A couple of months ago I finished my masters in General Management at the Stockholm School of Economics. Since enrolling in this program was one of the best decisions of my life, I wanted to write an overview of the some of the coolest 2 academic years of my life, along with answering the key 5W: Why, What, When, Where and Who.
WHY I chose this program
Having previously studied a master in (aeronautical) engineering, I felt that I had learnt to systematically analyze problems and optimize solutions. However, engineering is usually a very narrow field in the sense that you are already given a problem with some constraints and you need to make the most out of it. But what engineering lacks in the first Place is the skill of analyzing what is in demand in the world, and framing this into an engineering requirement. Additionally, I wanted to understand how the world works, and business and economics is one of the key drivers of it.
However, having an engineering background, it was quite difficult to find a master in a business-related area. During my gap year of traveling around the world, I fell in love with Stockholm and Sweden. It was then that I finally found the one at the Stockholm School of Economics, and the choice to enroll was damn easy.
The 2 year master was divided in 2 parts, and was set up as follows:
“Part 1 (1,5 semesters): Students build their initial knowledge platform in a number of subjects (see the table below) by taking part in the so called “discipline modules” (50 ECTS credits in total). In addition to these theoretical modules, there are two live case modules, where the discipline modules are integrated and linked to practice”, in cooperation with real companies.
“A Skills and Professional Development track, where students learn different types of personal skills and business skills, runs in parallel with the modules during the entire program. The sessions of the Skills track are integrated with the other modules.
Part 2 (2,5 semesters): Students build on, extend and integrate the knowledge from the discipline modules. This is done through a number of theme modules, which are based on phenomena in practice (the Startup Firm, the Multinational Enterprise etc.). During the first part of the second year of studies the students choose two approved independent elective courses (15 ECTS credits in total). The Capstone Project is carried out in cooperation with an organization and takes place during the spring semester of the second year of studies (30 ECTS credits). In addition to the Skills and Professional Development track a leadership and a business law track run in parallel to the other courses during the program.”
Every couple of courses, we would apply what we had learnt through a Live Case, which was a full week in which we would work with a company on a current problem that they have. Some of these companies were: Microsoft Sweden, Eniro, and Vattenbussen.
Throughout the program, we were given Skill courses in a wide array of subjects, such as: How to give presentations, Negotiations, Business Law, How to effectively use LinkedIn, How to find jobs etc… And the Amazing thing is that we could chose what we subjects we wanted to learn in these workshops.
Another cool aspect of this program was the fact that we didn’t write a normal thesis, but instead did a Capstone Project in teams of 2, in which we help a company of our choice with a certain problem or aspect. This enabled us to work with exactly what we wanted, and gave us the freedom to operate however we felt like, as long as we made good progress. Every couple of weeks we all met up in groups with a supervisor, and we exchanged ideas on how we should proceed with the project.
I include the When, because since the program spans during 2 years, you get to experience the 4 seasons in Stockholm:
- Summer: Everyone is happy and life is great. It’s easy to meet new people and you are constantly outdoors hanging out with your friends or exploring the nature.
- Autumn: The energy is still high at the beginning. The colors of the trees and landscapes are just so beautiful, partly also due to the beautiful lighting effects of having longer sunrises and sunsets. It starts getting colder, and social life slowly starts dropping as the darkness increases. This is great because it allows you to go deeper into some individual projects.
- Winter: When snow finally falls, it is so amazing and beautiful. You stop to admire all shapes on the street, and you feel that you are living a fairytail. After a few weeks, you start feeling the lack of light, and you might get a bit sad or depressed. You are not alone. Try to keep hanging out with your friends, and use Christmas to visit your family or go somewhere warm.
- Spring: Finally, you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Plants start growing again, and everyone starts smiling again. You will see colors again everywhere, and because of the Winter, you will appreciate everything so much more. Finally you can start hanging out outdoors, having the time of your life with friends. Enjoy it!
Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities that I’ve been to. There are just million of things to do! You are surrounded by great city vibes and deep nature wherever you go. Make sure to check out the archipelago with a couple of thousand islands! And go hiking in one of the many nearby natural reserves. Also, don’t forget to experience the nightlife, and don’t be surprised if everyone around you looks like models, because Swedes are super good looking. Also, take some time to experience the architecture and hang out with new people.
I’m so happy that I tried to do and visit as much as I could from this city and country, it just has so much to offer!
The quality of your time in Sweden is directly proportional to the amount of quality and quantity people that you meet! For me, the Stockholm School of Economics provided some of the brightest and coolest people that I have met in my life! Almost everyone here is a genious in one way or another, and this is just super stimulating. Meet up with similar and different people from you. According to Christopher McCandless (Into the wild), “Happiness is only real when shared”. So go out there and find people to share this with!
Unfortunately, they cancelled this program for future years, and instead decided to integrate people from different backgrounds than business into the other programs, in order to increase cross-educational ties across the programs.
All in all, I have to give a huge thank you to SSE for everything that I have learnt and experienced these past 2 years. What an Amazing experience this has been! This is definitely the best University that I have ever studied in!