WINTER ISSUE 2018
En dag på KPMG Hos KPMG ligger möjligheterna öppna för dig som vill utvecklas och göra en karriär utöver den vanliga. Vi erbjuder ett utmanade arbetsklimat med högt tempo och stort eget ansvar för den som kan och vill. Det kommer att ge dig nya kunskaper, öppna oväntade dörrar och ge dig betydande möjligheter. Hos oss kan du räkna med att arbeta internationellt redan på hemmaplan och det finns goda möjligheter till att jobba utomlands. Vi satsar helhjärtat på din personliga utveckling och vårt mål är att vara en spännande arbetsplats där du mår bra och har roligt. Läs mer på kpmg.se
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What Impact Will You Make?
Words from the Dean................................6 Words from the President................................8 Words from the Editor..............................................10 Meet the Team....................................................................12 The Future of AI in Business........................................................14 Sustainability in the Fashion Industry.................................................17 How to Survive the Swedish Winter............................................................20 Dream Job with Julia Baummans..........................................................................24 The Network of JIBS Graduates......................................................................................28 Life As a Ph.D. Student.....................................................................................................30 Finding Student Jobs in Jรถnkรถping.......................................................................33 Sharing Accomodation with Strangers.......................................................36 Life is Challenging, mastering it is the Key.......................................40 How to stop procrastinating while studying..........................46 The Big 4 Student Opinion...............................................50 Meet the JIBS Alumni Association Board..............54 Coffee Break with A.K. Amherst..................60
Jerker Moodysson Dean and Managing Director Jönköping International Business School
“Work hard, but never forget to keep an eye on upcoming opportunities, even if they appear at the fringe of your main road. Be executive, or they will slide away.”
t is all about the journey and not the destination. There are always new challenges to keep you motivated. Those are common words of wisdom – no one really knows who said them first. I think about challenges and achievements a lot. I strive to understand what motivates people to achieve things, both in my role as a manager and as researcher. I know that achievements can be planned only to a limited extent, and that most “big” achievements are results of capacities to identify and seize opportunities along the way rather than to plan and roll out The Perfect Strategy. If you are too set on specific goals, opportunities will slip your attention. I have seen colleagues working hard and determined to achieve their goals, but ending up with failure because they lack the ability to be executive in decisive moments. It is important to learn from such experiences, not to shy away from making decisions even if they diverge from your initial planning. Being a leader means making such decisions all the time. Tweaking your goals is what helps you grow and achieve more than you did before. JIBS has achieved a lot over the years. We have tweaked our mission, identified and seized opportunities along the way, but stayed true to our main direction: being a truly international business school in the heart of Sweden. With our strategy for 2024 we are looking towards new markets, developing new teaching environments and new ways of preparing our students for a work life in the digital era. I count myself lucky that I seized the opportunity and entered my journey with JIBS two years ago. I left a comfortable life at one of the bigger universities when I realized that I had grown fat and happy there. JIBS is a challenging environment that keeps me motivated. I am glad that you, our students, also have chosen JIBS as you journey through life, and that you have entrusted us with your education to prepare you for future challenges.
Vardagstristess? Inte idag heller. Jobba med entreprenörer och utmanas varje dag. Vill du bidra till ett välmående näringsliv och samtidigt utvecklas i snabb takt? Hos oss arbetar du med entreprenörsföretag. Det innebär stort eget ansvar och ständigt nya frågeställningar. Du behöver gilla variation och snabba förändringar, för det kommer du att få. Välkommen till en utvecklande och utmanande vardag.
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aK aĹĄe Aus tr
have noticed around me, in my friends and my family, that nowadays people tend to compare themselves to others a lot. It often seems like life has become a competition of having had crazier experiences, having achieved more and just â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;being betterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Perhaps it is our constant connectedness to the internet, to social media that allows us to always be up to date with what our friends are doing and drives us to try to outdo each other. I believe that by this competition, by wanting MORE we often forget to take a breath, ground ourselves and feel present in what we are experiencing. There is so much that one person can experience and what they can learn from the process of experiencing something. In my opinion, it takes a certain perspective to be able to make the most gains out of experiences, and that is one of simply viewing and measuring our experiences
differently - in terms of the lessons learned and not the end goals achieved. One can have a number of experiences while being at university. Whether these experiences are connected to studying and learning an abundance of new things, investing ourselves into new friendships and relationships or devoting some of our spare time to be a part of a project or a committee, we can take a lot with us from having experienced either of these things. I would encourage everyone to think about achievements in studying not in terms of the grades received, but, for example, as learning how to learn, how to grow. Think about the making of new friends not in the number of new Facebook friend requests but in terms of connections made and how you yourself have grown as a person through said friendships. Lastly, your involvement in a project is not just its end result but your increased ability to handle responsibility and the patience you have learned to have while working with others. Experiences become so much more rewarding when you think about the journey you went on and not the destination you arrived to. That being said, I hope you have many more incredible experiences this year!
Sylvie DellaBruna Editor in Chief
Joelle Soumi Managing Director
Hello everyone, once again my name is Sylvie DellaBruna JIBS United Magazine’s Project Manager and Editor in Chief.
he winter issue’s theme this year is, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” The writers were told to pick topics that encompassed challenges and controversy, whether it be in the world today or in personal lives of students. We have to remember that the journey is what gets us to our destination and without trials and tribulations, we wouldn’t be who we are today. It’s time to appreciate the journey and what we go through on a daily basis rather than purely focusing on the end goal. The winter issue also focuses on Alumni. Within this article you will find our usual “Coffee Break” that is within the Spring and Summer issues, but you will also find other Alumni-related content. You will be able to meet the board
of the Alumni Association, read about a past student who is working their dream job, and see data about what current alumni are doing post-graduation. If anything will inspire you to do well in school and graduate, these amazing people can.
in a way that includes and encourages others rather than being a purely authoritative figure. For these things, I am so thankful. I truly value this magazine as a create outlet for JIBSers and as a means for students to acquire information and interesting insight into topics our writers choose to tackle. I am so happy to have been able to help this magazine grow, with the addition of the podcast series and the creation of our very first patch, I only hope that the magazine continues to gain awareness and grow. It has been the ultimate pleasure getting to be at the helm of a project I hold so near and dear to my heart, and I appreciate JSA and everyone who has helped me along the way.
