For many students, the first years after graduation can be scary. It’s a time of new-found freedom but also new challenges: dealing with debt, looking for housing, and most urgent of all, landing a job. The job search can be nerve-wrecking. In an age of increased competitiveness and the rise of gig economies, a full-time position is a prize everyone strives for. This is the time when recruiters analyse your life achievements, and where the title and origin of your degree plays a huge role in securing the job you want.
In Sweden, one university helps business students skip this stressful ordeal; its name and title signal to employers the world-class education and high-quality learning experiences the candidate has received, and its reputation is well established among industry leaders. The name of this university is Stockholm School of Economics (SSE).
Producing employable business graduates isn’t easy. Hundreds of business schools claim this capability, but only a select few do so successfully. SSE students tend to do better because they develop characteristics that complement each other in supporting their end goals. The proof is in the data – 95 percent of SSE’s BSc graduates found employment within three months of graduation.
Anna Pontén, Partner in Human Resources and Talent at Deloitte, says, “Graduates from SSE are strong representatives of the Millennial generation, with high expectations of their future employers’ ability to offer a challenging and rewarding career, while, to an equivalent extent, expecting no compromise in areas such as ethics and sustainability. Their education from SSE, high level of ambition and strong will to make substantial investments in their careers, will make them extraordinarily well prepared to contribute to organisations in the era of Industry 4.0.”
It starts with a strong curriculum. Whether it’s the Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Business and Economics or the BSc in Retail Management, an innovative approach informs both the syllabus and teaching. A close working relationship with industry means that constant dialogues with companies keep the programmes relevant, developing skills that meet current market needs.
Size matters. In this small business school, just 1,800 BSc and MSc students follow defined academic paths. When SSE leverages its industry connections, getting companies to visit the campus weekly to talk about their activities and what opportunities they offer, students here have a higher chance of making themselves known, rather than jostling around with hundreds of other potential candidates.
Located in Stockholm, a hub for start-ups and entrepreneurs, you can imagine the range of business leaders SSE students have the chance to network with, including NA-KD, a fast-growing women’s fashion brand built on Instagram; Hedvig, a chatbot-led home insurance provider; and Amuse, the “world’s first mobile record label” –to name just a few.
Dennis Mohammad, a former business and economics student, said: “My main reason for choosing the Stockholm School of Economics is the breadth of opportunities that a business student gets after receiving the degree. The breadth was also my reason for choosing the Business and Economics programme, as it includes a large variety of courses in everything from accounting to marketing.”
As of 2020, Dennis’s programme will be open for international students too, with the primary language of instruction shifting to English.
What SSE students learn in class is world-class and effectively taught, but that isn’t enough. For knowledge to translate into employability, there must be practical learning experiences in which students can apply their knowledge in the real world. SSE does this by weaving work life into the academic journey to ensure a natural transition from studies to work.
Jolin Holmgren, Management Consultant at McKinsey & Company, can attest to the benefit of this strategy. In her role, she helps companies and organisations from a range of industries solve complex problems, increase growth and improve overall company results. It’s a demanding role that requires knowledge of many sectors and a wide range of clients, from healthcare and retail to private equity.
She credits her time at SSE for her success. The business and economics alumna said her course helped her build a foundation in accounting, valuation, strategy and marketing – things she uses daily at the premier consulting firm. But what she really appreciated was the opportunity to connect with companies in different industries through company events, courses and internships. These experiences gave her insight into the sectors she was interested in, including investment banking, private equity and financial advising.
As Holmgren concludes: “The Stockholm School of Economics was crucial for me to find my career path and give me a good start!”
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