It has now been fourteen years since I began to study at Lund University. In my first year as a student I studied languages, then I decided to study a Master of Science in Business and Economics at LUSEM. I graduated from Ekonomihögskolan in 2012 and throughout my five years in Lund, I got to experience a lot. While studying at Ekonomihögskolan I was an active member in the Alumni Project. The Alumni Project, at the time, aimed to reduce the gap between student life and working life. Among other things we invited alumni to various events where students got the opportunity to mingle and discuss with each other about education and what the first years in the working life would be like. It was a great chance for students to connect with professionals who still had the student life fresh in mind.
Another great memory from my time as a LundaEkonom is the “LEBT” (Lund European Business Tour). During my 5th term I got the opportunity to participate in this week-long business trip visiting cities such as Luxembourg (City), Geneva, Amsterdam, and Paris. We made study visits to several multinational companies and got the opportunity to talk to business leaders and also a chance to pick up summer jobs. Some of us were invited to interviews and business cases. I would without a doubt say that was one of my most fun and rewarding activities I participated in during my studies.
Università degli Studi di Bologna
As most of you are aware of you get the possibility to study abroad during your fourth semester at LUSEM. When it was my turn to decide where I wanted to spend the upcoming semester I decided to move to Bologna, Italy. I got accepted to Università Degli Studi di Bologna, which has a history that goes way back. It is one of the oldest universities in the world and was established 933 years ago. Some famous alumni from Università Degli Studi di Bologna are Dante Alighieri, one of the western world’s greatest authors of all time, Diego Della Valle, the chairman of the Italian leather goods company Tod’s, and Enzo Ferrari, the founder of Ferrari.
In Bologna, I chose to study courses at a bachelor’s level and all in Italian. I studied corporate finance, financial management, and accounting. One of the biggest contrasts between studying in Sweden and Italy was that the study plan was significantly different from what I was used to. All of my classes ran at the same time, which made the weekly schedule planning a bit more difficult. Sometimes I had to avoid one lesson to be able to participate in another. Another thing that made Università Degli Studi di Bologna different from LUSEM was that all exams were scheduled for the summer during one very short period and some exams were also verbal. The students went up on stage, one by one, and sat down in front of the professor and his assistants and they examined you on questions, at the same time as your classmates waited quietly and kindly for their turn in the auditorium. That was a special experience for me and maybe not directly appreciated there and then, but in retrospect something I am glad I got to experience.
I would like to recommend everyone that gets the opportunity to study one semester abroad. It is a memory for life, and not least a great way to build networks for the future.
My Experiences Since Graduation
I got my first job relatively long before I graduated – which I would say contributed to a calmness in the final phase of my studies. I worked as a financial consultant at Deloitte, where I stayed for about 2 years. Then I was offered a position as finance manager at my client at the time, who was active in the aviation industry. I worked there for about two years before it was off to the company I work for today, Ferrero.
Ferrero is an Italian family-owned company and one of the world’s largest chocolate and confectionery manufacturers. Today I work at their Nordic headquarters in Malmö. From my time at Deloitte, I had done a smaller consultancy work for Ferrero. When they opened up a new service in a newly created department, I got a call from the Managing Director of Ferrero at that time, who asked if I was interested in working for them. And I sure was!
My position is called Business Intelligence & Compliance Manager. In short, me and my team work with sales follow-up for our Nordic markets, compiling reports and analyses to internal and external stakeholders. It is a very broad role with great insight into the company’s value chain.
My Advice to You
One thing I learned during my time as a student at LUSEM is that the contacts and friends you make throughout your time in Lund are worth a lot. It is not unlikely that your paths will cross in the future, and who knows, maybe that will eventually lead to your next job opportunity? Make as many contacts as possible and manage them well during this time. It is well worth it.
One of the main reasons why you are in Lund is because of the studies, but as a professor once told us during the introduction days: “There are no re-parties, only re-examinations”. The most rewarding (and for sure also the funniest) things that happened in Lund was everything that happened before and after the lessons and exams. And as mentioned before, it is during this period you create the most friendships and contacts, and you should not underestimate that. When it is possible to attend social events again, don’t miss out on that “sittning” or the other things the committees are hosting.
And if you have the opportunity to go on an exchange – do it! You will learn a lot about yourself, other people and cultures during this time!