Incredibly, this is my final issue as the Editor in Chief for JIBS United Magazine, and jeez, it went by fast. When I first signed onto the project as a writer in August, 2017, I had no idea that by the next semester, during my first year at JIBS, that I would be the next Project Manager. Through this experience as the Editor in Chief for the magazine I have learned so much about myself as a leader and team-player than ever before. This position has taught me how to become a better communicator, how to manage more responsibility, how to manage my time wiser, and how to lead
Thank you, and best of luck to the new team! Sylvie Marie DellaBruna Editor in Chief January â&#x20AC;&#x201C; December 2018
Lea Beck Emelie Edberg
SYLVIE DELLABRUNA Editor in Chief
JOELLE SOUMI Managing Director
RITA STEFANUTO Writer
LOREDANA RUSU Graphic Designer
EMELIE EDBERG Graphic Designer
LEA BECK Graphic Designer
JULIA CARLSSON Proofreader
ANNIE JOHNSON Marketing
LINUS MAUTNER Proofreader
BEATA EDLUND Marketing
REBECCA LARSSON Writer
ESTHA SCHRAA Marketing
SABINA FINNIGAN Proofreader
CHRISTIAN BURNEO Writer
KATHARINA HENSCHEL Writer
VENDELA SANDSTEDT Marketing
TEAM MAREIKE LEISER Marketing
The future of AI in business Why is it so Controversial? by Christian Burneo
elf-driving cars, voice and face recognition systems, virtual agents or chat boxes… Interaction with machines is as evolved as it has never been. These type of interactions are so common these days, not only that we have normalized them, but people are critical towards it whenever the slightest problem is detected.
The takeaway idea from this is the fact that Machine Learning is not a predecessor of Artificial Intelligence. It is actually a completely different type of technology where the algorithm making it work is not at all the same. Transferring this to real-world experiences, this means that while a Machine Learning device is able to learn specific tasks for specific determinants about a certain environment, it is not at all what Artificial Intelligence represents. IA being the possibility of learning skills and applying them in any field these traits can or may work. It is not real intelligence. It is just a mechanical response to a certain pattern of variables.
A recurrent argument you often can hear is that, “with today’s technology you would expect things to work better”. People are expecting answers with the reasoning behind them coming from a machine. So, are people expecting actual intelligence from these devices? The answer can be yes. A test made and out of people’s understanding on the technology behind these bots, 70% stated, “artificial intelligence is evolving, that is why there are still bugs in these programs”. What is the catch then? The problem relies on the fact that these interfaces that interact with humans are not actually Artificial Intelligence (IA). They are in fact what is technically called a Machine Learning software. This means that these machines are not actually using reason to provide results, but they have learnt from the past interactions with the users to provide the best answer for the question they are receiving from the users.
Furthermore, in the business field, we can address the most feared scenario people have when talking about Artificial Intelligence: the replacement of people job’s by automated devices that can even improve people’s performance. McKendrick (2018) states that “a survey by Pew Research Internet finds Americans are roughly twice as likely to express worry, 72%, than enthusiasm, 33%, about a future in which robots and computers are capable of doing many jobs that are currently done by humans”.
Thanks to conversations I held with an expert on the field, I was able to understand that this fear is actually wrong. Why? First of all, actual Artificial Intelligence where machines can actually use reason to interpret situations is so far away from nowadays technologies that worrying about it is jumping steps ahead of the issues we have to be facing right now. Secondly, the machines that are able to do humanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tasks are only capable of executing automated jobs, so the jobs they will be replacing are rather specific tasks than entire job positions.
a combination where machines can do the systematic operations while humans take the reasoning decisions. In summary, what people understand nowadays as Artificial Intelligence and their fear of being replaced is not logical reasoning since the technology for it does not even exist. On the other hand, we have Machine Learning devices, which are various software that enable the devices to learn how to act in specific scenarios but does not hold the actual capacity of reasoning and therefore, cannot be called actual intelligence. However, underestimating technologies capability of evolving may be a mistake and what is important is not to fear the future, but to be ready to act with the different variables that are continuously coming up.
Moreover, experts on the field express that their experiences show that the best outcomes for a position where technological support may exist are not shown either by fully human actions or fully technological operations, but by
Joe McKendrick. (2018). Artificial Intelligence will replace tasks, not jobs. Forbes Media.
by Beata Edlund
Sustainability within the fashion industry
n e th g n i g n e ll a h C
more sustainable fashion industry can be characterized as clothing, shoes, and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and worn in the best sustainable appearance as possible. Together with this also take into consideration both environmental and socio-economic aspects (Green Strategy, 2014).
An environmentally friendly fashion industry concerns more than the clothes production chain. A great part of being sustainable involve the consumer consumption and that goes hand in hand with our buying behavior, how we use clothes and how we think about returns. Anneli is aware of this consumption behavior since she has an online store where the return of clothes is between 20 and 25%. As Anneli points out in the interview our behavior when purchasing clothes on the Internet has to change, “we need to choose to shop more local instead of clicking home products online”. Though, it can be hard to deselect online shopping due to the fact that it is extremely accessible. Nowadays, apps on our phones have all of our bank details, so it is just a click away and then you have that clothing item. Hence, if it does not fit, you can just return it and look for other clothes thus at the expense of the environment.
This implies a process of continuous work to improve all the stages in a products life cycle, from raw material to recycling and everything in between. Thus, this is not as easy in practice as in theory. There are a lot of obstacles on the way toward a sustainable fashion industry and a greener planet. For this article, I interviewed Anneli Gustavsson who is the owner of her own clothing store, Friends & Fashion, which is located in Ulricehamn. Anneli is the owner of the store for two years back, but her ambition for fashion and especially for women goes back many years.
“I love being a part of helping women to find the right style for just them and give them a chance to really feel beautiful from inside and out. To boost their self-confidence, so they can accomplish that little extra”
Greenstrategy.se. (2018). WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION? – Green Strategy | Sustainable and Circular Fashion Consulting.
Lastly, something that is very engaging is that Anneli is selling out her own wardrobe regularly. “I know I have a lot of clothes, and I rather give them a new life even though it competes with my own store, but that is a choice I have made. And in the end, I think it is good for everyone”. With the importance of making environmentally friendly choices the possibility to recycle, renew and give clothes a new life is an opportunity toward a more sustainable fashion industry and with that a greener community.
Being sustainable when it comes to the consumption of clothes can be tricky, but it does not have to be that hard. The key is to choose clothes with care and to be smart. I asked what Anneli thinks about this and at this moment it is hard to be entirely sustainable due to the fact that a lot of manufacturers and suppliers are not environmentally friendly. However, if suppliers prove to have an environmental perspective, then Anneli chooses to work with them. But there is a lot of other things that you can do both as a consumer and as a store owner. For example, Anneli always has at least one entirely sustainable option in the store since the request for it has raised and also it is a great way of promoting it to customers to think a little extra on what they are buying. Other tips to shoppers from Anneli are:
“I promote that it is better to buy clothes with good quality and durability in both environment and trend aspects, so you can have the clothes for a long time and that they do not go out of fashion to fast”
HOW TO SURVIVE THE SWEDISH WINTER? by Katharina Henschel
he Swedish winter has a certain reputation. It is dark. It is cold. It is snowy. As the temperatures fall far below zero, an ice-cold breeze will bite your cheeks. What sounds like a dream to some, may be the worst nightmare for othersâ&#x20AC;Ś How do you survive these under extreme conditions? This article is your lifesaver, literally.
