5 things I learned studying Bioentrepreneurship: semester 3

Hello everyone and welcome back to this series that I have initiated during my time as a KI ambassador. I summarize each semester that I go through and we have reached the end of the third semester in the Bioentrepreneurship programme! Let’s begin! 🙂

1. Business Development

This was the first course we started with coming back in the autumn and it was so fun! Due to the pandemic, the class was split in two. We would take turns and having classes on campus in order to maintain the distance between each other. We learned about how companies work with business development; how companies grow their businesses (i.e. what are their strategies), what are the strengths and weaknesses with using different methods of business development, and what business development actually is. Certain topics we touched upon was: portfolio management, merger and acquisitions, negotiation techniques, financial analysis methods, due diligence, management systems, and so forth!

After I went through this course, I knew that business development is something I would like to work within in the future. It usually requires that you have some senior experience in the industry first, as a business development position is usually more senior. How can you help develop a business if you have no experience in the industry to begin with?

2. How to balance studies and social life

Surrounding yourself with friends and family feels more important than ever to me these days. And it is not something I say very lightly.

How hard and diligent I work with my studies, I have sometimes deprioritized the other aspect – actively thinking about people I care for and having fun! Life is honestly too short, but I believe that your masters should be a great period of your life too and not just a stressful one 🙂

I feel that I really have mastered it this semester. Social life has certainly been limited anyway due to the pandemic, but some socializing have still been allowed here in Sweden. And I have prioritized more time for myself and doing things I enjoy! It could be something as simple as going for a 2-hour walk around a lake and enjoying the sun on those few occasions it has shown up!

I also have become much more efficient with my studies. It is not about the number of hours you put into an assignment but how well you spend them. I trust my ability to write more freely today and don’t strive too much on perfectionism. And I have seen it giving positive results on my grades anyway! It probably means that I have learned and developed well during the first year of the programme and now feel more confident with my writing. I can happily say that I balance both of those aspects well these days!

3. What kind of company I would like to work for in the future

We performed a 3-month long practical placement this semester and I had mine at Roche Pharmaceuticals in Stockholm. I had a great time and the company was excellent in taking in the students well and teach us a lot about their operations and different units that exist in the company. And with that, you learn more about what you potentially can work with in the future. I was in the business development unit and that is what I want to continue with as well in the future as previously mentioned.

I think one other realization is that, how big or small a company is – if there are well-implemented cultures in the company, you will always feel that and it will have a huge impact on your everyday life. Good work ethics and a positive environment start with the management first and how they influence their employees. I felt at Roche that this is the case and I realized that this is now even more important to me than to have a good position in a company. If I am supposed to have a profession for the rest of my life, make sure to spend on places that will make you happy. If not, I don’t think it’s worth the time.

4. Having a degree is important, but having generic skills is even more important.

No matter how well you excel in your studies or know all the theories from the books we studied in the first year – it all boils down to how you perform in reality. And this is why this programme is so excellent that it allows us to practice that into the 3 practical placements the programmes have. During my practical placement, the most skills I used heavily was: interview skills, communicating with impact, and being able to adapt to change. I had over 15 interviews during my placement at Roche and all from different stakeholders: patients, industry experts, authorities, healthcare professionals. And if you are not able to harvest or pull out the information that you need for your project to move forward, it leaves much difficulty to succeed. Communicating with your supervisor and with the rest of the employees, being able to present your work in a way that brings value, being able to alter your direction in your work in this complex industry is key! And without those skills, you will have difficulty.

I have understood that having a degree (a MSc.) is a necessity to many, but in-officially it has more become of a formality in my eyes. Get your degree, and learn what the programme offers but also work equally hard on those other skills that are crucial in the everyday life of work. That is what will make you successful in the end in my opinion!

5. How to write and create a scientific method for the degree project

Writing a thesis is an art form and it should not be taken lightly. The programme prepared a 2-week crash course for us in “Scientific method”, which essentially was about how you correctly and academically write a degree project. It entails everything from how to perform literature research, how to create a proper methodology that goes in line with your aim and your research questions, and lastly how you should analyze the data your produce and make conclusions.

It was a very fruitful course and it prepared me well for what is coming next in semester 4 which is the thesis (degree project)! I cannot believe that I have made it so far and this is the final stop before I enter the job market!

Hope this blogpost was interesting to read, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions // Tina 🙂

Tina Sayari - Bioentrepreneurship

Tina Sayari - Bioentrepreneurship

I am studying the Master's in Bioentrepreneurship and will be writing about my courses, my classmates, and the general satisfaction regarding this masters. Being born & raised in Stockholm and previously doing the Bachelor's in Biomedicine at KI, I know more than the average KI student about living in Sweden and the university :) Feel free to contact me: tina.sayari@stud.ki.se


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