Five things


I’m in my last year of the two-year-long Master’s program in Strategic Communication. With a Bachelor in Politics and a Master in Strat Com I hope to soon enter the real world of public relations and communication. On my agenda at the moment is my role as Communications Director of IT startup Omniflit and preparing for my Master’s Thesis which will focus on the European Union.

Five things I wish someone had told me before taking up my studies

  1. The more you know, the less you know:First thing I learnt upon entering into higher education. You’re never as sure about things and as black or white as when you walk into that very first lecture of yours. There’s at least fifty shades of grey to each subject.
  2. Exams aren’t that tricky: Don’t worry too much about exams. If you attend lectures and seminars and read most of the literature on the reading list, chances are good you’ll do fine on the exam. This of course depends on the nature of the exam (there are, odd but yet, occasions where memorizing byline texts and percentages is a good idea.)
  3. More is more: Learn how to speed-read. I tend to start by reading the back of the book and then the list of content. This usually gives me a good overview of the book and what I should prioritize. If unsure, check the course curriculum. If there’s a summary at the end of each chapter, then that’s a good thing to read.
  4. Find inspiration outside the curriculum: Read a lot (other than course requirements) and get involved in organizations or jobs (related to your area of study, or not. Personally I find academic inspiration can come from the most unexpected ways.) In my five years as a student I’ve never gotten very many thrills simply out of reading course literature. Sure, it’s been illuminating and interesting but the understanding of what I’m good at, and with what I should work has come from activities outside the curriculum.
  5. You will be poor but there are perks: Try to enjoy the time of being able to do your laundry or grocery-shopping in the middle of the day. Don’t find self-studies depressing but luxurious and an opportunity to delve into the fountains of knowledge and wisdom that is science and research. Avoid feelings of not being part of, or contributing to, society. Your student years will be over sooner than you expected.

Max Lennartsson is webbanalytiker at Helsingborgs stad.

Five things I wish I would have known:

1. How much employers value experience. Do the right thing and get job besides your studies.
2. Corporate communication among practitioners differs from the way academics look upon it. Corporate communication moves up and down micro, meso and macro stages in way which is hard to describe.
3. To the great extent of how much academic writing is non attractive. Just to be a good writer in either way, practical or academic is good enough.
4. Digital communications is still very new to my employer. People don’t know as much as you think.
5. I wish I had learned more practical things in how to handle digital media in my work. We got an extensive theoretical knowledge.

One of the joys of studying at University is that you never really know which bits will be useful for your future career.

Should I have been listening more carefully when that dull lecturer was going on and on about….?

If only I’d realised how useful it would have been to read that big, thick, boring book…

Who best to answer these questions than our recents graduates who have gone on to greater things. To set the ball rolling SK Uncut talked to Mikael Blomqwist (@blomqwist), who graduated in Strategic Communication Digital Media earlier this year.

Mikael’s award-winning bachelor thesis helped him land a job as digital project leader with Cloetta.

Here’s what he said:

Five things I should have known before starting my work:

  1. …that so many people still see social media activities in a quantitative way and only value the amount of “likes” and viral spread. They don’t really understand the long-term effects or the function of CRM
  2. …that Excel is an underestimated tool for planning and I wish that I had better knowledge of all its functions
  3. …that outdoor advertising and TVC (television commercials) still are considered, within the marketing industry, as some of the most efficient ways to communicate a message to a large group of people in short time
  4. …that developing Facebook applications is a sought knowledge which is useful in almost every online campaign
  5. …that everything takes a lot more time than estimated when you’re going to implement a new project in a large corporation

Thanks, Mikael!