The most important advice we can give you is that clothing is key! You might find this fairly obvious, yet many still seem to forget. Claudia was not prepared enough in the clothing department and her family had to send her a winter clothing care package. She ended up layering the clothes until she looked almost like a bear. However, she found it by far better to be a warm and cozy bear than to freeze. We suggest stocking up on warm winter clothes and layering them as it gets colder. If you find yourself bored with your apparel, it is always a good idea to swap with friends or buy second hand. If you are crafty, maybe even knit something new for yourself? Additionally, Vienna recommends a functional, long coat since it protects you from the cold winds. In order to avoid slipping accidents, we also recommend investing in a pair of proper winder shoes with good grip.
I have teamed up with two real experts when it comes to surviving the winter. Firstly, we have Vienna, a first year Logistics Master student from Germany who used to live in Finland. Secondly, we have Claudia. She studies the second year of International Economics and gave up the hot Peruvian summer for the Swedish freezer four years ago. My name is Katharina and with my German and Canadian winter experiences I have perfected my winter survival skills. Together, we have gathered the best advice for you to make it through the upcoming season.
Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se
Our second advice is to socialize during winter! The cold and dark season does not mean you have to stay inside at all; there are plenty of activities you can do together with friends or family. As Christmas is approaching, there are several holiday markets in the cities where you can have Glögg, which is a traditional Swedish hot wine, and do some Christmas shopping. The Swedish tradition Lucia is also a beautiful experience for the cold December days. Local churches have Lucia performances which are often free for the public. These performances are an easy way to get to know Swedish holidays since they tell the stories and the origins of said holidays. Additionally, we recommend making use of the cozy darkness to get together with your friends for some board games and your favorite traditional foods. Enjoy each other’s company. Friends and family are your dose of sunshine during winter and they will help you survive Sweden’s harsh weather. Even though it might sound ridiculous to some of you, one way of enjoying the winter is by simply accepting and getting used to the cold and darkness. Even though the three of us have experienced heavy winters, we did not expect Sweden to be so dark! Yet, we were forced to adapt to it as we moved north. We advise you to make the best of it and use it as an excuse to snuggle up in the couch with a cup of tea and some chocolate. We suggest you try to enjoy the things you are only able to do in winter, such as ice fishing, making snow angels, snowball fights and ice skating.
Last but not least, the source of energy for the entire Swedish population no matter what the season or even time of day it is, fika is the way to go! Grab your friends or a good book and go to your favorite cafĂŠ. Claudiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite winter beverages are hot chocolate and Chai latte. Even though it is for a little while, fika can make you forget the icy freezer waiting for you when you go outside. For an extra touch, try making the fika pastries and drinks yourself. The process itself can be enjoyable and the delicious result even more rewarding.
If we have made it through past winters, you can survive them too! Believe in yourself even though it may be tough in the beginning. It is especially difficult if it is your first real winter in Sweden but do not worry, it will get better. Embracing this amazing season will allow you to fully enjoy it!
by Sylvie DellaBruna
Catching up with Julia Baumanns
his past November, I had the pleasure of talking with Julia Baumanns, alumnus of Jönköping International business school and current employee of Microsoft in Dublin, Ireland. Originally from Germany, Julia attended JIBS as an international student from 2014 to 2015 for the one year Master program, Managing in a Global Context. Julia enjoyed her time at JIBS very much and expressed her love of the international setting. “There were many things, like the cozy atmosphere. Jönköping is a very peaceful place.” She continued, “There is a huge variety of different cultures, it was a very colorful mix.” Julia can also speak six languages and took part in projects around school that had language at their focus, like the Language Café. The languages she has under her belt include German, English, Swedish, Spanish, Dutch, and French.
After her studies ended at JIBS, Julia was sought after by the multinational corporation Oracle. “I didn’t really have technology or Ireland on my list, but they approached me and said ‘Hey, would you be interested in working at Oracle in Ireland?’ I thought, why not?” Julia, always interested in the ability to work abroad or with other cultures, took the job and her journey to Ireland commenced. However, she didn’t always image herself working for a large company. “I grew up with a family who are all self-employed, everyone around me was self-employed. So, I grew up with an entrepreneurial mindset and wanted to bring that with me.” And so, she did. Fast-forward to today; Julia has now been working at Microsoft for a little over a year as Account Executive for Switzerland where she manages 65 Swiss customers with her team of ten dedicated and specialized workers. Even though it has only been a year in the position, she is one of the most experienced there at just 30-years old. “The technology industry is so fast changing, out of my colleagues, I am one of the oldest and most experienced.” Because the industry moves so quickly, customers are constantly keeping Julia busy with new challenges and innovative projects.
My role is a lot of orchestration of customers. They come to me with any new project ideas or challenges and I have to point them in the right direction. I just have to make sure that the business is running, everyone is involved in their tasks, and that in the end, the customer is happy and satisfied.
Julia has many views of what could be her dream job, as she has a flexible, spontaneous mindset, and a “just do it” attitude. “What I am doing right now, I enjoy a lot. Every day is completely new, customers need me for so many different things.” At the moment Julia is working with a company that wants to reinvent themselves and their traditional business of selling sewing machines. “These kinds of projects are really fascinating. Once you start something that you know can be achieved, you are just happy to be a part of it.” In addition to Microsoft, Julia is also working on a passion-project she has helped to build. The startup company net4tec is a network that Julia co-founded that helps promote women’s careers in the technological, science, engineering, and business industries. “The aim is to empower women and support them in those areas; for now, we are in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Ireland.” They believe that having women in more management positions will help companies become more innovative and competitive, and they want to do what they can to help support women in maintaining and gaining these management positions. Julia has been lucky to be a part of two companies that she feels are enjoyable and has deep connections to. She also provides advice to current students who are seeking a dream job after graduating from university. “I would say definitely be curious, be spontaneous, and be flexible. People should really ask themselves, is this because other people tell me the way, does this really interest me, and what is most important to me?” Julia promotes the idea that being spontaneous and flexible can lead you to great opportunities you
may not even see in your horizon yet. Staying open and interested is key. “I really love what I am doing, and I want to look forward to the next possibility that might be there that I don’t see yet. And if you want to do something, just do it, because in the end you can always go back and find a way to try things differently.” We at JIBS United Magazine would like to thank Julia Baumanns for sharing her story with us, and we wish her all good luck in the future, wherever that may take her.
