Career support for students
Taking the step from student to professional might feel like miles away. Maybe you have just started your university studies, but that day will come quicker than you know. Take the opportunity to take advantage of all career support that is available to you while you are still a student at Karolinska Institutet.
KI Career Service organises career-related events, seminars, and workshops. Interesting companies are also invited for presentations or mingles. If you have suggestions for lectures that you would like us to organise, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reasons for joining a mentorship programme
- Networking possibilities
- Get to know an experienced person within the field you have an interest in
- Ask all the questions you have about possible career paths
- You are curious, ambitious, and motivated and want to learn and improve your career opportunities
- Mentors often generously share their knowledge and experiences and give time to mentees and guide them down paths that the mentors themselves have walked
How to get a mentor as a KI student
- You can register as a potential mentor or mentee by contacting email@example.com. KI Alumni then provides a one-to-one matching.
- You can register as a mentee on the KI Career Services Mentoring Platform. It has an automatic matching system for those interested in mentorship within PhD and postdoc. They also cater to Master's and Bachelor's students to a limited degree.
- Networks, professional or non-professional, can also offer great possibilities to find your own mentor. Do not hesitate to ask a person you admire if he or she would like to mentor you - they might say yes. Then you just have to agree upon a framework for the relationship, like how often you should meet, what topics you think you will discuss, and the expectations you both have on the outcome.
Of all the jobs in the labour market, only 10% are visible in the flow of job ads. The rest are communicated through contacts and recommendations. This is where your network comes into play.
An important start for your network is the students who have studied at the same university or even the same programme as you. They are called alumni. The alumni are both inspirational career sources and a living proof of what one actually can work with after a degree from KI. By joining the KI Alumni Network, already as a student, you can start creating professional contacts that might become invaluable for you in the future.
Join KI Alumni
GoinGlobal is an international platform with career guides, jobs and internships. Create a free GoinGlobal account with your KI-ID and get access to more than 10,000 pages of constantly updated content on country-specific topics such as job search sources, work permit and visa regulations, resume writing guidelines and much more.
Are you a student at KI and interested in research? Studenter i Forskning, or Students in Research, is a project group under Medicinska Föreningen. It serves as a bridge between students and researchers through, among other things, workshops, supervisor meetings and inspirational seminars.
Improve your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn
As a current KI student, you can receive personal feedback on your CV, cover letter (or motivational letter), and LinkedIn profile from job experts via our partner company Go Monday. Within 24 hours after submitting your CV, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile to Go Monday, they will digitally send you information on how you can improve your application to get your dream job. The service is free of charge.
Employers look at your CV to decide whether to short-list you for a job. They often have many applications to go through. Therefore, you must catch the recruiter’s interest immediately. When reading your CV, it should be obvious not only that you have the skills for the job, but also why you have applied for it.
LinkedIn is an incredible tool for building a professional network and making yourself more visible to employers. Also, more and more jobs are advertised on LinkedIn. As such, using LinkedIn to start building your network early during your studies can be of great help.
Find internships and jobs
For some study programmes at KI, an internship is a part of your education. If not, there are other ways for you to do one.
Karolinska Institutet is regularly contacted by companies offering opportunities for internships. Here below we list some offers. Please note that these organizations are external from KI, that we cannot take responsibility for the internships at these organizations, nor can we answer any questions about the placements. You are also responsible for all costs yourself.
- ECDC traineeships
- ECDC fellowships
- AstraZeneca - internship
- NovoNordisk - Internship
- Roche - Internship
- ErasmusIntern - traineeships
- SACC-USA Trainee Program
- Child Family Health International
- European Commission
- European Parliament
- Global Placements
- Doctors Without Borders
- UN Volunteers
- World Food Programme
A traineeship abroad gives you the opportunity to convert your theoretical knowledge into practice while gaining experience in international working life. There are several ways for you to do an internship abroad. Below we list some of them.
Erasmus+ Traineeship Programme
- As a student at Karolinska Institutet, you can apply for an Erasmus+ traineeship scholarship for a degree project or a traineeship at a company, training/research center, or other organisation in an EU/EEA/acceding country. This is a good opportunity to gain work experience within your field of studies that will enrich both your future studies as well as your future professional life.
- Read more about Erasmus+ traineeships.
Traineeships in the European Parliament
- The EU Parliament offers several options for traineeships within its Secretariat, to provide opportunities for vocational training and for learning more about what the European Parliament is and does. Traineeships for university graduates are intended to enable trainees to build on the knowledge they acquired during their studies and to familiarise themselves with the activities of the European Union and, in particular, the European Parliament.
- Read more about traineeships in the European Parliament.
