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.
There is many things you can do already during your study period that prepares you for your future career, not least when it comes to building up a network of future colleagues and contacts. As a student at Karolinska Institutet you have access to KI's Career Service, which offers everything from CV seminars to workshops in professional networking. You can practice going through job interviews or meeting exciting companies and organizations. Career service wants to inspire and support you during your study period and get you ready for both the summer job and the upcoming professional career you are aiming for.
Career seminars and workshops
During the year, KI Career Service organizes career-related events, seminars and workshops. The topic can be anything from “How to write a CV” to “How to network”. We also invite interesting companies for company presentations or mingles. You can find the events we have planned for the current semester in our overview calendar and also find upcoming career events organized by us or others at KI, in the career calendar, both on our career event page.
If you have suggestions for lectures that you want us to organize, please contact us and ask, maybe we can organize something.
How to write a CV
Employers look at your CV to decide whether to short-list you for a job. They often have many applications to look through. It is therefore important that you catch the recruiter’s interest. 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 this job. KI Career Service have written a short guide on what you should consider when writing your CV.
Several times a year we also offer CV review in cooperation with Go Monday. Keep an eye on our career event page for our next campaign.
Get started with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an incredible tool for building a professional network and making yourself more visible to employers. More and more jobs are also advertised on LinkedIn. It is therefore important that you start using LinkedIn to start building your network early during your studies.
In cooperation with Go Monday, Career Service offer you as a student, doctoral student or researcher at Karolinska Institutet an opportunity to register for a free online course! Through Go Monday's 4-Step Model - 4 Informative Newsletters - you learn how to create a strong profile and how to use LinkedIn successfully.
Register with your KI address and start building your network today. Sign up for Go Monday's 4-step model for LinkedIn.
Career development modules online
If you need some extra support in your career development, career-modules.eu might be helpful. Through their self-steering lessons, you can get support in your career development, self-understanding and with your personal branding.
GoinGlobal is a platform with career guides, jobs and internships. With your ki-id you can create a free personal account and get access to more than 10 000 pages of constantly-updated content on country-specific topics such as job search sources, work permit/visa regulations, resume writing guidelines... and much more!
Identify potential employers
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.
Some of the Career Service activities are filmed and are available on our Youtube channel, as well as on KI Play. Here you will for example find presentations on how to make a successful interview or how to become a doctoral student at KI.
Of all the jobs in the labor market, only 10% are visible in the flow of job ads, the rest - 90% - are communicated through contacts and recommendations. This is where your network comes into the picture.
An important start for your network is the students who have studied at the same university as you and perhaps even the same program, so-called alumni. The alumni are living proof of what one actually can work with after a degree and they are also inspirational role models! By joining the KI Alumni Network, already as a student, you can start creating professional contacts that can become invaluable in the future.
Don't wait, start building your network today and throughout your study period. Students, teachers and, not least, the people you meet on internships, can all be invaluable for your future career. By having a professional LinkedIn, you can easily connect with the people you meet during your education. Keep in mind that your fellow students today, will perhaps become your colleagues or managers in the future.
An internship can prove valuable to your career both through the actual work experience in a company but also for the opportunity of extending your professional network. For some study programmes at KI, internship is a part of your education. But there is also other ways for you to do an internship.
A traineeship abroad gives you the opportunity to convert your theoretical knowledge into practice, while gaining experience of 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 centre 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+ traineeship.
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
Experience the vibrant cosmopolitan R&D environment and work alongside world-renowned scientists in A*STAR labs. A*STAR is one of Karolinska Institutet 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 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.
Minor Field Studies
Minor Field Studies (MFS) is a Sida-funded scholarship for field studies. The aim of MFS is to give students the opportunity to learn more about developing countries and development issues and to promote internationalisation.
Students who want to collect material in a developing country for an essay or degree project for a Bachelor's degree or Master's degree may apply for an MFS scholarship. In order to apply for an MFS scholarship you must be a Swedish citizen or hold permanent residency in Sweden. Citizens of other Nordic countries who are not Swedish citizens must have been domiciled in Sweden for at least one year.
As a student at KI, you apply for an MFS scholarship at the Department of Global Public Health (information in Swedish).
Internships on own initiative
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 concrete work. The experience is also a valuable asset in the competition in the labor market.
It is important that you discuss with your contact in 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. Best is to write an agreement so that the obligations becomes clear to both parties.
- Ask for an official certificate when you finish, and preferably also a written recommendation.
External internships programmes
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
Are you a student at KI and interested in research? Studenter i Forskning is a project group under Medicinska Föreningen and serves as a bridge between students and researchers through, among other things, workshops, supervisor meetings and inspirational seminars. Read more about Studenter i Forskning.
Want to study at doctoral level at Karolinska Institutet?
To become a doctoral 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.
If you have your own funding in 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. Please 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 also other ways into doctoral education, for example for medical doctors employed at one of the hospitals. Read more 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 it is in the end the head of the department that decides on admission to doctoral education.
A prerequisite for admission to the doctoral program is that you meet the requirements for basic and special eligibility. Read more about eligibility for postgraduate education.
Mentorship programmes can prove valuable to both mentors and mentees on a professional as well as a personal level. The relationship is to be reciprocal. We have listed a few mentorship programmes below, but 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.
Why should you join 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
Women in Science
Women in Science is an organization dedicated to providing women in Sweden who are interested in science with tools and resources to help them achieve their goals in both career and private life. Those goals may involve advancement in their careers, improving independence, running their own business, or other. We host events and sub-projects such as workshops, seminars, mentor programs and much more to be announced.
Working during your studies
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 extra job, if you want to gain work experience in your subject area, is to seek some form of internship.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
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 may 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.
Starting a business
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.
Resources available for students
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.
Below we have selected a number of actors and resources that might be of use for you when you want to take your ideas further.
For more information about education in innovation and entrepreneurship, please contact Unit for Bioentrepreneurship (UBE) at Karolinska Institutet.
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.
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.
Start-Up Stockholm is Sweden's largest center for free counseling on business and innovation for people in the start-up and early growth phases. Start-Up Stockholm is a foundation with the main partners: the City of Stockholm, SEB and ALMI .
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 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 email@example.com
SUP46 is a meeting place and co-working space for the local startup 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 Institutets 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.
- FundedByMe is a Swedish start-up crowdfunding company that follows a structured, well-defined process of funding your company. While a regular funding round could take anywhere between 6-12 months, on FundedByMe a campaign takes 1-2 months, leaving you with more time to run your company.
- 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 a 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 ”Startup” (Spring) that support startups 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.
In the doctoral course Career skills for scientists, the individual examination assignment is to interview and write two "career portraits". In 2015, Career Service released the magazine A PhD can take you anywhere, where we gathered a selection of these portraits. Browse the magazine online and get inspired.
A selection of this year's career portraits has been published on our career blog.
If you are a student at KI and have questions about your future career, there are different people to turn to. For programme specific questions, you can contact your program study advisor. Contact information can be found on your course and programme website. For general questions about careers, we recommend that you take part in our career-related events, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.