The Network of JIBS Graduates Information provided by Vaida Staberg
You can meet JIBS Alumni in around
80 different countries around the world,
from Luxembourg to New Zealand
reside in a country that is not their home country
hold a senior manager position
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Over 1 in 3 of JIBS students get a job before graduating
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IF YOU HAVE GRADUATED FROM JIBS, FINISHED 2/3 OF YOUR PROGRAM, OR HAVE COME TO JIBS AS AN EXCHANGE STUDENT, YOU ARE WELCOME TO JOIN THE JIBS ALUMNI NETWORK.
WWW.JIBSALUMNI.COM YOU WILL BE CONNECTED TO MORE THAN 6000 JIBSERS AROUND THE GLOBE, RECEIVE UPDATES FROM JIBS, BE INVITED TO ALUMNI EVENTS, HAVE ACCESS TO JOB OFFERS AND STORIES OF THE BIG FAMILY OF JIBSERS! JIBS ALUMNI IS ALSO ON
SEARCH “JIBS ALUMNI” 29
Life as a Ph.D. student by Rebecca Larsson
As the theme for this year’s magazine being “It’s not about the destination, but the journey”, I sat down and interviewed the 28-year-old PhD student Toni Duras to get a better understanding of what a PhD actually is and what kind of journey it has been for him.
Why are you doing a PhD?
What is your research topic about?
How did the whole PhD-process look for you? How did you become a PhD student here at JIBS?
Mainly because of my interest in statistics, but I also really like to teach and could see myself doing that in the future, and for that a higher education is required. I was also curious to see what the research process is like.
I’m a part of the statistics department where I do research about principal component analysis. I don’t really know how detailed you want me to be but to explain it a little bit, it’s basically about mathematical transformation of a data set. I write four research papers, and all are within this area.
I had a teacher, who was also my mentor, in Örebro during my master studies and he knew that JIBS had a spot open for a PhD student, so he recommended me to them and they called me in for an interview. I actually had one semester left of my master studies when I got this position, so I never completed my master. I did not see the point in continuing with my master for [another] six months and then applying for a PhD when I already got it.
How did you end up at JIBS? Have you studied here before?
Right after graduating high school, I started studying at the University of Örebro which I later graduated [from] with a Bachelor of Mathematics. During my bachelor studies, we had a course in statistics where my interest in the topic rose to the surface. Therefore, I decided to study a master in statistics in Örebro as well.
What kind of questions did they ask during the interview?
They wanted to know what areas within statistics that I was interested in, we also looked through some of the essays
How does a typical day look for you?
that I had written before. It was pretty much like a “normal” job interview, we [also] talked about my interests outside of school where football plays a big role. Both Kristoffer, lecturer in the statistics courses, and Per likes football, and both of them work at the statistics department so it was a perfect fit.
It has changed from the beginning to the end of my PhD. If I don’t take any courses myself, then a typical day would be me doing research about statistics for example reading articles, writing down ideas for further research, or having lectures and labs with students. I like that it’s a mix of everything. Right now, I am part of the teaching team in Business Statistics 1 and 2, and also writing my thesis simultaneously.
What are your plans after getting your PhD?
I am done with my PhD in May next year, and after that I’m not really sure what I want to do. Most of the jobs are located in Stockholm, but I really like Jönköping as a city and since I play football in IF Hallby, I could easily see myself staying here. Right now, I would like to get a job where I can teach students because that’s what I really like.
What is it like being a PhD student?
Since you’re a pro at studying, do you have any tips for us “newbies”?
Like every job it can be stressful at times. There’s a lot of deadlines and you have to take responsibility for your work, no one is going to check in on you to see what you’ve been up to during the day. If I want to work from home for a week, no one would say anything. As long as I do what I’m supposed to do, I can be wherever I want. I would say that being a PhD provides you with a lot of freedom, you have a lot of time to investigate and try out things within your research topic.
I haven’t taken any courses in economics, so I can’t really give you any studying tips for that. However, when I studied statistics and exams were approaching, I made a schedule for what type of exercises I should focus on that day and when I felt like I was done with that, I moved on to another type of exercise. So, my tip would be to focus on a specific chapter and solve the exercises for that chapter.
by Rita Stefanuto
A STUDENT JOB IN JÖNKÖPING B
eing a student can be tough sometimes, especially when at the end of the month you realize how low your monthly budget actually is. However, getting a student job can help partially overcome this obstacle and make your life easier. We collected some facts and recommendations about finding a job here in Jönköping both from an international and a Swedish students’ perspective.
We had a quick chat with Lisa from the Career Center, together with her colleagues they work hard to help students in the job application process and beyond. Based on her experience as a career advisor, she can say that the most common student jobs are within restaurants and warehousing, however, if people have a very entrepreneurial mindset, they may also be able to find employment in other fields.
There are also some other obstacles that students in general may encounter, such as not knowing where to look for job offers and how to introduce themselves to a prospective employer and not having a broad network.
Swedish students have for sure an advantage compared to international ones, and they might also have more variety when selecting the job. Some, for example, are employed in the retail industry as sales assistants. It is important to highlight that, due to the inclusive social system that Sweden has. Most Swedish students receive a loan from the government which allow them not to depend too much on student jobs. In facts, many Swedes choose to focus on their studies during the winter and work during the summer. On the contrary, not all foreign students receive those benefits from their home country and need to work while studying.
First, visit the Career Center, they can help you out to improve your curriculum vitae/LinkedIn profile, give recommendations on companies to approach and simulate job interviews. Furthermore, they also organize seminars and offer the possibility to take a picture for the CV. They also post job offers and events on their job portal www.ju.se/jobportal and Facebook page. Follow them for more information!
What are Lisaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s suggestions for students looking for a job?
www.ju.se/jobportal @careercenterju Building a network is a precious source for getting a job: meeting new people, attending career fairs held by Nextstep, Case Academy, or Entrepreneurship Academy, or by asking for business cards and adding people on LinkedIn. Make people aware that you are looking for employment! One further recommendation: be involved in projects and activities! In this way, you will not only build a network but also gain more work experience, which is and aspect highly valued by recruiters.
The main challenges faced by international students when looking for a job are related to the lack of knowledge of the local language as well as the administrative procedures that companies would have to follow to hire a student without personal number (for those staying less than 1 year). Learning Swedish would be highly beneficial for international students, however, being fluent in English is sometimes good enough for getting a job.
Nevertheless, Saadman now found a new employer (also through a contact) that is more flexible, and he got assigned shifts that suite his timetable better.
Working as an international student We also talked to Saadman, a working student from Bangladesh, to better understand how the job market is and what opportunities are available around. Seeing the differences in living expenses between Sweden and his own country, Saadman thought that having a job would not only help him to partially overcome this barrier but also to have some pocket money for daily activities.
