Alumni interviews

Uppsala University is internationally recognised as being one of the top universities in the world, and choosing to do a Master’s degree at Uppsala University is an investment in your future. Our graduates are highly employable on the international job market, and those who continue on to PhD studies conduct research that makes a real difference.

Read about some of our alumni and hear what they are doing today.

Allard Duursma

Allard Duursma received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands before coming to Uppsala University. Here, he became a student in the Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies. Allard regards his time as a postgraduate student in Uppsala as joyous. Specifically, he remembers the warm and friendly atmosphere of the city as well as the vibrant student life.

Allard graduated from the Master’s programme in the spring of 2012, whereupon he moved to England to become a PhD student in the area of international relations at the University of Oxford. When asked how his Master’s studies prepared him for his doctoral degree, Allard states that the Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies taught him to conduct comparative research and gave him the methodological skills and theoretical insights needed to successfully pursue a PhD. Most importantly, the programme sparked his passion for peace research.

During his time as a Master’s student, Allard became involved with Pax et Bellum, an organisation created by peace research students that arranges meetings and lectures on peace and conflict related topics. He also got the opportunity to do an internship at the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) in Durban, South Africa. He calls the experience amazing and says it contributed to him researching international mediation processes in Africa as part of his PhD.

Allard describes his time in Uppsala University as a very formative experience, from which he will benefit enormously for the rest of his career.

Read more about the Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Aboozar Eghdam

Aboozar Eghdam, who comes from Iran, graduated from the Master Programme in Human-Computer Interaction at Uppsala University in 2011. His goal after graduating was to become a PhD student. After his graduation, Aboozar looked for PhD positions throughout Sweden and was successful in his search. He is now a doctoral student at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

Aboozar’s PhD studies are within the field of health informatics. He is working on a project to study and support self-management of patients through information and communication technology. This project allows him to apply a human-computer interaction perspective and try to find effective ways to help patients. He says that without the knowledge he gained through his Master’s studies, he could never have performed research within this field.

As part of his Master studies, Aboozar participated in several different projects and studies with different companies and organisations outside of the university. This helped him to gain practical experience and prepare for his future career. When asked if he would recommend his programme to other students, Aboozar replied:

“Yes, absolutely! Uppsala University has been the best educational institute that I have studied at so far. The education system in Uppsala is designed to encourage students’ learning. Also, Uppsala University is well-known among other universities and career services.”

Read more about the Master Programme in Human-Computer Interaction.

Alin Kadfak

Alin Kadfak is a graduate of the Master Programme in Sustainable Development at Uppsala University. She comes from Thailand, and after graduating in the spring of 2011 Alin returned home to search for a job. Several months after returning to Thailand, Alin was employed as a research assistant at Project IMPAACT, a research project focused on the climate change adaptive capacity of coastal communities around protected marine areas. Alin worked on the project for nine months. Due to her love of research, she then decided to look for a PhD position within the field of environmental and social science.

In the autumn of 2012 Alin was accepted as a doctoral student at the School of Global Studies and Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research at Gothenburg University in Gothenburg, Sweden. Her PhD research focuses on urban pressure on small scale fisheries in developing countries. Alin really enjoys being a PhD student and the opportunities that come with the position. For example, in early 2013 she spent time in Mangalore, India, conducting field research.

Asked how her Master’s degree at Uppsala University helped to prepare her for PhD studies, Alin describes the programme as fitting her career path well due to its broad and interdisciplinary nature. Coming from a social sciences background, the Master Programme in Sustainable Development enabled her to gain knowledge in the area of natural sciences, which has been very useful to her PhD studies.

Alin also took advantage of the opportunity to conduct research abroad as part of her Master’s degree. During her studies at Uppsala University she joined an EU project on waste management in West Africa and spent 2 months in Ghana doing field research. She states that “field research was definitely a big plus for my research career.”