Scholarships for Research Attachments in Singapore
- A*STAR is one of Karolinska Institutet's cooperation partners in Asia. The Singapore International Pre-Graduate Award (SIPGA) supports top international students for short-term research attachments (2-6 months) at A*STAR's national research institutes and consortia. Attractive scholarships will be provided. SIPGA is open for international students in Biomedical, Science, and Engineering related disciplines who are undergraduate students in their third or fourth year, or Master's students. Interested students apply directly to A*STAR Research Institutes and Consortia.
- More information is found on the A*STAR website and any queries on this programme should be directed to the SIPGA office.
If you arrange your own internship you and your contact in the company or at the lab need to ensure that the internship is set up according to regulations and reconcile what applies in relation to your academic studies. There are various ways to gain practical experience but common is that it often provides an expanded network of contacts and an insight into a workplace. The experience is also a valuable asset in the competition in the labor market.
It is important that you discuss with your contact at the workplace before you begin your practice what it is expected of you. Practical experience can include everything from a defined project or task to just job-shadowing. If the internship involves a project, a position and a salary then it is in fact no longer an internship, it is a "real" job. Internships generally (in Sweden) are unpaid, should be approved by your study programme (if it is part of the study plan) and generate academic credits, and/or be included in your degree.
- Check with your study programme if the internship can be part of your education. For instance as part of your thesis.
- Your company or laboratory contact should check with HR in the workplace under what conditions you will able to work and what applies actuarially
- Agree with your contact who will be your supervisor, what is expected of you, and if you will receive compensation for your work. The best is to write an agreement so that the obligations become clear to both parties.
- Ask for an official certificate when you finish, and preferably also a written recommendation.
Some students want to work hours or part-time alongside their studies to increase their income or to gain work experience that can be valuable in their careers. There are many ways to find an extra job.
- You can always hand out your CV to restaurants, cafes and shops and ask friends if they know of any work.
- Tell people around you that you are looking for a job, what you are good at and with what you could contribute. That way, people can help you and tell others about you. In addition, you are simultaneously building up your network which can be valuable for your upcoming career.
- An alternative to a part-time job, if you want to gain work experience in your subject area, is to apply for some form of internship.
Find out more
- Are you curious to hear what it is like to work as a PhD student at KI? Take the opportunity to ask questions to someone who knows and get tips and advice on how it works by signing up for coffee with a doctoral student and reading our doctoral student portraits.
- You can also find PhD and researcher portraits on the KI career blog.
How to get a PhD at KI
- To become a doctoral student or PhD student at KI, you start by applying for one or more of the announced doctoral projects. For questions regarding the doctoral education position, you may contact the contact person in the advertisement.
- A prerequisite for admission to the doctoral program is that you meet basic and special eligibility requirements. Read more about eligibility for postgraduate education.
- If you have your own funding in the form of an external scholarship, you can still apply for any of the announced projects but you can also try to establish contact with a research group on your own. If the scholarship has been earned in competition with others, the project might not have to be announced like the other projects. Please be aware that the research group still might have to pay for you if the scholarship is not high enough. Also note that amendments to the Higher Education Ordinance severely restrict the ability to finance doctoral education with external scholarships as of 1 July 2018. More information about external scholarships.
- There are other ways into doctoral education, for example for medical doctors employed at one of the hospitals. Read more on the page about admission to doctoral education at KI.
- KI wants to recruit only the best candidates. Even if you have managed to establish contact with a research group, the head of the department is the one who decides on admission to doctoral education.
If you are unsure of where you want to work and with what, a good start is to identify potential employers and workplaces. One way to do this is through Stockholm Science City's Life science industry map. It is an interactive map to find companies in the Stockholm-Uppsala region. The map is searchable based on company name but can also be filtered based on business categories; Marketing & Sales, Manufacturing and Research & Development. The data on which the map is based on has a delay of at least one year.
Business and innovation support
Do you always have a lot of ideas, run different projects, or are you thinking about starting a business? Do you have an idea, but don't know where to start?
A good idea is not much more than a good idea if you cannot get others to be convinced that your idea is better than what exists today. If you cannot explain what problems your idea solves you will never get anyone to buy or use it. Start by describing the problem and your solution. Decide what role you want to take in establishing the idea. Are you the entrepreneur yourself or do you require a partnership with another entrepreneur for the idea to be realized - and thus become an innovation?
Do not forget to think early on about if you should protect your idea in any way. Examples would be to keep your solution secret or protect it by, for example, a patent. What protection you go for depends on what kind of idea you have (for example a service or product, simple or hi-tech, etc.) and how you choose to proceed. If you have ideas that you think might be patentable - remember to always examine the patentability before you talk openly about your solution. If your solution gets widely known, you can display the "novelty requirement" required to obtain patent protection.
There are many ways to run a business, and businesses can be developed in many different forms. Before you start your business you should carefully think through why you want to start, how you want to run your business and how you want your business to be developed.
An important and valuable tool before and during a business start-up is your business plan. In the business plan, you describe briefly your business, products, market, organization, and financing.