A Swedish perspective on finding a student job Felix, a Swedish guy studying Civil Ekonom, works at a candy store in the city centre and shared with us his experience. He started working there three years ago, and although he does not see his future there, he is very satisfied with the job. He was very lucky when looking for a job: he just walked into the store with his CV and got offered a position there. Felix also acknowledges that for his position it is rather important to speak Swedish because the candy shop’s targeted customer often includes people who do not speak English like kids or elder people. However, he stated that finding a job is easier than one believes and recommends people to expose themselves and make sure the market knows that they would love to work.
Studying international logistics spurred him to look for a job connected to his field of study, more specifically warehousing. As already mentioned above, the process of finding a job may not always be the easiest if you do not speak the language, but your social network can prove to be a precious source. That was indeed the case for Saadman, who managed to get contacted by a company due to the fact that he has a friend that worked in a warehouse for that company. Not knowing the language was without a doubt a challenge because his colleagues were not fluent in English. However, equipped with a great sum of patience, he has been able to make himself understood by people and learnt basic expressions in Swedish. One further challenge he initially faced was having to adapt his schedule to the employer’s. He was often called last minute by the company and it was not that easy to make it fit his agenda.
As highlighted through this article finding a student job in Jönköping is possible both for international and Swedish students. Remember: talk to your contacts, learn some Swedish, be proactive, and expand your horizon!
shared accommodation by Rita Stefanuto
Adventures and challenges of three students in Jรถnkรถping
t some point in time most people have to share a room or a flat during their years as a student. It can be a challenging experience, but it can also help create unforgettable memories and long- lasting friendships. For this article I have interviewed three students from different countries who have had different stories in regard to shared-living.
Although Benjamin has had a lot of intercultural experiences and is used to shared housing, he acknowledges that living with other people also presents some challenges. Different backgrounds and cultures certainly have an impact on people’s values and habits, which makes understanding diverse points of view very interesting. Benjamin believes that this experience is a great learning opportunity; he is questioning his point of view and has the possibility to confront himself withcontrasting mind-sets.
Benjamin Rinkenauer comes from Ger-
There are difficulties in shared housing, Benjamin says, but, due to his short stay in Sweden he decided to go for this option again. His recommendation for avoiding cultural and personal issues is to set up interviews to select flatmates, this approach is often used in Germany. The first meeting usually allows you to understand if you would like to live with the other person or not. As the university accommodation department does not offer this kind of service, Benjamin did not have the option to choose his flatmates, and whenever there is any kind of obstacle, he uses humour to overcome it!
many, he is a master’s student and lives in Tenhult, Jönköping. Over the years he lived with many different people and, when selecting the accommodation, Tenhult seemed to be a cosy place where he feels at home. Currently, he is sharing the house with 10 people from various nationalities; the relationship with them differs, some feel like long-time friends whereas others are almost like strangers. With those he is most close with, he spends a good amount of time and plays frisbee, table tennis and board games.
Kevin Dijs is Dutch but has lived in
France and Canada before coming to Sweden. He knows how much fun living in student accommodations can be. However, getting along with strangers can be a big challenge which is why he decided to play it safe and rent a flat with a boy and a girl he already knew. In the flat there is also another guy which he did not know before coming here, but they all managed to integrate and build a very good relationship with each other. As they all come from the same country, there has never really been any cultural problems. Kevin recognizes that they might have different personalities and interests, but they never faced any major issues. Having a girl in the apartment did not pose any challenge as one might think. They are indeed all mature and responsible enough to respect and tolerate gender differences.
Zoe Koutelida is a girl from Greece who lived in shared accommodation at many occasions during her student life. At the moment, she only has one flatmate but, in the past, she lived with as many as seven other students. During a volunteer project in Barcelona she even had to share a room with four other girls.
Living with other people also means sharing moments: they usually play sports, go hiking and even organize trips together. The shared housing experience is exceeding Kevinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expectations: he does not only feel at home in the new house, but he is actually also building unforgettable memories with his flatmates.
She had some of the best moments of her life when living with other people. Good memories easily come up: parties, alcohol and food were a staple when sharing a home. She recalls with a smile on her face all the nights spent pre-partying and after-partying at her place. According to Zoe, videos are always a good way
to remember the funny anecdotes that happened in those events. Last year she lived with people from more than six different countries, most of her flatmates came from Europe but there were also Students from some Asian countries and Mexico. Cultural issues never really came up, but on the other hand, cultural differences made the entire experience more curious… The food on the table was always diverse; some people were eating German sausages, while other were eating Mexican quesadillas or other exotic yummy recipes. Zoe pointed out that when you live with so many people it feels like a family. You gossip with them but also share personal problems and dreams. The advantage of such an accommodation is that you never miss any party and you meet a lot of new students all the time. Problems arise from time to time, she admits, and they are mainly connected to cleaning. Having a schedule seemed to be a pretty good solution until people started to find excuses and avoid doing the household chores. Now that Zoe only lives with one student, she acknowledges that her life is quieter, but she also started being very productive. Although she is not part of the “big family” any longer, she built lifetime friendships and she hopes to see them all soon.
As we heard from our interviewees, sharing a flat can be a unique experience characterized by wonderful moments of harmony and love but also challenging situations that cause arguments. Our recommendation? Try to get the most out of it, be understanding, socialize and if things do not work out as you wish, don’t worry; the world is not perfect and there is always a second possibility. As the time passes by, the good memories will stay, and all the bad ones will fade away!
by Victoria Schön
Life’s a challenge, mastering it is the key
et’s be honest! Life’s not always fun and awesome, so sometimes we simply have to accept the fact, that not everything can work out as we want it to. While some of you may only have faced a single big challenge in your life, or if you have found that everything always sort of works out for you, others’ lives are or have been full of challenges. In order to find out more about the
challenges people around us face, their keys to master them and how all of this has shaped their lives, I have sat down with four students at Jönköping University. I was curious to hear more about these students’ cultural, psychological or simply personal challenges. However, since it is not always easy to talk about personal challenges, one of the students preferred to remain anonymous.
Linnéa Asklöf (22) is a Marketing Management student, who told me that she has been afraid of speaking in front of people her whole life. The consequence of her shyness has lead to anxiety while presenting. However, she was able to overcome this fear, when she got the chance to start a venture within one year through a course at high school and the organization Ung Företagsamhet. By challenging herself and the help of friends, Linnéa stepped out of her comfort zone and suddenly became more social and confident. Still, she was convinced that one can always better themselves and therefore wanted to challenge herself further by working as a lecturer after high school. Although it was not always easy for her to overcome her fear, she learned plenty from this challenge. She learned that everything is about your attitude towards something and that one is capable of a lot more than one thinks.
