The SBS Student Blog

Life as a student at Stockholm Business School

Call a Swede, update


Remember I wrote about a campaign Call a Swede a while back? I thought I’d give you a little update on how Swedes have been answering their phone and how successful this tourism campaign has proven to be.


(source: Adweek)

Mind that the campaign was launched on the 6th of April so 128392 incoming calls in less than a month is, to say the least, very impressive.

So impressive that it won Direct Grand Prix and Cannes Lion this year (proof).

“At the end of the day, we’re people talking to people. And it’s really refreshing to see an idea and a campaign that unites 9.5 million brand ambassadors with the world through the most direct form of communication—which is speaking, talking.” –  Mark Tutssel, Direct jury president

I didn’t register as a Swede nor did I try calling the Swedish number, but someone else did:

Pewdiepie has also called a random Swede, but I will let you find the video on your own 🙂

Until next time,



L’Oréal Brandstorm – The Swedish Finals

I hope everyone has had a great weekend so far!

This week, I thought I would share my experience from a recent case competition I competed in with a two other friends from my Consumer & Business Marketing program.

Since late January, we have been working on the L’Oréal Brandstorm Wild Card case competition. After submitting our video, we are proud to say we made it to the Swedish finals that were held on Friday the 13th at the L’Oréal offices in Alvik.

We arrived around 11:00 am, for the start of the Swedish finals, and socialized with the other teams. Everyone was excited to be there, and it was great to hear about their experiences. we began the day with a presentation about L’Oréal, then we were joined by the PR & Branding Manager for a presentation on Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability.

After that presentation, it was time for lunch and another chance to socialize with the other teams. There were two teams from Uppsala and two from Göteborg. Since they came from partner universities, their assignment was slightly different than ours and it was really interesting to see all of the ideas that were presented.

We competed against four other teams from partner universities, and although we did not qualify through to the Scandinavian finals, we were so thrilled to have the chance to present our Wild Card presentation to a panel of L’Oréal judges! Once the winners were announced, we had a chance to congratulate everyone and receive a gift bag from L’Oréal before heading back to school.

Overall, this was a great experience, and I was able to meet other international students studying across Sweden. I would recommend this competition to anyone who wants a chance to make valuable contacts or even apply for an internship at L’Oréal! This is an annual contest, so keep your eyes open!

Career Fair: Ekonomernas Dagar

In my previous posts, I have discussed the internship semester, and the application process. So far, it has been a slow process finding internships in Stockholm, since it is still a little too early for companies to post their September internships now. In between scanning Linkedin, Graduate Land, and My Careers, I decided to go and visit the Career Fair at Frescatihallen yesterday between 10:00 and 16:00.

Many of the companies there were perhaps more relevant for Accounting, Finance and Economics students, however there were definitely some good opportunities for Marketers as well. In the future, it would be nice to see more Marketing, Branding, Communications and PR companies at this fair though!

On my way to Frescatihallen, I stopped at Student Huset to print a few CVs to hand out, but to be honest, this was not really necessary. Most company contacts preferred to hand out a business card, and then have you email them. Then on my way to Frescatihallen, there were companies located outside the fair offering free samples, which was a great way to get started!

Since I am a native English speaker with a pretty basic level of Swedish, I started by sitting down and scanning through the Career Fair Guide prepared for Ekonomernas Dagar. This was extremely useful! My strategy was to look through guide and fold down the pages of the companies that were advertised in English, offered internships, and employed marketers. The guide had all of this information for students. This narrowed my list down from about 60 companies to about 20. I then went through and read the company descriptions, further narrowing my list down to 10 companies that I was interested in speaking with. Then it was time to dive in!

As all of us have mentioned at one point in time or another, most Swedes are fluent in English, however it can be challenging in this type of career fair environment when they are constantly switching from Swedish to English, so don’t be discouraged when walking around listening to the Swedish. Just pop in and make sure you indicate politely at the beginning of the conversation that you do not speak Swedish. For me, it was also important to consider the type of work they do as well before I spoke with the representatives. For example Stockholm Stad was represented at the fair, and they are dedicated to the city of Stockholm, and work almost exclusively in Swedish.

I spoke with representatives from Nordea, Capgemini, Blueberry World Wide, Academic Work, CFI Group, Samsung, The US Embassy, The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, Talents (Amendo) and Meltwater. It was challenging to talk with all of these representatives, but it is also important to make connections whenever possible. Sometimes just getting in front of them can help you when application time opens. Make sure you get a business card, and thank the person for their time after the fair!

Many great companies were there! One company was actually offering haircuts at the fair for people to come and have a chat in their booth!

I know I saw many of my classmates at this fair, and there were over 600 people RSVP’d for the event. Ekonomernas Dagar is just one example of some of the great events hosted at Stockholm University! So for those of you considering a degree here, make sure to tune in for alerts on these important events!


