between studying at KTH and your home university?
There are many differences in terms of the international setting, the research, the labs, the method of teaching, and the learning. At first there is culture shock because the whole surrounding and language is new, but now I feel really comfortable, living the “lagom” life. (This is the Swedish way of living a perfectly balanced life.)
What would you like to say to students thinking of choosing KTH for master’s studies?
If you really want to do something on your own and make a difference, then KTH is the place to be. There is so much support in innovation and creative ideas, and everyone feels accepted. If you have any doubts, please feel free to ask, and no there are NO stupid questions.
What do you see as the most significant aspects of your programme?
The fact that it is a collaboration amongst three universities is in itself a significant aspect. But I also love how all the directors and professors value our feedback and take it into consideration. Sometimes the going gets tough, but your classmates are your one true fallback, and this I am stating from experience.
Are you taking part in any student activities?
I signed up as a crewmember for the NobelNightCap last year. It is this huge party that is thrown in the honour of all the Nobel laureates. And one might ask, what do we do there? Well, we are the caterers, the party organisers, the decorators, and the decision makers. Anyone can sign up to volunteer! Also you get to dress up and attend the party, might I add, with Nobel laureates, so who wouldn’t volunteer?
Do you have a dream job after graduating from KTH?
I am at crossroads right now, deciding whether I should do a PhD or take up a job for some work experience. But I am currently focusing most of my energy on finding my master’s thesis, which I believe will be the deciding factor on what I want to do.