Asked if there is anything she would like to tell to new students looking to study at Uppsala University, she says that:

“I had the best time of my life in Uppsala! My programme brought students from six continents, all with different backgrounds, together. We learnt so much from each other. Also, Uppsala is a great city to live in, especially for those who have to move from somewhere outside Europe.”

Read more about the Master Programme in Sustainable Development.

Andrew Schons

Andrew Schons, from the United States, graduated from Uppsala University’s Master Programme in Political Science in May 2011. When describing his Master’s studies and how they prepared him for his future career, Andrew says:

“I believe the programme provided us with ample opportunities to develop and apply the analytical tools and insights as researchers to find success in whichever field or area of expertise we sought.”

Towards the end of his degree Andrew began applying for jobs in Uppsala and Stockholm; however, he was unable to find gainful employment before graduation so he returned to his native Minnesota and began working for the state government. He considers himself very fortunate for finding a position in public administration as he was recruited outside of the traditional means and had no contacts within the agency before he began working there. In addition to his regular job, Andrew now plans to volunteer with a locally-based non-profit organisation that researches social and economic issues to advance progressive policies within the state of Minnesota.

As part of his Master’s studies, Andrew also completed an internship with the United Nations in New York. When asked how these kinds of experiences were incorporated into his programme, Andrew says that the outstanding reputation of Uppsala University opened many doors. This allowed him and his classmates to pursue a variety of professional opportunities that included everything from consultant work to internships with large international agencies and small, locally-based non-profit organisations.

Andrew says that his Master’s degree enabled him to strengthen his analytical and critical thinking skills, which he applies on a daily basis as part of his current job. Furthermore, he stresses how the diverse and engaged student body at Uppsala University helped him develop stronger communication skills and true diplomatic tact. In hindsight, he does wish that he had defined his own interests earlier in his studies, as this would have enabled him to kick-start a successful career. His advice for new students at Uppsala University would be to identify and harness their passions at an early stage in their studies. In doing so, he believes that students will have a successful and fulfilling experience at the university, as well as a promising career path.

Read more about the Master Programme in Political Science.


David Budd

David Budd came from England to become a student in the Master Programme in Earth Science at Uppsala University. While conducting his Master’s thesis project, David realised he was passionate about research and began to contemplate doing a PhD. He graduated in 2011 whereupon he was offered a position as a doctoral student at the Department of Earth Sciences here at Uppsala University. David says that working hard and achieving good grades during his Master’s studies helped him to secure a PhD position. Having demonstrated a strong interest in geological research also helped him to stand out as a strong candidate.

David’s doctoral research centres on investigating the geochemistry of explosive volcanic eruptions. It not only involves lab work and data analysis, but also takes David out into the field. This field work is what he considers one of the best aspects of his job, and has taken him to places as far away as Sumatra, Guatemala and Iceland. Analysing the data collected and translating it into an academic paper or journal article is possibly the most challenging aspect of his job, but David says that it is all worth it when he gets the reward of seeing his name in print.

When asked how his Master’s studies prepared him for life as a PhD student, David says that his programme involved an extensive amount of research, especially during the last 6 months of his degree. He was surprised at the range of funding opportunities and flexibility offered to students for their Master’s thesis project. This made it easy for students to specialise in the field of research they found most interesting. David also points out that the research skills he gained during his Master’s project played a fundamental role in enabling him to integrate successfully into the PhD programme. He not only trained his analytical and writing abilities, but got hands-on experience at conducting field work.

One highlight of his Master’s studies was when David travelled with two other students and three professors from North to South Sumatra over a period of five weeks, collecting volcanic rocks and gas from 17 volcanoes. David will always remember this trip for being great fun and an amazing learning experience, even if it did involve being continuously bitten by leeches during a 12 hour jungle trek.

Read more about the Master Programme in Earth Science.

Guido van Heugten


Guido van Heugten, who comes from the Netherlands, attended Uppsala University from 2010 to 2012 as a student in the Master Programme in International Humanitarian Action. Instead of living in student accommodation, Guido decided to rent a house by a lake outside of Uppsala along with several classmates. This allowed them to experience life in Sweden in a unique way. Guido really enjoyed his time in Uppsala and especially enjoyed the deep-rooted student culture. He found it very easy to make new friends and get involved in extracurricular activities outside of his Master’s studies.

