Valuable international perspectives for future leaders in sustainability
Larissa Bernasconi dreams of working with sustainability for a large international company.
The Master’s Programme in Business Administration specialising in sustainability attracts students from both Sweden and Europe. “Sweden is so far ahead when it comes to sustainability,” says student Larissa Bernasconi, who is looking forward to sharing her newly acquired knowledge back in Italy.
Here you can read more about the Master’s Programme in Business Administration at Örebro University School of Business, 120 credits (in Swedish).
One in four students on the programme comes from countries such as Germany, France, and Italy. According to Tommy Borglund, a researcher and senior lecturer at the Örebro University School of Business, there is an enormous interest in sustainable business development in many countries right now, both in Sweden and internationally.
“Sustainability is a very hot topic. But the course offering is often more modest compared to the demand from the students from all over. So, those universities offering courses in sustainability are extra attractive,” affirming Örebro University’s popularity among international students.
Dreaming of working in international business
Larissa Bernasconi, an exchange student in Örebro, has a Russian-Italian background. When making her choice between Sweden, Norway, and Finland, she chose Örebro because it is in the middle of Scandinavia. “It’s a relatively large town centrally located, which makes it easy to travel around and experience the country.”
”I’m taking four courses this semester, three of them focused on sustainability. Sweden is so far ahead when it comes to sustainability – especially compared to Italy.”
She dreams of working for a large international company, preferably within the transport sector.
“I’m looking forward to returning to Italy with all the latest knowledge on sustainability that you have here but that we’re still lacking there. Even if Europe’s one of the most sustainable continents, there’s still so much work to be done,” she says.
The fact that so many of her fellow students come from other countries is valuable, according to Larissa Bernasconi.
“It makes for interesting discussions when comparing similarities and differences in how we think about sustainability,” she says.
Interesting perspectives from other countries
Students Sofie Kagerstedt and Linnea Virtanen also appreciate the international character of the programme.
“You get perspective on how CSR and sustainability work in other countries. A fellow student from France told me that there’s currently a lot of debate on working conditions and environmental aspects in the wine industry there,” says Sofie Kagerstedt.
“Our seminars and lectures result in a great deal of discussion. Hearing perspectives from other countries is thought-provoking,” says Linnea Virtanen.
Tommy Borglund thinks that international students have a positive impact on the group as a whole.
“It provides a broader perspective with alternative angles of approach and comparisons between different countries. As exchange students are often good at making oral presentations, it makes for an inspiring learning environment.”
Much appreciated company study visits
During the autumn semester, students have been working on assignments for various companies and going on study visits. One of these was Amexci, a 3D printing company operating in Karlskoga.
“It’s great to get a look into real-life working environments. To see how the theory we’re studying works in reality. Since we’re both so-called pandemic students, this is so appreciated and valuable,” says Sofie Kagerstedt and Linnea Virtanen.
Larissa Bernasconi is used to the Italian education system, with its traditional lectures and few opportunities for discussion and independent work. Here, she is enthusiastic about the close collaboration with companies in the region.
“It’s exciting to get a visual perception of what we’re studying. Sometimes, you’re so busy studying for the next exam that you miss the big picture. Here, we’re getting a chance to actually see what we’re working towards – in a real working environment. I love doing things like this!” says Larissa Bernasconi.
Text: Anna Lorentzon
Photo: Anna Lorentzon/Private
Translation: Jerry Gray