International Case Competitions at SBS

We already felt so honoured but the better word would be surprised that we were selected amongst the nine teams that were supposed to compete against each other of SBS. It was 5 am, when my alarm rang and then we met at 8 am at Kräftriket, the beautiful campus of SBS. Briefly we talked about the most important issues that we had been discussing the day before when we prepared: be structured, 30 minutes of reading…. and be finished 30 minutes in advance in order to practice the presentation together. Then it was 8:30, it was time to start reading, time to start the competition, time to participate in the KPMG International Case Competition.

With this Case Competition each team gets 3 hours to solve the case that they are provided with, but they cannot ask any help from external parties, hence the teams don’t have access to Internet. In light of this, the teams were asked to hand in their cell phones as well. The teams were divided into three pools of three teams, and then the winner of each pool had to compete against each other, resulting in the winner of the case competition of SBS. This winning group is going to represent our business school at the national competition in Lund against the other participating universities and that winner will represent Sweden in Dubai to compete against 30 other participating countries! That is such an amazing goal: to compete in Dubai!

So the first case was very interesting and not easy to solve of course, but we did our best and due to the educational and cultural diversity in our team we were able to come up to solutions at the end of the 3 hours. Marketing, Accounting and Operations Management were the master programs that our group reflected. We had to present in front of four judges… That was so scary, because this was going to be the official presentation! After the presentation we immediately had to go for lunch and after that they announced the winners. In the end, it worked out fine and we won the first round!! We were so happy, but we could not express our happiness that long as the next case study started immediately (or 5 minutes) after the announcement.

Precisely after three hours we were supposed to present our case to the “board of directors”, but now the presentation was in the big lecture hall and also other visitors were able to watch our presentation. Even more people, making us more nervous! After the presentation all the participants were invited to a dinner in Uppsala, where we met the participants of Uppsala University. There they announced the winners of both universities… Congratulations to the group that won! Unfortunately, we did not win the competition.

In the end, participating in these case competitions is not about winning. First of all it is about the experience of case solving under time pressure itself. This is good for your personal development and could help you in case solving interviews later on in your career. Second of all, you will get the chance to get to know the company a little better and get to talk to employees of the specific company, so you can explore the company culture. We were not sad at all that we did not win in the end; we have gained experience in public speaking, case solving, case solving under time pressure and we belonged to the top 3 of SBS!

Thesis completed, degree received. Now what?

“It’s not your blue blood, your pedigree or your college degree. It’s what you do with your life that counts.” Millard Fuller

In September 2012, fifty eager students came from all around the world- from South Korea, Poland, Germany and Canada (with many Swedes in between!)- to pursue a Master’s degree in Business & Consumer Marketing at Stockholm Business School.

Credit: Fotini R.

Celebrating handing in and presenting our thesis work! Credit: Fotini R.

After presenting our thesis work in June, we were able to enjoy a closing ceremony at Building 3- our home for lectures, lessons, and lattes for the past two years. During this ceremony, Thomas Hartman, Dean of Stockholm Business School, gave us practical advice and well-wishes that will carry weight beyond the walls of Kräftriket- to strive for a professional and social role in this increasingly interconnected global society.

While we completed our theses to get the degree, we went through this process not to become the world’s next “leading experts” in consumer marketing. Rather, it was to take another step towards improving our ability to communicate effectively within a global society.

“The medium is the message” -In a simplistic form, marketing can be seen as the process of creating and communicating value to an audience. This takes on many forms through mission statements, body language, phrases, brands, word-of-mouth, social media, etc. These are different mediums used to communicate a message.

What I hope we take away from this experience is the ability to connect and communicate effectively with people from all over the world. How we present our ideas- whether to each other or corporations- needs to be channeled into the correct medium in order to build up an important component in life- relationships.

Celebrating the end of first year when we were half way through. Credit: Ásrún A.

Celebrating the end of first year when we were half way through.
Credit: Ásrún A.

Building relationships is the key to success personally and professionally, not, “your blue blood, pedigree or college degree”. This is done by understanding the correct medium to use within a diverse, global society. Collaborating with classmates from varying educational, social, and cultural backgrounds has given us the opportunity to improve our communication skills. This, in turn, will lead us to building stronger relationship and making a greater contribution to society.

In the end, this is what counts.

*On a more personal note, I wish to say good-luck to all of my fellow classmates, and to thank Stockholm Business School, the Office of International Affairs, and the Graduate Student Council, for all the opportunities and assistance I have received throughout the past two wonderful years.