“I always try to remind myself, that I am capable of a lot more than I think and that it’s worth to just walk that extra mile to reach your goals.”
When Hannah Jutz (20), left her home country Austria for the first time, she not only learned so much about herself and life, but also got encouraged to go abroad yet again. When I sat down with her, she told me about the challenges she faced during her first stay abroad as a volunteer at a school in Bulgaria. The biggest challenge she faced there was the different culture and society in Bulgaria â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from a different language, a different work mentality to a different system in general. To master these challenges, Hannah got involved in the
Erasmus and the European Voluntary Service network. During which she not only found friends to share her experience but also exchanged tips and received support from others in similar situations. According to Hannah, the learnings from these challenges both enriched her personal life and taught her something which she can use in her future job since she now knows how to get along with people from different cultures as well as see their different points of views.
matter how hopeless a â&#x20AC;&#x153; Nosituation seems, you can always find a way to make things work.
Similarly, is the challenge Husam Stita (24) faced when he moved from Qatar to Sweden. He had to adapt to a culture which was completely different to what he was used to back home. The first step to reach his goals and being able to adapt was learning Swedish. Furthermore, he completed a training in construction for The Swedish Transport Administration, Trafikverket. He faced another challenge of accepting the environment around him there, but the support he from his co-workers helped him improve his formal Swedish skills. He then moved on to working as a football trainer for kids, he was able to have fun teaching the kids and at the same time was able to further improve his informal language skills. Husam said, that
through these challenges he not only learned Swedish, but also figured out how to get along with Swedes and that things here are not as straight-forward as back home. All of this changed his way of thinking and made him a calmer and more open-minded person, which also encouraged him to propose business ideas and to dare to open different subjects with acquaintances.
These challenges changed my way of thinking and definitely made me more open-minded and calmer than I have been before. 43
The last person I spoke to told me about mastering her eating disorder and therefore wanted to remain anonymous. She suffered from Bulimia Nervosa for eight years, but already had issues with her body image beforehand as she always wanted to fit in and be perfect. According to her, this is generally a big problem across our generation and affects more people than one might think. However, one day she admitted she cannot get out of this alone and decided to take advantage of an eight-weeks-therapy at a treatment center. Her strong will to recover and the support of family and friends helped her to get back to a healthy eating behavior and a livable life again. Although she wouldn’t consid-
er herself a fully recovered patient yet, she is now brave enough to speak about it openly and does not want to hide it anymore since this contributed to the person she is today. Through this challenge, she definitely learned, that nobody is perfect and that you never have to go through something alone. By mastering their own personal challenges, these students definitely have proven that there is always a way to make things work. Keeping this in mind, I hope that all of you currently facing a big challenge can also get encouraged to take action and change the situation. Although life’s a challenge, mastering it is the key.
“ You are never alone with your problems and it’s definitely more than okay to ask for help.” 44
How to stop procastinating while studying by Rebecca Larsson
rocrastination is a common issue â&#x20AC;&#x201C; between 30 and 60 percent of undergraduate students put off studying or completing assignments regularly. While it might be comforting to know that you are not alone, it is important to realize how much it can hold you back. Procrastinating is a normal, world-wide phenomenon â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which makes it even more important to understand what we can do to avoid it. In October, JU hosted a lecture about this topic and since I am a procrastinator myself, I decided to go and share the tips and tricks with you.
Often, we might postpone tasks on our to-do list for a few hours, days, weeks, or even years. People often confuse procrastination with laziness, but it is important to understand that the two are very different. When procrastinating, you actively choose to do something else rather than the task you originally should be doing. Procrastination often means prioritizing an enjoyable or easy task which in itself leads to ignoring an undesirable, but usually more important task. Whereas laziness is the of uninterest, inactivity, or unwillingness to act.
During the procrastination lecture, the lecturer explained that the strategies for overcoming procrastination will vary depending on the reason of it happening in the first place. At first, you need to identify your own habits and figure out what is going on. Is there a task that you always tend to put off last? What kind of task is it, and what are your patterns and behaviors around that? As stated by the lecturer that â&#x20AC;&#x153;once you have got this figured out, it will be easier to fix them.â&#x20AC;? A common issue that we tend to forget about is time. People tend to be more productive certain times of the day. A good strategy is to schedule your working days according to these productivity ebbs and flows. If you are better at a certain task in the morning, do not schedule it for a time when you are tired, or it will be difficult for you to complete.
Why do people procrastinate? Alexander Rozental, a procrastination researcher and a clinical psychologist at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden says that:
People procrastinate because of a lack of value [associated with the task]; because they expect that they are not going to achieve the value they are trying to achieve; because the value is too far from you in terms of time; or because you are very impulsive as a person.
Distractions can also act as an obstacle between you and your task. If you are easily distracted, it can be a good thing
to optimize your environment by, for example, putting your phone away and closing down all the unnecessary tabs on your computer. The lecturer also suggested to set a timer for preferably 30-45 minutes, and within these minutes only focus on studying. That means: no scrolling on social media, no reading on milk cartons, no cleaning the dishes. When these minutes are up, then you can have a break for about 10-15 minutes and engage in whatever activity you want.
Tim Urban, the author of the blog Wait But Why, writes “no one builds a house. They lay one brick again and again and the end result is a house. Procrastinators are great visionaries — they love to fantasize about the beautiful mansion they will one day have built — but what they need to be are gritty construction workers, who methodically lay one brick after the other, day after day, without giving up, until a house is built.” Just remember, that if you are a procrastinator you are not alone. Hopefully this article will help you get through your studies and would have taught you some easy ways to make your days more productive.
Many people procrastinate because they are overwhelmed by big tasks and anxious about the outcome of a project. If you do not think you can complete large task successfully, it may help to break it down into smaller sub-tasks. Mark Twain said,
if your job is to eat a frog, eat it first thing in the morning, and if your job is to eat two frogs, eat the big one first.
big 4 the
Student Opinion on the Biggest Challenges Facing Our Generation by Victoria Schรถn
e are said to be the generation with indefinite opportunities. Although this might be true to some extent, we are also a part of a generation facing vital challenges within the near future. Awareness is no longer enough and therefore we need to lead into action. By asking people on Social Media about the biggest challenges for our generation as well as interviewing four JIBS students about their view on this topic, I was able to hear some interesting opinions and further collect some tips about what we can do to meet these challenges.
Global Warming David van Bergen is 23 years old from the Netherlands. He thinks global warming is a serious problem which needs to be tackled within our generations’ lifetime. One of the most significant hazards in the process is the denial of climate change; many people, including world leader, deny global warming and climate change altogether. David says global warming and climate change are very much true and can be seen by the recent severe changes in weather. Global warming is particularly devastating to his home country as many parts of the Netherlands lies below sea level and thus an increasing sea level would lead to heavy damage. However, David is optimistic and does not think it is too late if we start acting now!