After graduating from the programme, Guido wanted to experience working practically with issues related to conflict resolution and peace building, so he moved to Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, he found employment at Harakat – Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility Organisation, a non-profit organisation that aims to improve Afghanistan’s business environment. At Harakat, Guido worked with project management and public relations.

In 2013, Guido returned to the Netherlands and started working as a legal officer at the Dutch Immigration Services, a job that enabled him to apply what he learnt during his Master’s degree and Bachelor of Law degree from Maastricht University. While this current job was very different from his previous experiences in Afghanistan and in Madagascar, where he worked with humanitarian assistance, he still found it very interesting. In March 2014, Guid started working as an Associate Reporting Officer at UNHCR in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His tasks at this job include periodic reporting, as well as managing external and donor relations.

Guido’s favourite part of his Master’s programme at Uppsala University was that it brought together students with very diverse backgrounds, all of whom had different experiences, skills and expertise. His Master’s programme also gave him strong theoretical and practical skills in humanitarian action and post-crisis recovery, something he will always be able to fall back on throughout his career. Another exciting element of his programme was that it enabled him to go abroad and conduct field research. For example, as part of his Master’s thesis project Guido travelled to Kosovo and worked alongside Médecins Sans Frontières Holland for a short period of time. These practical experiences helped him to build his resume and establish connections with professionals working within his field.

Asked how his studies in Uppsala helped him prepare to enter the job market, Guido mentions that many of his teachers gave the students good advice on how to position themselves on the job market. However, he also stresses the need for students to be pro-active and work hard to create employment opportunities. Guido says:

“Having good grades is just as important as establishing a network and finding topics you would like to get more engaged in. Do not wait until people come to you, go out there and have belief that there is somewhere out there where people are in need of your skills and where you can develop yourself further.”

Read more about the Master Programme in International Humanitarian Action.


Guillermo Padres


Guillermo Padres, from Mexico, graduated from the Master Programme in Mathematics in 2010. He specialised in Financial Mathematics. Guillermo began looking for a job while he was still a Master’s student, and actually became employed by a Swedish bank before graduating from the programme. His work at the bank was in the field of financial mathematics, something that reflected his Master’s specialisation perfectly.

Guillermo says that Uppsala University and his programme in particular equipped him to enter the job market. However, it was the international focus and atmosphere of his programme which truly helped to inspire and prepare him for life after graduation. Students from all over the world shared his classroom, and Guillermo also got to know many international students by becoming active in Uppsala’s student nations.

According to Guillermo, his experiences at Uppsala University gave him the possibility to achieve his professional dream of working within impact investment. When asked how he has applied what he learned through his Master’s studies in his current job, he says that:

“One of the things that I learned the most is that people are very different, from different backgrounds, cultures, to ways of thinking. I always keep this in mind when trying to communicate with people that have different lines of thoughts than me.”

Today, Guillermo is the co-founder of a new Swedish company called ShareValue that works in collaboration with a micro financial institution in Mexico. They collect funds from private investors that are then used as micro loans for individuals in Mexico that wish to build new companies or expand their existing businesses. The majority of the micro loan recipients are single mothers.

Guillermo divides his time between Sweden and Mexico. While the process of founding a company in Sweden was often challenging and time-consuming, Guillermo states that today ShareValue is doing very well. His workdays are predominantly focused on expanding the business and finding new business models. At the end of the day, Guillermo finds the hard work very rewarding.

Read more about the Master Programme in Mathematics.


Joaquín Pérez Martin

Joaquín Pérez Martín earned his Bachelor’s degree from Buenos Aires University in Argentina and then went on to be a student in the Master Programme in Sustainable Development. He was awarded his Master’s degree in 2012, whereupon he returned to Argentina to continue his career.

