The SBS Student Blog

Life as a student at Stockholm Business School

Gaining Practical Experience While Studying

One significant difference I have noticed during my first two courses here at SBS is the focus that lecturers place on theoretical learning in comparison to a North American practical or case based approach to learning. While this is a generalization of sorts, Master level studies at many Universities are very theoretical starting off. It is very important to understand the theory behind the concepts put into practice in the real world, but it is also important to see how theories are used in the day-to-day business environment.

Finding creative and interesting ways to gain practical knowledge as an international student, living in a new city where the language barrier may limit your options, can be difficult. However at SBS, there are many options available to you. For instance, Frank-Paul discussed the KPMG International Case Competition. This is not the only avenue available at SBS, but it is certainly a top-level case study to get involved in. Other options include The Marketing Academy and other external case competitions. Students accepted into The Marketing Academy have the option to join certain teams within the extra curricular group. These teams include: The Buisness World Committee, Social Events Committee, Branding Committee, Education Committee and the Treasury. The Business World Committee spends the first half of the semester contacting companies in Stockholm and abroad should they wish and work to secure a series of real world cases that companies hire the Marketing Academy to complete. Each case is an eight week long commitment and cases are generally done in teams of four people. Case teams work in direct contact with the companies involved and present conclusions at the company offices at the end of the eight week period. I personally started my case this week and am thrilled about my team and the first steps we have taken. This exercise is extremely valuable to students as it allows us to explore opportunities to apply our classroom knowledge and previous experiences to real life situations.

In regards to the other external case competitions, I have also joined the L’Oreal Brandstorm case competition that will start in the next few weeks. Participants are challenged with the task of creating an innovative Travel Retail Experience for the L’Oreal Brand. Finalists will have the opportunity to travel to Paris and present their ideas to a panel of judges. These case competitions are published regularly and in order to find them, you can search on google for local case competitions in many subject areas. At the beginning of the semester, there was another competition called Venture Cup. This particular competition is more focused on entrepreneurial concepts but partners with internationally recognized companies.

There is also the opportunity to search for a part-time job. One excellent resource that I have seen is Multimind. Multimind publishes both part-time and full-time opportunities for Swedish and Non-Swedish speakers. Working part-time in addition to your studies can be a challenge, but working part-time also allows you to supplement your student budget with some additional income.

SBS offers great resources and activities, and while I have named a few, there are many more opportunities available within the different faculties. These opportunities range from volunteer positions and student mentors to joining a professional mentorship program. While I definitely have a busy schedule with my current extra-curricular activities, I am always on the lookout for new opportunities to help build my CV. Taking the opportunity to get involved at school is a huge benefit. Not only do you get to add practical experience to your resume, you will also meet some extremely interesting like-minded individuals who accept your skills and knowledge but also challenge you on a daily basis!

These opportunities are especially important to participate in if you are hoping to remain in the local market for an internship or after graduation as it exposes you to different companies and allows you to begin to network in a new city. It is important to build your resume while you are studying, as it will set you apart from the crowd at graduation time when you enter the job market.

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend.

Until next time!

Erin

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