David’s personal tips for fighting global warming: Stop using fossil energy, but instead use nuclear energy Travel short distances by bike or walk Implement a pollution tax that will be used globally Use energy wisely and responsibly, i.e. do not leave your lights on constantly
According to Oona Heiska (23, from Finland), something that is already happening now and is likely to become a big challenge in the future is extremism – not only in terms of terrorism, but also political right-wing or leftwing extremism. Although she would say right-wing extremism is much more talked about, left-wing extremism is a counter-reaction to it and globalization leads to spreading extremism to more countries. Oona thinks the reasons for extremism is mostly, that people lack knowledge and therefore do not know how to influence politics. Thus, they do not vote and then these people look for other ways to influence the system and express their opinions by doing riots or even attacks.
Oona’s personal tips for fighting extremism: Think about and look at issues critically rather than emotionally Use additional sources to educate yourself and get the full picture Try to find a way to be active without being violent Education about politics in general needs reformation
Simone van der Vlist (23, from the Netherlands) states that although we nowadays have the wealth to buy and consume increasingly more, she thinks a lot of people are not aware of what that means in terms of waste production and pollution. In her opinion, the Earth Overshoot Day, which was on August 2 this year, strongly points out the problem we have and that if we keep consuming the way we do now, we will all pay and regret it in the long-run. She further says, that waste and pollution is also related to global warming and that all of this will be a big problem for us and the next generations. However, from her point of view, it is not that hard to reduce waste and she mentioned some tips on how to do so.
Simoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personal tips for reducing waste: Share, reuse and upcycle Cut down consumption at all edges, i.e. meat, clothing, traveling) Buy local and seasonal products Avoid packaging and plastic, i.e. unpacked groceries, no plastic bags
Kristinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personal tips for becoming more relevant: Raise awareness for this topic Do not always do what others do; aim to find what makes you unique
Irrelevance Kristina Baumgartner (23, from Austria) feels that irrelevance is becoming an increasing challenge for us. From her point of view, nowadays you need to speak at least two to three languages to get a good job and young people are increasingly put under pressure to fulfill specific criteria. Thereby, we lose the values shaping our lives and cultures as well as constantly question ourselves and benchmark ourselves with others, which in turn destroys the social aspects of life and makes emotions less important. According to Kristina, you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t replace everything with technology and although innovations are good, we should ask ourselves to which extent.
Make the human and social aspects of life more important again
Critically question globalization, innovations and their outcomes
Meet the JIBS Alumni Association Board
What is the biggest benefit of having an Alumni Association for JIBS? JIBS Alumni Association is the prolonged JIBS Experience. Having an Alumni Association I believe is essential for any academic institution. Students should be proud of their university and by staying connected with the alumni network, the relationship between the student and the university continues, which is equally important for the student as well as for the university itself. As JIBS Alumni Association, we act as JIBS ambassadors, motivating new students to apply to JIBS and experience the unique student atmosphere found in Jönköping.
President and Chairman
What is the most rewarding part about being part of the JIBS Alumni Association? There are two things that rewards and motivates me of being part in the JIBS Alumni Association, and therefore also essential to why I choose to engage in the JAA network. First, being the President for JAA I have the honor and joy to lead the organization in to the future. Together with my very talented and engaged board of directors, we have the responsibility to develop JAA to be a first-class alumni network for former JIBS students. By being innovative and creative, the alumni network reaches out to 6.000 members in almost 80 countries worldwide, that motivates me to take the responsibility to do my very best in developing JIBS Alumni Association.
What is your favorite part of being a part of the JIBS Alumni Association? I meet many alumni members with great engagement and motivation to contribute to the development of the alumni association. JIBS Alumni members are found in every corner of the world and we have very different backgrounds, knowledge, careers and goals, we also sometimes differ in values and culture, but often I am amazed about the story that each and everyone have. Being connected by the JIBS experience let us share this story and this can lead us to new businesses, expansion of the alumni network and the plausibility we grow as individuals.
Second, being part of the JIBS Alumni Association, you have tremendous opportunities to network. I am constantly in contact with members of the alumni network from all over the world. Building relationships with fellow alumni, for either business or pleasure, is to me the most rewarding part to be involved in alumni activities. The alumni platform connects JIBSers from the past 20 years and I believe there exist a great value within the network. The JIBS experience truly connects people and that is very exciting.
The door is always open for new ideas and initiatives. In a global world it doesn’t matter where you are. Our mindset is that the alumni network is just a click away and open to everyone who want to share ideas or to connect to a fellow JIBSer. You can always count on to have meaningful discussions with any JIBS Alumni.
Meet the JIBS Alumni Association Board
MEET THE JIBS
ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD
What is the most rewarding part about being part of the JIBS Alumni Association?
Nick Nikolov Vice President
What brings me true joy, is being able to connect to fellow Alumni and students, and to see them make meaningful contribution to the world. Once instilled in JIBS' spirit of entrepreneurship, one is motivated to have a positive impact on their environment and empower those around them.
What is your favorite part of being a part of the JIBS Alumni Association? The ability to communicate to people that success is within their grasp. There is nothing more invigorating to me than to see hope in someone's eyes, and a commitment to become better.
What is the biggest benefit of having an Alumni Association for JIBS? The JIBS Alumni Association is the key to creating continuity in JIBS' development. JIBSers take every opportunity to learn and lead, and the JAA provides the platform for inspiration, mentorship, and constant improvement. The future of the school will be shaped by its Alumni, by their achievements in the business and academic world, and their embodiment of JIBS values.
Meet the JIBS Alumni Association Board
What is the most rewarding part about being part of the JIBS Alumni Association?
Rasa Ona Board Member
One of the most rewarding parts for me is the network. Becoming part of the JAA board let me realize what an outstanding list of Alumni members JIBS has. It is exciting to connect and see how our careers, interests and lifes have evolved and shifted. By growing and constantly improving this network we could all create so many more meaningful connections.
What is your favorite part of being a part of the JIBS Alumni Association? Working - interacting, communicating, creating â&#x20AC;&#x201C; together with the different fellow JIBS Alumni members and university management and staff. For me relationships are at the core of everything I do and I am glad to be working closely with the JAA for the benefit of the entire JIBS Alumni network.
What is the biggest benefit of having an Alumni Association for JIBS? The biggest benefit of having an Alumni Association for JIBS is a possibility to create a large, organic ecosystem. A circular value process where Alumni is not the final part of the processes but at the center: shaping careers on the know-how foundation from JIBS, creating opportunities for fellow Alumni as well and the current students, helping to engage newly joining ones and contributing to the overall network.