Joaquín is now employed by the National Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in Argentina, and works as a consultant for rural development issues. This involves designing new policies and adapting existing policies to be in accordance with the current agenda. Joaquín says that his degree from Uppsala University is a great asset in his professional career. As achieving sustainable development is an important political objective for Argentina, the subject of his Master’s studies opened a range of opportunities for his in the field.

Joaquín’s Master’s studies in the area of Sustainable Development gave him the tools to analyse the developmental issues that he comes into contact with as part of his daily job. His Master’s programme focused on sustainable development within economic, social and environmental dimensions. During his time as a student, he gained practical experience by doing extra research work outside of his studies and participating in an important research project with his thesis supervisor.

When asked how he applies what he learned through his Master’s degree to his work today, Joaquín says that his studies at Uppsala University helped him to broaden his perspectives, which has been a core factor in helping his succeed in his career.

Read more about the Master Programme in Sustainable Development.

Kailash Singh

Kailash Singh came to Uppsala University from Rajasthan, India, after being admitted to the Master’s Programme in Biology, specializing in Immunology. He graduated with a Master’s degree in September 2010, and began looking for PhD positions in Sweden and abroad. He was offered three different doctoral positions, two in the Netherlands and one in the department at Uppsala University where he conducted his Master’s studies.

In the end, he decided to stay in Uppsala to do his PhD in Medicine at the Department of Medical Cell Biology. When he first began looking for available doctoral positions, he was recommended by a friend to ask a university professor for feedback on his cover letter. After talking to one of his professors about how to write his PhD application, the professor offered him a position as a research assistant. Kailash accepted, and soon after an available doctoral position was announced in the same research group. Kailash applied for and was offered the job.

Kailash is currently doing his PhD research on type 1 diabetes mellitus. When talking about his PhD studies, he explains that the Swedish conditions for doctoral studies suits him very well. In Sweden, students are employed by the university and are given between four and five years to complete their PhD. This enables Kailash to pursue his research in an environment free of mental stress. He has also been given the opportunity to teach courses at the university, and supervise undergraduate and Master’s students who are writing their theses.

Kailash strongly believes that he was offered his position because his Master’s programme was so well organised and prepared students for careers in research and academia. He describes how his programme had many open discussions on current research topics which taught students to think critically. Students were also given the opportunity to train and develop their research skills before writing their Master’s thesis by taking part in small research projects. This was something that really helped Kailash and his classmates.

Since Kailash knew when writing his Master’s thesis that he wanted to continue on to do a PhD, he got involved in as many research projects as possible within his field of interest. He strongly recommends all students at Uppsala University to take part in as many different activities organised by the university, such as the Diana Science Conference at the Biology Education Centre, a conference providing a platform for students to develop their scientific presentation skills.

Asked if he would recommend Master’s studies at Uppsala University to others, Kailash says he would definitely do so. In his own words:

“There are many universities where you can learn or gain the knowledge and you can get a good job, but in Uppsala you will not only learn or gain the knowledge but also you will also develop yourself as one in the forefront of the particular field”.

Read about the Master Programme in Biology.

Mahatab Uddin Shawn

Mahatab Uddin Shawn, from Bangladesh, graduated from Uppsala University’s Master Programme in Sustainable Development in 2011. Even before completing his Master’s degree, Mahatab knew he wanted to go on to do a PhD and began to look for doctoral positions in Sweden and in other countries around the world.

Mahatab’s search was successful, and he is currently a PhD student at Aarhus University in Denmark. His works in the Department of Law with a project focused on sustainability and the internationalisation of law. Mahatab’s daily duties as a PhD student include conducting research and writing his thesis, attending relevant classes and teaching courses at the university.

According to Mahatab, his Master’s studies in Sustainable Development prepared him well for life as a PhD student. He gained deep knowledge of sustainability theory that he uses within his current research, and the programme also enabled him to train his research, writing and methodology skills that are essential to him as a PhD student. Mahatab also praises the overall academic environment, which includes course instruction, study materials, the libraries and computer lab facilities. It was all excellent in his view.

