Oly Sen Sarma

Selfie of alumna Oly Sen Sarma sitting indoorMy name is Oly Sen Sarma. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy (B.Pharm) and a Master’s degree in Pharmacology (M.Pharm) from India, and then I did the Master Programme in Biomedicine at Uppsala University.

While I was in the final year of my first Master’s degree, I started looking for PhD opportunities in Sweden. That was the time, I felt like I was lacking some of the knowledge which was required to get a PhD position in my field of interests in Swedish universities. So, I decided to study more and get into an additional Master’s programme in a Swedish university, which would help me to cover those elements. Scrolling through the website of Uppsala University, I found that the Master’s Programme in Biomedicine was best suitable for my needs and I opted for that.

Truly speaking, I dreamt of studying at Uppsala University, majorly because of its heritage. In Europe, this university holds a magnificent culture and the standard of education is unexplainably grand. Moreover, it is the oldest university in Scandinavia and proudly holds its rank among the top 100 universities in the world. We, the Uppsala University students, feel extremely proud to share our names in the alumni list with world class scientists like Carl Linnaeus, Anders Celsius, Svante Arrhenius and many more. 

My list of the best things about studying at Uppsala University is long but I am going to pick some of the top ones. Personally, I have acquired huge practical knowledge and laboratory skills from all my supervisors and teachers. In all the courses, they made sure that whatever was taught theoretically was also demonstrated practically in the laboratory. Not only that, we could work on small tasks/projects as a team in the labs which made my understanding of things even better. At the end of the programme, my favourite parts are the projects that I got to do in the different labs.

Our class and campus atmosphere was/is amazingly global and diverse. I felt like I have met people from all over the world at our university campus. Teachers are humble and very supportive and the students create the charm of the city. While I was a Master's student here, I was not able to take part in the extracurricular activities that much (for my personal reasons of course) but I know there is always something interesting happening in the city and at the different parts of the campus that anybody could take part in.

I did not opt for any career guidance during my studies but my Master’s programme coordinator was always there whenever I needed help and information. It was definitely important and greatly helpful for me.

After graduating from the Master Programme in Biomedicine I started working as a research assistant and now I am a PhD student in Professor Svante Winberg's group at the Department of Neuroscience, Behavioural Neuroendocrinology, Uppsala University.

I remember the days when I was about to finish my Master’s programme and I didn't know where to find a job or a PhD position. I was totally confused and stressed out like any other student in the same phase but, I think throughout my study time, the teachers, coordinators and my supervisors have been really supportive towards me. They have constantly told me to keep trying for a PhD position as I was really aiming for it. While living abroad, miles and miles away from your parents and close friends, one would really want some genuine motivation like this. I feel blessed to be so lucky in this matter.

If I could do it all over again then maybe I want to be less stressed because now I know I have the confidence to achieve my goals. I am very bad at offering people advice because everyone has their own way of seeing their life, but one thing I can say, never compare yourself and your career graph with anybody else. It’s just yours and it must be unique from any other people. Just concentrate on yourself, have faith on your abilities and efforts. Nothing goes in vain! 

‘’All power is within you. You can do anything and everything’’ – Swami Vivekananda

Read more about the Master's programme in Biomedicine