If you have ideas or thoughts about a project that you somehow want to realize, you will often get to the point where money is needed. How much money you need depends largely on what kind of idea you have. Money may be required for e.g. investment (e.g. office equipment), development of prototypes or for salaries. Consider how much money you need, what to use, and last but not least - where to get it. Contact an innovation support actor and examine the possibilities for financing. Some entrepreneurs also borrow money from family and friends or taking a conventional bank loan. When you have come a little further, and have a complete business plan, it may be appropriate to evaluate the possibilities with venture capital or business angels.
Sweden has a large number of actors that work in different ways to help realize ideas. In addition to training, many offer free advice and some also the opportunity to apply for grants, or to borrow money on favourable terms, either to further develop an idea or to start up a business. We have selected a number of actors and resources that might be of use for you when you want to take your ideas further.
- KI Innovations is a service function at KI providing advice and guidance in issues related to innovation. The office is open to anyone with ideas in the area of medicine and health including students at KI. The office can help you with questions related to how to turn your ideas into innovations and gives guidance to rules and regulations and possible resources that you can benefit from - including organizations, financing, and useful tools. On their website and on their Facebook page, you will find their events.
- Drivhuset Stockholm is an economic association that through its activities provides a meeting place for people who want to develop their ideas and their entrepreneurial drive. The focus is on the entrepreneur not on the idea itself.
- The City of Stockholm offers support and services to businesses, associations and cultural establishments. Here you will find news, information and services that help you start and develop an organisation.
- ALMI's vision is to create opportunities for all viable ideas and companies to be developed. They offer advisory services, loans, and venture capital through all phases of the establishment of a business – from idea to successful company.
- Verksamt.se/stockholm is a web-based guide and portal that has been created for those that are starting, running, want to develop, or will close a company in Stockholm. On the website you will find everything you will need to know; like the differences of various types of companies, business-related documents, information on how to register your company, accounting, and how to pay taxes.
- The Unit for Bioentrepreneurship (UBE) is an academic unit at Karolinska Institutet with the mission to inspire, educate and facilitate networks for students, researchers, and clinicians within the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship.
- SSES (Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship) is a joint school between KI, KTH, SU, SSE, and Konstfack devoted to offering education, training, and inspiration in applied entrepreneurship. The courses are split into three categories: core courses, context courses, and skills courses. The courses are provided in interdisciplinary groups with students from different backgrounds. The ECTS credits generated through the courses could be counted towards your degree.
Environments & Physical Work Space for meeting and prototyping
- Openlab is a challenge-driven innovation community providing courses for professionals and master’s students, co-working space, innovation projects, and a conference center. Together with their founding partners, they are experts in transforming innovation for the public sector through design methods and digital innovation platforms.
- Makerspace Stockholm is a crowdfunded, non-profit organization & creative workshop in central Stockholm (Drottning Kristinas Väg 53). It's a place set up to promote exploration of the intersection of tech, art & craft, aiming to encourage creative tech tinkering and drive innovation through interdisciplinary collaboration. Hope you want to join, don't hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- SUP46 is a meeting place and co-working space for the local start-up scene in Stockholm. Located next to Sergels Torg in central Stockholm.
- H2 (Health Hub) is a co-working space & meeting place for the health tech and e-health community in Stockholm. It is located by Torsplan and is near to Karolinska Institutet.
- Impact Hub is a co-working office space that is part business incubator, part innovation lab, and part social enterprise community.
- Health 2.0 Stockholm is the Stockholm chapter in Health 2.0 movement. Health 2.0 promotes, showcases, and catalyzes new technologies in health care. This is done through a worldwide series of conferences, code-a-thons, prize challenges, and more.
- KI Innovations is an incubator and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Karolinska Institutet's holding company. KI Innovations utilizes research findings in life science by evaluating and verifying projects with commercial potential as well as supporting business development to corporate or licensing.
- Venture Cup is a business plan competition and a series of training sessions for anyone with an innovative business idea. The competition Venture Cup consists of several important elements that help entrepreneurs to take their business to the market. They target two different tracks of early entrepreneurs: ”Idea” (Fall) where ideas can be tested directly through our digital community, and ”Start-up” (Spring) that support start-ups taking the next step in launching their business.
- The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to education and competition, the advancement of synthetic biology, and the development of an open community and collaboration. iGEM runs three main programs: the iGEM Competition - an international competition for students interested in the field of synthetic biology; the Labs Program - a program for academic labs to use the same resources as the competition teams; and the Registry of Standard Biological Parts - a growing collection of genetic parts use for building biological devices and systems.
- Reach for Change is a non-profit organisation founded by the Kinnevik Group and Sara Damber to improve children’s lives. They find and develop Change Leaders – local social entrepreneurs with innovations that solve pressing issues facing children. The entrepreneurs are helped to scale their innovations through seed funding, access to business expertise, and networking opportunities.