Mahatab says that the Master Programme in Sustainable Development is very global in terms of both course content, and the nationalities of the participants. This was one of his most favourite features of the programme. He also found Uppsala to be an appropriate town for international students, as it is very multicultural. Quoting Mahatab:

“I think the experience of having classmates with backgrounds in so many different countries is something very useful in understanding the core concept of sustainable development.”

Read more about the Master Programme in Sustainable Development.

Maria Kunavina

Maria Kunavina came from her native Russia to become a student in the Master Programme in Euroculture at Uppsala University. She graduated in 2012 and returned to Russia to look for a job.

Maria is currently employed as the Deputy Director of the International Affairs Department at the Russian State University of Cinematography (VGIK). Her daily tasks include setting up meetings with foreign guests, organising the university’s International Summer School and working as a translator.

Maria gained international work experience as part of her Master’s studies by doing an internship at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. According to Maria, the multicultural aspect of her programme helped her to prepare to enter the international job market. As Maria says, Russian companies find it more and more important for job applicants to have had experience studying abroad, and this can be the deciding factor in whether or not an applicant is offered the job.

Read more about the Master Programme in Euroculture.

Oscar Alvarez Martinez

Oscar Alvarez Martinez, originally from Spain, attended Gotland University, which has since merged with Uppsala University to become Campus Gotland. He was a student in the Master Programme in International Management, and graduated in 2010. During his studies, he worked on developing a blog that provides information to prospective international students coming to Gotland. This activity helped him win an Alfa International Scholarship from Sparbankstiftelsen to pursue a course in English for Professionals in London.

His first job after graduation was as a Business Analyst at American Express in Madrid. Here, Oscar got to work in an international environment with great diversity amongst the staff, and he gained valuable practical experience working in finance. However, when he got accepted to a Foreign Trade Advisor programme organised by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade, he left his job to pursue this opportunity. The Foreign Trade Advisor programme took him to Japan for a year, where he worked at the economic office of the Embassy of Spain performing market research and economic analyses. He really valued this experience, both from a personal and professional point of view.

Oscar turned down a final interview at a large company to attend the Master Programme in International Management, and while he sometimes wonders what would have happened had he decided to take the job instead of going back to university, he says of his decision to pursue his Master’s studies:

“It took me to Japan and the experience in Japan will take me somewhere else and not necessarily from a physical perspective. The open mindedness, the global focus, the ease to communicate in English, the cultural exposure, the hunger for knowledge, the way I look into the future, the strategic and analytical thinking, the professional expectations created and the experiences lived from that very moment all together make me happy today - it makes who I am and I like it. I know that I owe a big part of who I am today to that academic year in cold Sweden to which I will be always thankful.”

Oscar knows that his Master’s studies in Sweden prepared him for joining the international job market. He and his fellow students learnt to work in teams and from a technical side, the programme also taught students many different useful tools, such as those used for market analysis. Furthermore, from an academic perspective, Oscar believes the programme was a great base for students wishing to pursue a PhD, not only because of the training in research and methodology, but because of the focus on open discussions and seminars that developed students’ analytical skills.

Oscar also stresses that his Master’s studies helped to develop his English language skills, and that having over 20 different nationalities within one class increased his knowledge of international affairs and his intercultural communication techniques. Oscar would definitely recommend a Master’s degree at Campus Gotland, especially now that it is a part of Uppsala University.

Oscar currently works as an Financial Analyst in Münich, at a Loyalty Management Program company which is a subsidiary of American Express.

Read more about the Master Programme in Business and Management. You may also be interested in the Master Programme in Sustainable Management at Campus Gotland.

Ruth Lochan

Ruth Lochan, from Trinidad and Tobago, came to Uppsala University after being admitted to the Master Programme in Information Systems. She graduated in 2010, and originally planned to return to a previous job in Trinidad and Tobago. However, Ruth was offered the chance to remain at Uppsala University and work as a research assistant on a project related to her Master’s thesis and chose to take the opportunity to continue her academic career.

