From first to second year in the Master’s in Bioentrepreneurship programme

Here we are at the end of our first month of the last year in the Master’s in Bioentrepreneurship programme. Time flies! The start of my second year was so much different than the first year, so I decided to outline the main contrasts in this blog. Let’s delve into my reflections and recommendations to gain a head start for the first and second year🤩

Overall mood 💆🏽‍♀️

If I could choose one word to describe the beginning of my first year, it would be anticipation. I had so many thoughts in my head and did not know what to expect. I remember worrying about my new room and whether I would get along with my roommate, whether I would be able to keep up with the challenging courses, and whether I would make friends in my programme… I remember my first month in Sweden as a time of confusion, and I think it’s safe to say the majority of new students felt that way. It’s part of the journey😵‍💫 But it’s also an exciting time to find your favourite cafés in Stockholm, explore new workout classes, and immerse yourself in the Swedish culture. Once you’ve familiarised with your new surroundings and formed your individual routine, Stockholm becomes home😌 And that’s how I feel now. If I could choose one word to describe the beginning of my first year, it would be calmness. I had moved into my new room at the end of the first year, I knew what to expect from my classes, I had secured my second practical placement, and I was excited to get back into my routine. Eventually everything falls into its own place😊

Course structure 📚

As mentioned in one of my previous blogs on the first semester course overview, the first semester is designed to provide you with a foundation in key concepts and theories, while the second semester focuses on practical skills needed for success in the field. This statement is also analogous for the first and second years in the MBE programme. The first year of the programme is definitely more course-heavy while the second year is more practical as it includes the second practical placement and the thesis. If I could make one suggestion for first-year students, it would be to use the first year as an exploratory phase to filter out what you might want to focus on during your second year. For example, you could ask yourself whether you enjoy the more quantitative or qualitative courses? Are you more interested in exploring the inner workings of small to mid-sized companies, or would you like to experience being part of a large company more? What excites you more – medtech or pharma products, or consulting services? These questions can help you form a better idea on where you would like to conduct your practical placements and what you would like to gain from them 🤓

Future planning 🗓

One of the main takeaways I have from the program so far is the importance of thinking ahead. There are multiple things you can do even before your first practical placement to find out what you might want to focus on. For example, speaking to the second years at the time provided me with some guidance on this seemingly abstract concept of a practical placement. I asked many questions on their experiences and tried to formulate some ideas on what I would like to focus on. I came to the programme with no previous hands-on experience in the life science business field, so perhaps this process was more difficult for me than some other students. The most important thing is to trust the process. The programme provides you with guidance and multiple options to choose from for the placements that can also be used as potential employers after the program. However, you are also encouraged to explore options outside of the programme. Stockholm is buzzing with networking events, various entrepreneurship workshops, and start-up conferences that open doors for your future endeavours🤩

When reflecting on it, I see the first year as a preparation for the second year, and the second year as a preparation for the future. Each achievement (such as the completion of a practical placement) should be celebrated, but also viewed as a milestone for the next big thing. You can take as much or as little as possible from the programme. This depends on your attitude😎

Fausta - Bioentrepreneurship

Fausta - Bioentrepreneurship

My name is Fausta. I am originally from Lithuania, but spent most of my life in Canada, so the Swedish winters do not scare me! I’m the blogger for the Master’s Programme in Bioentrepreneurship here at Karolinska Institutet. I am also a camping enthusiast and a huge fan of exploring new hidden cafés to visit in Stockholm. I am excited to share my experiences and adventures in Sweden and hopefully provide some useful tips and tricks!


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