Meet the JIBS Alumni Association Board
What is the most rewarding part about being part of the JIBS Alumni Association?
Andreas Runnberg Board Member
Being part of this powerful network is a tremendous privelidge and seeing people share experiences, thoughts and continuing building relationships is a great reward of being active in the network.
What is your favorite part of being a part of the JIBS Alumni Association? The fellowship of other alumnies around the world, our common values and experiences build during our studies has an enormous affinity effect and this recognition is very cool part to observe.
What is the biggest benefit of having an Alumni Association for JIBS? A strong alumni network is a corner stone in becoming a world leading school such as Harvard or SSE and the alumni association has already benefited the accreditation processes.
Meet the JIBS Alumni Association Board
What is the most rewarding part about being part of the JIBS Alumni Association?
Viktoria Uyanik Board Member
Being part of a Network such as JIBS Alumni Association is valuable way to expand your knowledge, learn from others and gain new friends and opportunities.
What is your favorite part of being a part of the JIBS Alumni Association? Today networking is an essential part of the business environment. The work that the JIBS Alumni Association does is very important and I wanted to be part of the network and help strengthen it.
What is the biggest benefit of having an Alumni Association for JIBS? The Alumni Association helps you maintain connections to JIBS and fellow graduates even after you graduated, through a variety of activities. It gives you access to a great multicultural network of people that can help you in life and business.
Meet the JIBS Alumni Association Board
What is the most rewarding part about being part of the JIBS Alumni Association?
Julius Chang Head of the Election Committee
Being part of a Network such as JIBS Alumni Association is Being part of and having access to a truly unique and international network of ambitious talents, whom share the same culture and roots, fostered from our time at JIBS.
What is your favorite part of being a part of the JIBS Alumni Association? Being able to connect with and meet other fellow JIBSers. JIBS Alumnus works in all kind of industries and in a wide range roles all around the world, in different cultures - both geographically and company. Being able to share, discuss and learn from others with a different perspective and experience is what excites me the most by being part of JAA.
What is the biggest benefit of having an Alumni Association for JIBS? Definitely the width and depth of our network. You can find a JIBS Alumnus in any country and major city all over the world. Being part of our network is truly invaluable and can open up for your next career opportunity.
by Sylvie Dellabruna
t the beginning of this fall term, I had the pleasure of conducting a wonderful Skype interview with an alumnus of not only JIBS, but a JIBS United Magazine writer as well. Andrea Kreiner is a former master student who studied the master program, Managing in a Global Context, from 2012 to 2013. Andrea is an Austrian-born former student who came to Sweden to study a program aboard in English and also had an interest in learning another language, which she did successfully by becoming knowledgeable in the Swedish language.
Andrea had also heard about JIB’s reputation for being international, and after moving to Jönköping found the international community she was looking for. While living in Tenhult she became neighbors with people from Germany, Columbia, and many other nationalities. Finding such a close community, she later even became a god parent to a child born to a friend she met in her time at JIBS.
on by NextStep. Andrea also appreciated kickoff week because it does not occur in Austria, and nostalgically exclaims, “I really love AKA, it’s a big part of the social life.” Besides meeting Swedish students, to get to know Swedish culture even more, she took part of the contact family program and was put into contact with a Swedish family. “I am still in contact with them, we took lots of weekend trips and they taught me a lot about Swedish culture.”
Andrea found academic life at JIBS quite different than in Austria especially in the structure of the courses. While in Austria there is a huge emphasis on theory, she found that she really enjoyed the spirited debate, conversations, and group work that integrated students in her program. She really appreciated the fact that rather than listen, write, repeat, her program at JIBS felt that her program at JIBS had a more practical approach with a lot of intercultural exchanges along with an environment where constructive criticism was accepted and appreciated.
After graduating from JIBS, Andrea moved back to her hometown Graz, Austria and is now working in the field of marketing and is, among other things, responsible for a corporate magazine. However, she still has a passion for creative writing, and has recently published her debut novel, Belfast Central, under the pseudonym A.K. Amherst; a name carefully thought of as the A.K. comes from her full name Andrea Kreiner and Amherst coming from Amherst Street which is the name of the street she lived in while staying in Australia for 3 months. Andrea had been working on her novel for 12 years and lovingly dubs it “The Book.” “I always worked in the business sector parallel to writing my book which is why it took so long.” Belfast Central, is self-published
Socially, Andrea was very involved in JIBS’ culture. She joined JIBS United and explains, “I’ve always tried to do journalistic writing and experiences whenever I got the change to.” After joining the magazine as a writer, she wrote articles such as “How to survive your exchange year,” and on the job fair put
novel and made it on the Longlist of the Self-publishing Book Award rapidly after only being published in April.
the book. [However] as a young person, it is something that people can identify with.” As for a second book, we can definitely be pleased to know that there is one on the way. “There’s a lot of story still to tell, so there will be a second book.” Luckily for us she has already started. “I don’t have to say goodbye to the characters yet, I have started already.” However, Andrea, a true professional, is cautious and wants to make sure that her work is always meaningful. “With my books, I want to send a message. If I write five books, I want them to have meaning. I don’t have to write forty.” She goes on to say, “I would rather stop writing than telling stories that lack a message.”
Belfast Central is a historical thriller based off of the Northern Ireland conflict and required an immense amount of research to get into the mindset of the characters she was writing about and to discover the culture within the country and moves between the 1930s and 1990s. “I traveled to Belfast, Ireland,
“I would rather stop writing than telling stories that lack a message.
Andrea is a very inspiring alumnus, who proves that you can have many passions. For her it is marketing and managing, and writing; she chooses to excel at both. Hopefully she can inspire current students to follow their passions. When asked to give a piece of advice to current JIBS students in the pursuit of happiness and finding their way along the journey Andrea makes a strong case, saying, “If you give one hundred percent of your heart it will always be great. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. Sometimes we forget that our life is now. If you love your journey, then the end will always be great.”
checked, and did a last critical check after I had finished the book,” Andrea explains, “The most memorable moment was doing one hike that my two main characters, Ryan and Adam, did together. That hike was the symbolic start of their unlikely friendship and to be able to walk in their footprints meant a lot.” “The main character in the book is named Ryan, an idealistic young Irish protestant who finds himself in a complicated situation after a horrific shooting in Belfast Central Station [can’t say too much to spoil]. Even though Ryan is not based off of anyone Andrea knows in real life, she explains, “Ryan is more of me than I want to admit, especially in the beginning of my 20’s, I was very idealistic. I gave Ryan a reality check in
We at JIBS United thank Andrea for being a part of this winter issue, and look forward to hearing from her and seeing more of her books in the future.