Now, Ruth is employed as a PhD student at the Department of Informatics and Media at Uppsala University. She is working on a project within the field of e-health. What Ruth appreciates most about being a PhD student is that things are never static. She alternates between doing course work, teaching and supervising students at the department, and researching and writing her own dissertation. Having completed her Master’s degree at the same department helps her as a teacher, as she can draw on her own experiences to relate to her students and be an effective and inspiring teacher.

When asked how her Master’s studies prepared her for doing a PhD, Ruth says that the programme consisted of both theory and practice, which laid a foundation for students to go in either direction. During her Master’s, Ruth defined her interest in e-health early and wrote her Master’s thesis on the subject. This made her an attractive candidate to work as a Research Assistant and PhD student in the field.

Ruth says that coming to Uppsala University for a Master’s programme was a very worthwhile investment, one that allowed her to experience a rich learning environment and become inspired by the wealth of research being conducted at the university. It was by no means an easy undertaking to earn her Master’s degree, but in the end she was rewarded for her time and effort by being offered a PhD position and continuing her research career.

Read more about the Master Programme in Information Systems

Sanea Sheikh

Sanea Sheikh completed her Bachelor’s degree at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Islamabad, Pakistan. When it came time for her to do a Master’s degree, she decided to come to Uppsala University and attend the Master Programme in Bioinformatics.

She graduated from the Master’s programme in 2012, and immediately began looking for a PhD position. She focused her search on PhD programmes in Sweden, and especially hoped to stay at Uppsala University due to its reputation within her field of study. Her search was successful, and she was offered a PhD position in Biology with a specialisation in Systematics here at the Uppsala University.

Senea states that attending the Master’s programme and spending two consecutive summers working as a Research Assistant for two different projects at Uppsala University’s Evolutionary Biology Centre helped her to become a PhD candidate. One of the research projects was the basis for her Master’s thesis, and Sanea continued to work on the second project in her spare time. It was within this second research group that an available PhD position became available, and Sanea’s application was successful.

Sanea feels that her Master’s studies definitely prepared her to pursue her PhD. In her programme, students were able to develop good academic research skills through conducting different research projects. Sanea worked in four research groups, something that helped her develop her research skills and understand what field of study she was most interested in. In her work as a PhD student, Sanea consistently refers to the laboratory exercises she did as part of her Master’s programme. The tools and technique that she was taught she applies to her work today.

Sanea would absolutely recommend students to do their Master’s degree at Uppsala University. She feels that her Master’s studies allowed her to try new things and gave her many options in the area of research she could pursue. The programme also gave her the confidence to implement what she had previously only read about in books, and helped her to develop independent research skills. Sanea feels that few students really know what they are specifically interested in when they begin their Master’s studies, but through practical experience they can start to figure out what their passions are and what they want to do with their career.

Read more about the Master Programme in Bioinformatics.

Shaobo Jin

Shaobo Jin came from China to attend the Master Programme in Statistics at Uppsala University and graduated in 2011. He knew he wanted to pursue a PhD, so during his last semester of studies he applied for an available position at the department. Shaobo did consider several doctoral programmes outside of Sweden, but in the end decided only to apply to Uppsala University.

Shaobo’s application was successful, and he is currently a doctoral student at the Department of Statistics at Uppsala University. Shaobo’s position involves quite a lot of teaching, and the rest of his time is spent conducting his own research. This includes taking courses in relevant fields, as well as writing papers and working on his research projects. Shaobo says that doing a PhD is hard work, but luckily his campus has a gym in the basement where he can go after work to exercise and release the pressure of his day. His interest in working out and being healthy is actually something he developed after coming to Sweden, and is just one of the ways that coming here has changed him as a person.