Thesis time

Most of my classmates have now returned from internships and studies across the world.We had a small reunion at Ugglan Boule bar last week, good place if you want to hang out a larger group and play some games. It was great to see how everyone is and gossip a bit about our last semester, studying abroad, working to the core during our internship, studying in Stockholm and traveling.

This is our last semester of our program and that means that its time to focus on our thesis. Each student belongs to a thesis group of 5-6 students that all have the same supervisor and that peer review each-others papers during the semester. We all sent our thesis proposals before Christmas and received our supervisors in mid January. Most of my classmates are staying in Stockholm but 2-3 people have already started working abroad and are flying up to Stockholm for our seminars. We have 8 meetings during the semester where we have to be in Stockholm to meet our professors or present our thesis, but except for that we are working on our own and honestly I can read articles and write on my thesis anywhere with a good wifi 🙂  I wish all my peers good luck. Right now I think I will also need it.

Our topics are really diverse only in my seminar group we’re covering Word-of-Mouth, Online car sales, product placement, marketing investment in regions with crisis and social identity in relation to power & fashion.

Right now we are all a bit nervous but I think we’ll be fine and proud of our work in June 🙂

Apply for this in January!

New programme: Master’s in Public & Political Marketing                    For those international (and Swedish!) students thinking of applying to Stockholm University’s School of Business in January, there is a new program to consider. Seeing that I took my undergraduate in Political Science, I would be applying to this master’s if I wasn’t already in a programme! The School of Business has currently added its sixth master’s programme to the academic curriculum- the Master’s in Strategic Public & Political Marketing.

Professor Ian Richardson

Professor Ian Richardson

Ian Richardson, a Visiting Assistant Professor from Cranfield University School of Management in the U.K., heads the new master’s programme. It combines political marketing, management, and public strategy to investigate strategic marketing in political and public organisations.

“This will be the largest programme of its kind outside the United States and a number of senior faculty from across Europe have expressed an interest in being involved with the programme,” says Professor Richardson.

As the first semester comes to an end, Professor Richardson delves more into the goals behind the new programme below.

What prompted you to develop this new cross-disciplinary master’s programme? 

The motivation for the programme really stems from a recognition that strategizing behavior in contested political markets has, in some ways, fallen between the theoretical cracks of political science departments and their business school cousins. Given the incorporation of market based logic in the political domain, and the critical dependency that exists between business and politics in contemporary liberal democracies, we felt this was a significant oversight and one that necessitated urgent attention.

Apply now SUSBWhat faculties at Stockholm University are involved in the programme?

This new masters programme exists at the nexus of strategy, politics and markets and, not surprisingly perhaps, the Marketing Section of the Business School has been, and will remain, central to its delivery.

Indeed, the recent announcement of a merger between the Marketing Section and the PR & Reklam Department further enhances the resources available – notably in the communications area. It’s our expectation that scholars from political science and organisation theory backgrounds will be involved in the programme and a number of visiting faculty, from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, will collaborate with us on the project.

Has the rise of social media increased the need for public and political organisations to turn to professional marketers? Or has this trend already been occurring over the past decade? 

A lot has been said about the impact of social media in politics over recent years and for good reason – one only has to look, for instance, at the role of communications technology in facilitating outcomes in the so-called Arab Spring. However, its significance to political marketers closer to home has been more nuanced and, in terms of the strategic management of political campaigns, it has proven extremely difficult to control with confidence. Within the context of strategic political marketing, which has made ever more use of professional marketers during the past fifty years, I would say – notwithstanding its tremendous potential – it is the latest challenge (and opportunity) to present itself.

Are the theories and literature taught in the programme only applicable to marketing in political and public organisations?

No, not at all. In fact, I would suggest that the field has moved beyond the straight application of consumer marketing concepts in the public and political domain to a position where there are lessons that might now be applied in commercial markets.

If you consider, for example, the sensitivity of marketing and communications activity within public sector (or NGO and third sector) organisations, and the challenge of reconciling ideology, or principles of public service, with market viability, there are a number of important lessons. Let’s not also forget that consumers are increasingly looking for their brands to provide meaning – something that goes beyond platitudes related to ethical practice and potentially into the realms of ideology. This is a delicate – dare I say dangerous – area for many businesses.

It’s also useful to consider the intensity and real-time nature of political campaigns played out in the full glare of a 24/7 news cycle. Business and consumer marketers, even in supposedly dynamic marketplaces, can learn a lot from those who have fined tuned the art of marketing in a split second.

What do you hope students will learn from this programme?

This programme provides students with an interest in pursuing careers in the public sector or political organisations with a much more rounded appreciation of the role and practice of marketing and communication within these domains.

It will also provide marketing and communication insights that, we believe, will become increasingly important to a wide variety of commercial organisations.

As important, however, the programme will ask students to consider serious questions about the profound economic, political and societal consequences of this activity.