Asked if he did anything in particular during his Master’s studies to prepare himself for doing a PhD, Shaobo explains that he had the opportunity to take a PhD level course in statistics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). His classmates were PhD students from SLU, Uppsala University and Stockholm University, and doing the course together with these students gave him great insight into what is required of doctoral students. In addition, the experience of conducting his own research as part of his Master’s project helped him greatly and he draws upon the theoretical training he received on a daily basis.

Shaobo definitely recommends studying at Uppsala University and he is very proud to have a Master’s degree from here.

Read more about the Master Programme in Statistics.

Tum Nhim

Tum Nhim came to Uppsala from Cambodia as an Erasmus Mundus scholarship recipient in the Master Programme in Earth Science, specialising in hydrology/hydrogeology. He graduated from the programme in the spring of 2012 and travelled back to Cambodia with plans to work as a hydrologist in his home country.

After returning to Cambodia he briefly worked as a rural development engineer, but wanted to find a new job. His search for work was successful, and Tum was employed as a researcher as an NGO called the Learning Institute. This is a Cambodian organisation that works with a wide range of public and private establishments to help them contribute more effectively to the sustainable management of natural resources in the country. Here, Tum worked as the project leader for a research project focused on changing the way land is used in Cambodia and its implication on food security. His daily tasks included managing the collection and analysis of field data, monitoring the budget, GIS mapping, and writing research articles that were distributed to relevant stakeholders through workshops and publications.

In his job as a researcher, Tum was able to apply the theoretical and practical skills that he learned as a Master’s student at Uppsala University. In particular, Tum believes that the research training he received when writing his Master’s thesis was of great use to him, especially when conducting multi-disciplinary research and writing papers for publication in international journals.

When asked what he liked most about his Master’s programme, Tum points out that students were free to choose from the man courses offered within the programme based on their particular research interests. This meant Tum could take the courses that were of most interest to him.

Tum strongly recommends doing a Master’s degree at Uppsala University, and says that his programme prepared him well for entering the job market. He also says that a degree from Uppsala University is highly regarded by workplaces in his home country.

In July 2013 Tum left his position as a researcher at the Learning Institute. He is now completing a second MSc in Natural Resource Management and Policy in the US. Tum hopes that this qualification will enable his to extend his area of expertise in water management to a more managerial aspect.

Read more about the Master Programme in Earth Science.

Zhou Hang

Zhou Hang, from China, attended Uppsala University as a student in the Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies. He graduated in the spring of 2012 and began looking for work outside of Sweden, mainly in China. Zhou did not have a particular job in mind when commencing his search for employment; however, he preferred to work in an NGO or policy-related think tank, rather than continue on with academia.

Today, Zhou is based in Beijing and works as a research assistant for the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). He first got in contact with SIPRI when he applied for an internship while in Uppsala. Due to time constraints, Zhou was not offered the internship, but the interviewer at SIPRI mentioned they would have a job opening at their Beijing office soon, and encouraged him to apply. After graduating with a Master’s degree, Zhou contacted SIPRI’s Beijing office and expressed his interest in working there. He ended up being offered a position.

In his job, Zhou’s main responsibility is to assist with the various research projects that his office is involved in. This includes conducting literature reviews of Chinese academic journals, contributing to the writing of policy papers, scheduling and conducting interviews with key research institutes and scholars in China, and assisting with the organisation of workshops and conferences.

As part of his Master’s studies Zhou did an internship at the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm. His time as an intern gave him valuable insight into how a think tank is organised and operates, and this helped him to easily adapt to his current job environment. Furthermore, Zhou mentions how his Master’s studies prepared him well for the research work he is currently doing. In particular, he mentions the courses he took in methodology and literature review, which taught him to think critically, use different research methods and gave him the tools to conduct research and literature analysis. In addition,Zhou highlights the reputation of the programme and Uppsala University as a whole, as this helped him to stand out on the international job market.

Zhou says:

“The Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies enjoys a very good reputation globally, especially within the peace research academia. This puts you in a relatively good position in the job market. A degree from Uppsala University also certainly helped me to get a job at a Sweden-based think tank, considering the university’s good reputation in Sweden.”

Read more about the Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies.